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Sociology and Anthropology Department

Tom Guthrie

Professor for Sociology and Anthropology / Sustainable foods

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My teaching and research focus on colonial encounters and human-environment relations, especially in North America.  I am interested in agriculture, conservation projects, public representations of culture, settler colonialism, indigenous peoples’ efforts to defend their sovereignty and maintain distinctive cultural identities, and the politics of anthropology.  My work critiques colonial forms of multiculturalism and environmentalism.

I am committed to advancing social and environmental justice and dismantling interlocking systems of oppression.  One thing I love about anthropology is that it can help us imagine more sustainable and just ways of living.  I am grateful to my students, whose activism and concern for social justice challenge and inspire me.

I have been conducting research in northern New Mexico since 2002.  New Mexico’s double colonial history has resulted in contentious ethnic relations, ongoing struggles over land and water, and concerns about social change.  My book, Recognizing Heritage: The Politics of Multiculturalism in New Mexico, examines public efforts to interpret and preserve Hispanic and Native American cultural heritage.  I argue that dominant forms of multiculturalism challenge colonial hierarchies on the surface but reinforce them at a deeper level, and I explore alternative paths to multicultural justice.  My current research explores efforts to revitalize small-scale agriculture in northern New Mexico and debates over genetically engineered food crops—especially chile.


University of Chicago, Ph.D., 2005
University of Chicago, M.A., 2001
Davidson College, B.A., 1997

Selected Scholarship

Recognizing Heritage: The Politics of Multiculturalism in New Mexico. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press (2013).

Going to Hopi. Journal of the Southwest 55.2: 119–29 (2013).

Dealing with Difference: Heritage, Commensurability and Public Formation in Northern New Mexico. International Journal of Heritage Studies 16.4: 305–321 (2010).

History, Preservation, and Power at El Morro National Monument: Toward a Self-Reflexive Interpretive Practice. CRM: The Journal of Heritage Stewardship 7.1: 46–67 (2010).

Cross of the Martyrs and Commemorative Walkway. The Public Historian 29.4: 106–110 (2007)

Good Words: Chief Joseph and the Production of Indian Speech(es), Texts, and Subjects. Ethnohistory 54.3: 509–546 (2007).


Newspaper articles

Time For a Just Transition to a Better World. The Guilfordian Oct. 1, 2020.

The Disbelieving White Man. The Guilfordian Apr. 29, 2016.

Heritage, Adobe Architecture and Grief: Learning from Rina Swentzell. Green Fire Times Dec. 2015.

Reflections on the Española Plaza. Green Fire Times Mar. 2014.

Lessons from Las Trampas: Heritage Preservation and Land Justice in Northern New Mexico. La Jicarita: An Online Magazine of Environmental Politics in New Mexico Jan. 14, 2014.

The Trouble with Multiculturalism in New Mexico. Santa Fe New Mexican Dec. 21, 2013.

Courses Taught

SOAN 103: Cultural Anthropology
SOAN 216: The Anthropology of Colonialism
SOAN 261: Native North America
SOAN 322: Environmental Anthropology
SOAN 342: Social Theory
SOAN 450: Culture on Display: Tourism, Heritage, Museums
FYS 101: Sustainable Communities
SFS 120: Introduction to Food Systems
IDS 482: Agricultural Revolutions
IDS 483: The Politics of Difference