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Sociology and Anthropology

Deborah Heath

Associate Professor of Anthropology

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.


Spring 2015:

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

Academic Credentials

PhD The Johns Hopkins University; M.A. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; BA Reed College

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Sociology and Anthropology


Deborah Heath’s office is located in room 350 of JR Howard.


voice 503-768-7663

Deborah Heath Associate Professor of Anthropology

Sociology and Anthropology Lewis & Clark 615 S. Palatine Hill Road MSC 60 Portland OR 97219 USA