Megan Carney

Director, Center for Regional Food Studies

Megan Carney

Megan A. Carney is Associate Professor in the School of Anthropology and the Director of the Center for Regional Food Studies. 

Dr. Carney is a sociocultural and critical medical anthropologist with specializations in the intersections of migration and health, critical food studies, food insecurity in the United States, critical race and diaspora studies, the food-climate-migration nexus, the politics of care and social reproduction, feminist epistemologies and methodologies, and community-based collaborative research.

She is the author of the award-winning book The Unending Hunger: Tracing Women and Food Insecurity Across Borders (University of California Press, 2015) based on ethnographic fieldwork that she conducted from 2008-2011 with Mexican and Central American migrant women in Santa Barbara, California, a region with a deep history of seasonal labor migration and some of the highest rates of food insecurity and poverty in the nation. Her book was named one of the “Best Books on Food Insecurity” by Healthline in 2018 and selected as a California Book to Action in 2019. Her second book, Island of Hope: Migration and Solidarity in the Mediterranean (University of California Press, 2021) is an ethnography of migrant reception and solidarity initiatives in Sicily during the peak years of the "European refugee crisis".

Her research has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Social Science and MedicineGastronomicaMedical Anthropology Quarterly, American AnthropologistFood and FoodwaysFood, Culture, and SocietyInternational Migration, among others. 

She was Fulbright Schuman Fellow from 2021-22, an Udall Public Policy Fellow from 2019-20, and a Public Voices Fellow with The OpEd Project from 2018-19. Her public-facing work has appeared in places such as The HillCivil EatsArizona Daily StarScientific American, PRI's The World and Sapiens

At the UA, Dr. Carney is affiliated faculty in Africana Studies, Latin American Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Human Rights Practice, Arid Lands Resource Sciences, and Food Studies. She earned her PhD and MA in Anthropology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her BA also in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.