Professor of Anthropology
M.A., Ph.D., Princeton University
B.A., University of Massachusetts
Professor Vesperi is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in the analysis of contemporary social issues and the communication of anthropological ideas to the public. Using ethnographic data collection methods and symbolic theory, she focuses on identifying beliefs that underlie cultural constructions of age, ethnicity, and community. She offers courses in cultural anthropology, myth and ritual, history of anthropological theory, anthropology and literature, language, culture and society, contemporary U.S. cultures, and anthropological approaches to the study of aging.
Before joining the New College faculty, Professor Vesperi was a member of the Editorial Board and a staff writer and columnist at the St. Petersburg Times. She is author of the book, City of Green Benches: Growing Old in a New Downtown, and co-editor, with J. Neil Henderson, of The Culture of Long Term Care: Nursing Home Ethnography.
Ethnography: Theory and Practice
The Anthropology of Performance
Vesperi, M. D. City of Green Benches: Growing Old in a New Downtown (Cornell University Press, 1985 and 1998)
Vesperi, M. D. and J. Neil Henderson. The Culture of Long Term Care: Nursing Home Ethnography (Bergin & Garvey, 1995).
Vesperi, M. D. (2001). Broadcast news: Attitudes toward featuring elders and responding to an aging audience. Generations-Journal of the American Society on Aging, 25(3), 31-33.
Vesperi, M. D. (2001). Images of aging in media and marketing. San Francisco: American Society on Aging.
Vesperi, M. D. and Alisse Waterston. Anthropology Off the Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009)