About Us

Welcome to the online home of Frederick Errington and Deborah Gewertz, partners in the study of cultural anthropology.


Deborah is the G. Henry Whitcomb Professor of Anthropology at Amherst College, Amherst MA and Fred is the Distinguished Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus) at Trinity College, Hartford CT.

Both separately and together, we have done anthropological research in four different regions of Papua New Guinea, in Indonesia’s West Sumatra, and in the U.S. states of Montana and South Dakota. We have focused on ethnohistory, gender, sociocultural change, class formation, shifting foodways, global encounters, and environmental change.  In so doing, we have worked with many different peoples, including purveyors and consumers of fatty meat in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, and Papua New Guinea.  And, we have worked with producers and consumers of instant “ramen” noodles in Japan, the United States, and Papua New Guinea.  (Much of this research was supported by grants, including major ones, from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies.) Most recently, we have been working in the U.S. Midwest with scientists, hunters, environmentalists, and agriculturalists about what nature is worth, especially as concerned with ducks, pheasants, and endangered species, such as the pallid sturgeon of the Missouri River.

In addition to solo efforts, we have written seven books together: Cultural Alternatives and a Feminist Anthropology (Cambridge University Press, 1989); Twisted Histories, Altered Contexts (Cambridge University Press, 1991); Articulating Change in the ‘Last Unknown’(Westview Press, 1995); Emerging Class in Papua New Guinea (Cambridge University Press, 1999); Yali’s Question: Sugar, Culture, and History (University of Chicago Press, 2004); Cheap Meat (University of California Press, 2010); and The Noodle Narratives (University of California Press, 2013). We continue to work in Papua New Guinea, but also are writing about a variety of issues which have arisen in relation to the restoration to prairie of our family farm near Brookings, South Dakota.

This site serves as our online home for both published and unpublished writings, as well as a place for occasional comments about topics of current anthropological significance.