Krista Harper, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology and the Center for Public Policy at UMass Amherst

About me


Department of Anthropology and the Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA)

BA, Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley (1992)
MA, Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz (1994)
PhD, Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz (1999)

Research Interests
My general teaching and research interests include: ethnographic, qualitative and participatory action research methods; the anthropology of Europe; and urban mobilizations around the environment, food justice, and placemaking.  I have conducted ethnographic research in Hungary, Portugal, and the United States.

In recent projects I investigated urban gardening in Lisbon, youth activism around school food systems in Holyoke, Massachusetts, and environmental justice issues of Hungarian Roma (Gypsies) communities using the PhotoVoice research method.  My book with Prof. Aline Gubrium, Participatory Visual and Digital Methods, was published by Left Coast Press in 2013.

For 2010-2013 I am the PI (with Prof. Jacqueline Urla) of a National Science Foundation international research and training program, “Cultural Heritage in European Societies and Spaces (CHESS)” (NSF OISE-0986575).  I am developing a new research project on urban gardens, social cohesion, and the ongoing economic crisis in Lisbon, Portugal.

In my 2006 book, Wild Capitalism: Environmental Activists and Post-socialist Political Ecology in Hungary , I examined how the meanings of “civil society” and “environment” have changed as environmentalists encounter the political and ecological realities of life after state socialism.