Deborah Heath

Associate Professor of Anthropology

JR Howard 350, MSC: 60

My current research and teaching interests focus on the anthropology of science, technology, and medicine, feminist studies, and the anthropology of food and drink.  I have had the pleasure of collaborating with students and colleagues on a number of funded research projects in recent years.

  • Research on wine, terroir, and discourses about science, magic, and the taste of place.  Recent work includes
    • Research on terroir, wine grape varietals, and fermentation vessels in the Republic of Georgia and Argentina
    • Research on biodynamic viticulture and the ‘natural’ wine movement in Oregon, France, and Sicily, with student-faculty funding from Mellon (Situating the Global Environment,) and the Dinah Dodds Endowment
    • A project focused on the Umpqua AVA in southern Oregon, funded by Mellon and Watzek Library.
  • Research on the science and nature/culture of foie gras production, with research in the U.S., France and Québec, supported by the Pacific Northwest Canadian Studies Consortium and a Mellon student-faculty grant from Lewis & Clark’s Environmental Studies Program.
  • An interdisciplinary research project investigating biological, cultural, legal, and community perspectives on epigenetics, with funding from the NIH ELSI program.
    • Student-faculty research grant from NIH-Interdisciplinary Center on Epigenetics, Science & Society: “The Emerging Epigenetic Mystique: Mapping Portrayals of Epigenetics in Social Media”
  • A multi-sited collaborative project, “Mapping Genetic Knowledge: An Anthropological Approach” funded by the NIH ELSI program, National Human Genome Research Institute.

Academic Credentials

PhD The Johns Hopkins University; MA University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; BA Reed College


Spring 2015:

SOAN 298: Wines & Vines | SOAN 390 Cyborg Anthropology | SOAN 298 Social Media in Action