Skip to main content
KPU Surrey Campus

You are here

[node:title] [node:field_people_bio_last_name] | [site:name]

Sarah Fessenden MA (California State University), PhD (UBC)

Sarah Fessenden
Surrey Campus: 
Fir 207

Sarah Fessenden is a sociocultural anthropologist whose current research looks at the social and cultural construction of hunger in Canada and whose theoretical research has focused primarily on radical social movement organizing. Sarah graduated with her PhD Sociocultural Anthropology from the University of British Columbia and her MA Cultural Anthropology from California State University, Long Beach where she worked with activists in some of the most economically depressed neighbourhoods in the U.S., Spain, and Canada. Sarah has written and published on counterculture, radical organizing and activism, and food-waste. She is a UBC Public Scholar and a recent contributor to Maclean’s.


Inspired by her research, Sarah has taught courses ranging from Anthropology of Food and Hunger to Culture and Communication. Drawing on years of experience as a teacher and counsellor, Sarah challenges students to learn and grow personally and professionally while inspiring them with enthusiasm, engaging stories, and invitations to experientially participate in anthropological inquiry.


Courses Taught

  • ANTH 1100 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 4501 Selected Problems in Anthropology: Anthropology of Hunger


Areas of Interest

  • Hunger, food(-waste), urban ethnography, autonomous social movements, political-economy of ‘charity,’ radical politics, informal economies, politics of public space, public and applied anthropology
  • Canada, Spain, United States


Public and Scholarly Work

  • 2018 “How Sugar Taxes Punish the Poor.” Macleans, April 11.
  • 2017 “We just wanna warm some bellies”: Food Not Bombs, anarchism, and recycling wasted food for protest. PhD Dissertation. Department of Anthropology, University of British Columbia.
  • 2015 The Voice of the Voiceless: Limitations of ‘Empowerment’ and the Potential for Engaged, Insider Research Methodologies with Anarcho-Punk Youth. In Youth ‘At the Margins’: Critical Perspectives and Experiences of Engaging Youth in Research Worldwide. Edited by Sheri Bastien and Halla B. Holmarsdottir, 103-121. Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
  • 2012 “Militant Ethnography” and Its Complications among Anarchists. Telling Stories: Analysis, Interpretation, and Narrative. Proceedings of the Southwest Anthropological Association, Volume 6. Edited by Barbra Erickson. Fullerton: California State University Fullerton.
  • 2011 Recycled Identities: Anarcho-Punx, Organization, Style, and Reciprocity in Barcelona, Spain. M.A. Thesis. Department of Anthropology, California State University Long Beach.