Erin Dean

Associate Professor of Anthropology


Phone Number

Email Address



College Hall 235


Social Science 102


Office or Division

Area of Concentration


Ph.D., University of Arizona
M.A., University of Arizona
B.A., University of Kansas

Professor Dean is an environmental anthropologist whose research focuses on conservation and development in Tanzania and Zanzibar. She situates her anthropological work within the interdisciplinary subfield of political ecology, and she is particularly interested in how control of land and resources is negotiated and ordered based on gender, age, ethnicity, class, political affiliation, and institutional status. Her ongoing work considers a variety of topics of both emergent and persistent concern to community members, including forest and marine conservation, “participatory” resource management, knowledge production, gendered identity, alternative energy development, land rights, and political authority. Her recent publications include articles in the journals Human Organization and the Journal of Contemporary African Studies.

At New College, Professor Dean also coordinates the Sarasota Water Oral History Project, This collaboration with Sarasota County and the Water Atlas explores how water resources are understood and remembered by local residents. Student participants in the project explore the theory and methodology of oral history, conduct in-depth oral history interviews with local residents, and create narrative audio-visual presentations which are archived and available online.

Recent Courses

Development in an Anthropological Context
Ethnography: Theory and Practice