Melanie DuPuis, Ph.D.
Melanie DuPuis is a Professor in Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work melds political economy and cultural perspectives in the study of consumption, food, agriculture, development, environment, technology, justice and social change. Her methods include social history, policy analysis, discourse analysis and geography. Her book, Nature’s Perfect Food, brought together these disciplines to understand the invention of milk as a commodity in the United States. Her most recent book, Smoke and Mirrors, brought together a group of urban environmental historians, economists, political scientists, and sociologists to look specifically at air pollution as a cultural and political phenomenon. Her position in the Sociology Department at UCSC has brought her into contact with some of the best U.S. social theorists of race, a major influence in her formulation of the Eating Cultures project. DuPuis studied the political economy of development at Cornell University (Ph.D. 1991) and supplemented this with a post-doc in Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic University in 1992.