I’m an anthropologist and ethnographer by training, which for me means I spend a lot of time thinking about what the everyday (or what some might consider the unremarkable) teaches us about larger patterns and processes of inequity, survival, and resistance.

In all my work, I am interested in questions and narratives about Black people, survival, and care. And relatedly, in methodological questions concerning how we write/think/talk about Black people, survival, and care. Currently, this shows up in work that critically examines the role of food and food corporations in Black lives and neighborhoods. I am not only interested in food as nourishment but also as a metaphor and proxy for how Black people know and understand ourselves. This interest also takes me into exploring how medical, public health, and general “do good” organizations use food as a means to demonize or “fix” Black people’s consumption and bodies.

Beyond food, I am also broadly interested in how Black people create safe, enjoyable, intimate, sustainable places. Some of my interest is material: how does X city/neighborhood/corner function in the lives of Y people? But some of it beyond (though not unrelated to) the material: how do nostalgia, memory, and imagination shape what we experience or think is possible in this particular space?

Recent Publications

Fieldwork with the Dead and Other Considerations: An Interview with Ashanté M. Reese

What Remains?

Ethnographic Archives and Speculative Black Geographies

Ashanté M. Reese

We All We Got

Urban Black Ecologies of Care and Mutual Aid

Ashanté M. Reese and Symone A. Johnson

Food and carcerality: From confinement to abolition

Ashanté M. Reese and Joshua Sbicca, 2022

Thinking with Our Hands: A Conversation with Professor Ashanté Reese

Chinonye Alma Otuonye (CUNY)

Tarry with Me

Oxford American, March 2021


American Ethnologist, October 2020

Overthrowing the Food System’s Plantation Paradigm (with Randolph Carr)

Civil Eats, June 2020