Senate Faculty

Melissa L. Caldwell
  • Pronouns she, her, her, hers, herself
  • Title
    • Professor
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Anthropology Department
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 1, 353
  • Mail Stop Social Sciences 1 Faculty Services
  • Mailing Address
    • Department of Anthropology, 353 Social Sciences 1
    • Santa Cruz CA 95064
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Russia, Ethnography, Poverty, Social Justice, Socialism, African Diaspora, Food/Nutrition, European Studies, Communism

Summary of Expertise

Russia, Eastern Europe, Former Soviet Union; poverty and welfare; charity and philanthropy; social welfare and humanitarianism; religious charity; food politics; gardening and summer cottages; socialism and postsocialism.

Research Interests

Daily life in postsocialist Europe; Ethnography of Russia; changing social welfare systems, care work, ethics and practices of compassion; interfaith collaborations and faith-based assistance; changing food practices in late and postsocialist societies; nature, leisure, and the world of summer cottages and gardening; new modes of human rights and anti-discrimination practices in Russia; Russian-African relations.

Biography, Education and Training

Harvard University, Social Anthropology, Ph.D., A.M.
Indiana University, Russian and East European Studies, M.A.
University of Tennessee, Russian and East European Studies, B.A.

Selected Presentations

  • "The Dacha Days of Summer," Radio Interview on "Here on Earth," Wisconsin Public Radio, August 1, 2011
  • "Going Green for Summer," Radio Interview on Voice of Russia, June 19, 2011

Teaching Interests

Poverty and Inequality; Social Justice; International Development; Anthropology of Food; Consumption; Memory and Trauma.