Amie Breeze Harper, Ph.D. Candidate

Geography Graduate Group

University of California, Davis


Research URLs: and

510-564-7870 (work)

Research and Teaching Interests

  1. Research: How race, class, gender, and geographical region in the USA affect community (1) health and well-being and; (2) relationship to, and perception of, alternative consumption practices (i.e.: food justice, green consumerism, farmer's markets, organic food, veganism) 

  2. Teaching Interests: critical race theory; African American food and health activism; critical food geographies; black feminist theory and socio-spatial epistemologies; fatphobia and ableism in USA holistic health rhetoric; intersections of racialized consciousness, animal rights, and ethical consumption; critical pedagogies of consumption.

Educational Background

2007-Present Ph.D. Candidate in Geography. University of California, Davis.

    1. Doctoral Emphasis: Critical Race Theory; Feminist Theory and Research; Critical Food Studies

    2. Dissertation Title: Socio-spatial Epistemologies and Racialized Consciousness: Critical Race and Black Feminist Analysis of Vegan Praxis in the USA. (Scheduled completion date: December 2011)

      1. Committee: Dr. Kimberly Nettles (Major Professor, UC Davis), Dr. Luz Mena (UC Davis), Wendy Ho (UC Davis), and Dr. Psyche A. Williams-Forson (UMD College Park).

2010-2011 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship in Geography. UC Davis.

      1. Fully funded doctoral studies research to explore food, race, and identity.

      2. Other Current Projects:

        1. Harper, A. Breeze. "'Post-racial' Vegan USA? Critical Race and Black Feminist Analysis of Racialized Consciousness in Veganism" in Counihan, Carole and Psyche A. Williams-Forson. Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World. Forthcoming: Routledge Press 2011.

        2. Harper, A. Breeze. “bell hooks and Decolonization of Dietary Spaces: An Intersectional Analysis of Food, At Risk Youths, and the Prison Industrial Complex” (Under peer review for Race/Ethnicity journal)

  1. 2009-2010 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship in Geography. UC Davis.

      1. Fully funded doctoral studies research to explore and publish essays on intersections of food, critical race theory, black feminist theory, and identity.

2007 Masters Degree Educational Technologies. Harvard University. 

    1. Masters Thesis: "Cyber-territories of Whiteness: Language, 'Colorblind' Utopias, and Sistah Vegan Consciousness." Advisor: Dr. Michelle M. Wright (remote advisor from University of Minnesota)

      1. Cyber-ethnography of intersections of race and veganism on the internet.

      2. Researching how to use cyberspace technology for health and nutrition education, coalition building, and empowerment to combat health disparities and environmental injustice.

1998. B.A. Geography. Dartmouth College.

    1. Undergraduate Thesis: “Foucault and the Heterosexist Panopticon.” Advisor: Dr. Adrian J. Bailey


Peer Reviewed:

Harper, Amie Breeze. "The Absence of Meat in Oankali Dietary Philosophy: An Eco-Feminist-Vegan Analysis of Octavia Butler's Dawn." Jackson, Sandra and Julie Moody-Freeman (eds.) in The Black Imagination, Science Fiction and Futurism. Peter Lang Press 2011.

Harper, Amie Breeze. "Phenomenology of Race and Whiteness: Knowing, Feeling, and Experiencing the Vegan 'Exotic'"  in Alkon, Alison and Julian Agyeman. Cultivating Food Justice: Race, Class, and Sustainability. MIT Press 2011.

Harper, A. Breeze. "'Post-racial' Vegan USA? Critical Race and Black Feminist Analysis of Racialized Consciousness in Veganism" in Counihan, Carole and Psyche A. Williams-Forson. Taking Food Public: Redefining Foodways in a Changing World. Forthcoming: Routledge Press 2011.

Harper, Amie Breeze. "Race as a 'feeble matter' in veganism: Interrogating whiteness, geopolitical privilege, and consumption of 'cruelty-free' products." Journal of Critical Animal Studies.VIII, no. 3 (2010).

Harper, Amie Breeze. "Connections: Speciesism, Racism, and Whiteness as the Norm,"  in Kemmerer, Lisa (ed.), Sister Species: Women, Social Justice, and Animal Advocacy. University of Illinois Press 2011.

Harper, Amie Breeze. "Veganporn & 'Sistah': Explorations of Whiteness Through Textual Linguistic Cyber-minstrelsy on the Internet," in Wachanga, David (ed.), Cultural Identity and New Communication Technologies: Political, Ethnic and Ideological Implications. IGI Global Communications 2011.

Not Peer Reviewed:

Harper, A. Breeze. Scars. Black Coffee Press, 2012.

Harper, A. Breeze. Sistah Vegan! Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health and Society. Lantern Books, 2010.

Teaching Experience

2008 Fall Quarter. Student Organizer and Co-Instructor University of California, Davis.

    1. "Geography 298: Geographies of Race, Racialization, and Racism: Critical Race and Postcolonial Approaches."

    2. I created the idea and syllabus for this graduate level course, as well as co-instructed the course with Dr. Adela de la Torre.

2008 Spring Quarter (Part Time) Teaching Assistant University of California, Davis.

    1. “American Studies 1E: Nature and Culture.” Dr. Julie Sze

2008 Winter Quarter (Part time) Teaching Assistant University of California, Davis.

    1. “Women’s Studies 50: Introduction to Women’s Studies." Dr. Wendy Ho

2005-2007 WebSTA Software Instructor and Data Manager(Full time). YouthBuild USA, Somerville, MA.

    1. Implementation of technology into the Graduate and Youth Opportunities division for low-income youths to acquire leadership skills.

    2. Researched how race, class, and gender affect access to technology.

    3. Researched and designed an online Graduate Portal, in collaboration with YouthBuild youths, to support young graduate leaders of the YouthBuild program.

    4. Supported young people who wanted to use technology for youth advocacy, grassroots organizing, networking, and leadership development.

2003 Mac OS X Teacher & IT Support Specialist (Part time temp). Harvard University.

Cambridge, MA.

    1. Developed Mac OS X curriculum and taught employees about basic computer concepts and Mac OS X.

2002-2003 Computer Technology Instructor. CCTV. Cambridge, MA.

    1. Taught adults how to use Microsoft Word and cyberspace for the Family Computer Literacy Program.

  1. Professional and Academic Experience

2011 Book Series Co-Editor. Arissa Media Group: Earth Liberation and Environmental Justice Series.

2009-Present. Founder and Facilitator. Critical Race and Food Studies Intersectional Research Group.

    1. With over two fifty scholars throughout the world, and funded by my Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship research grant, I founded this research group to provide scholars a space to collaborate on, mentor students of, and peer review papers about, critical food studies projects from a critical race perspective. This research group will also produce the first issue of the new peer reviewed journal Journal of Critical Race and Food Studies, scheduled for spring 2012. Location:

2010 Critical Race Studies Consultant.

    1. Consultant for the book project Sister Species: Women, Social Justice, and Animal Advocacy by Lisa Kemmerer, PhD (University of Illinois Press, 2010).

      1. Edited 45 page introduction to ensure that the language used to address racial and ethnic concepts were culturally appropriate, accurate, and sensitive.

2008-Present. Board Member and Peer Reviewer. Institute for Critical Animal Studies. Cortland, NY.

    1. Peer reviewer for Journal of Critical Animal Studies, which explores veganism, vegetarianism, animal rights, and consumption.

2008-Present. Member. Studies of Food and the Body Multi Campus Research Group. Davis Humanities Institute, University of California, Davis.

    1. Exploring the relationship between food, the body and culture, this collaboration across UC Campuses has been created to strengthen the work of individual members through works in progress seminars, to draw attention to the critical mass of food scholars on the three northern California campuses, to provide focused mentoring to graduate students in this area, and to open a dialogue between humanities and science scholars, and the public.

2008 Summer-Fall Research Assistant University of California, Davis. Davis, CA.

    1. Department: Asian American Studies. Professor Wendy Ho.

      1. Conducted research on food and racial/ethnic experiences of the Asian Diaspora in the USA.

  1. 2007 Fall Reader (Part Time). University of California, Davis. Davis, CA.

    1. Paper reader and grader for the CRD course, “Ethnicity and America.” Professor Laurie Lippin.

2007 Fall Graduate Research Assistant (Part Time). University of California, Davis. Davis, CA.

    1. “Interfaith HIV/AIDS Prevention in Nigeria” project. Dr. Adela de la Torre.

Conferences, Talks, and Forums

2011 University of California, Berkeley. Critical Animal Studies Series. November 16, 2011.

        Invited speaker."Afrocentrism, vegan methodology of the racially oppressed, and

        revolutionary black feminism."

2011 Vassar College. Invited speaker. October 27, 2011.

        Talk: "'White Talk,' Discursive Violence, and Dysconscious Racism: From                    

        Vegan Commodity to Vegan Consciousness."

2011 Stanford University. NAACP invited lecturer. May 1.

    1. Talk: "What Vegans of Color Can Tell Us About 'Race Consciousness' in a 'Post-Racial' America: A Critical Race Feminist Perspective."

2011 University of California-Berkeley. Race, Space, and Nature conference. April 27.

    1. Paper presented: "Pain and Pleasure of the Exotic: A Critical Race Feminist Analysis of the Use of 'Exotic' Amongst Vegans."

2011 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Ecofeminism 3 Day Summit. March 28-30.

    1. Keynote address: "Race and Whiteness within Vegan Philosophy: Critical Race Feminist Reflections from the Sistah Vegan Project."

    2. Panel discussion: "Pieces of Meat: The Relationship Between Animal Liberation, Gender Equity, and Racial Justice."

2011 University of California-Davis. Fierce, Fearless, Feminist Conference. March 4.

    1. Paper presented: “Going beyond the post-racial vegan philosophy in the USA.”

2011 University of California-Berkeley. FemSex Conference. 101 Morgan Hall. February 12, 2011.

    1. Keynote address: "Critical Race Feminist Applications to Vegan Philosophy"

2010 University of California, Davis. "Talking Food, Talking Race: A Conversation About Racial Identity     and Food Politics."

    1. A public dialogue between myself and Dr. Alison Alkon of University of the Pacific about notions of race, identity, and the politics of eating.

2010 Green Festival. "Grub Politics and Eco-Cultivation." April 10, 2010.

    1. Invited speaker: "Reflections on the Sistah Vegan Project "

2010 Farm Sanctuary. "Hoe Down Annual Event." Orland, CA. May 1-2, 2010.

    1. Invited speaker: "A Compassionate Talk About Whiteness in USA Veganism."

2010 San Francisco State University "Eat Well Be Well" Holistic Health Conference. April 17.

    1. Keynote Panel Talk: "Addressing Race and Class Consciousness in the Vegan Health Movement."

2007 Invited speaker. Princeton University. October 10, 2007.

    1. Panelist: “Is it appropriate to compare animal suffering with human suffering?” Responses to the PETA2 Animal Liberation project.

2007 Invited speaker. Beloit College. October 5, 2007.

    1. Lecture: “Exploring Decolonization of the Diet, Race, Speciesism, Racism and Justice.”

2007 Invited speaker. University of Pittsburgh. July 19, 2007.

    1. Lecture: “Race, Class, Food and YOU!”

2007 Invited speaker. University of Vermont. April 2007.

    1. Lecture: “Decolonizing the Diet and Eco-Sustainability.”

2007 2nd Annual Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies Conference: “Beyond revolution or behind     it? The Politics and Practice of Contemporary Feminism Across Academic and Activist

    Communities.” MIT.  Cambridge, Massachusetts. March 24, 2007.

      1. Presentation: “Getting beyond normative whiteness in women’s and gender studies: a black female ontological lens.”

2006 1st Annual Graduate Consortium in Women’s Studies Conference: “Shifting Gender Identities in the     Face of War, Globalization, and Natural Disaster.” MIT. Cambridge, Massachusetts. March 31.

      1. Presentation: “Shrapnel in My Womb: Black Female Vegans and the [In]Visible War.”

2006 Co-Facilitator. “The Instantaneous Power of Choice: Snapping out of Negativity, Tapping into Possibility.” Winter Workshop Weekend. Deerfield, Massachusetts. December 1-3, 2006.

    • Workshop: “Decolonizing the Diet to Combat Negativity.”

2003-2004 Faculty Assistant (Full time Contract). Harvard School of Education.

    1. Supported organizational, research, and computer technology needs for professor.

    2. Researched information for the development of socially equal K-12 curriculum.

    3. Conducted interviews with local teachers to understand how educators perceive racism, sexism, and homophobia.

Honors, Fellowships & Awards

  1. 2011 VegFund Merit Award recipient.

    1. Monetary award ($1000) given to me for my work on the Sistah Vegan Project.

2011 Tyke Scholar of the Year. Institute for Critical Animal Studies.

    1. The Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS)  founded in 2001, is the first interdisciplinary scholarly center in higher education dedicated to establishing and expanding the field of Critical Animal Studies (CAS)

2009-2011 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship in Geography. UC Davis.

    1. Fully funded doctoral studies research to explore food, race, and identity in the USA.

  1. 2010 A Well-Fed World grant recipient.

    1. Funded to explore how the African American cultural experience shapes plant-based dietary philosophies.

  2. 2007 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Masters Thesis in Educational Technologies. Harvard University.

1998 Innovative Thesis Award. Department of Geography. Dartmouth College.

1997 Citation for Excellent Coursework and Teaching Assistantship: “Introduction to Women’s Studies.”     Dartmouth College.

1994 Citation for Excellent Coursework: “Geography of Food and Hunger.” Dartmouth College.