I’m Dr. Ashanté M. Reese, writer, anthropologist, and assistant professor of African and African Diaspora at The University of Texas at Austin.
I earned a bachelors in History with a minor in African American studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After undergrad, I taught middle school at Coretta Scott King Leadership Academy before I burned out and thought graduate school was a great idea. I went on to earn a PhD in Anthropology. Broadly speaking, I’m interested in Black geographies – the ways Black people produce and navigate spaces and places in the context of anti-Blackness. While I am interested in and committed to documenting the ways anti-Blackness constrains Black life, I am constantly brought back to the question, what and who survives? This question is animated by my recurring interest in community and vulnerability in both my research and personal life and the human experience more broadly. This question and these themes show up over and over again in my work. I marvel at the ways we make lives, even when constantly surveilled and threatened by state and corporate violence and neglect.
My first book, Black Food Geographies: Race, Food Access, and Self-Reliance in Washington, D.C. was published by UNC Press in April 2019. Black Food Geographies won the 2020 Best Monograph Prize from the Association for the Study of Food and Society and the 2020 Margaret Mead Award jointly awarded by the Association of American Anthropologists and the Society for Applied Anthropology. My second, Black Food Matters: Racial Justice in the Wake of Food Justice, is a volume co-edited with Hanna Garth published by University of Minnesota Press in 2020. Black Food Matters received honorable mention recognition for the Eduardo Bonilla-Silva outstanding book award presented by the Division of Racial and Ethnic Minorities of the Society for the Study of Social Problems. My work has been supported by the National Science Foundations, The Institute for Citizens and Scholars (formerly known as the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation), UNCF-Mellon, The American Council for Learned Society, and others. Use the button on the right to learn more about my research and where to find my work.
Outside of my research, writing, and teaching, I enjoy putting together dope outfits, hosting gatherings at my home, and laughing with my whole body.
If you can’t catch me on campus or at a conference, you might catch me on the yoga mat. Use the button on the right learn more about my yoga and meditation offerings.
“I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ast. And that in wondering bout the big things and asting bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”