Expertise and Interests
Refugees, migration, political economy of food, household food economies, humanitarianism,
development, transnational class, and social inequality
Dr. Micah Trapp received her Ph.D. in anthropology from American University in 2011.
Her dissertation research focused on transnational household economies, status, and
the migratory experiences of Liberian refugees in light of the enduring impact of
the American Colonization Society's settlement of Liberia. This research was conducted
at the Buduburam Liberian refugee camp in Ghana and addressed the complex processes
associated with the shifts from formal to informal aid in a long-term camp and the
eventual UNHCR cessation clause of refugee status for Liberians.
Dr. Trapp is currently writing about the gustatory subjectivities of Liberian refugees
and the relationship between taste and the political position of the refugee. As an applied anthropologist, Dr. Trapp has worked for two refugee resettlement agencies
in the US and has also worked on a USAID evaluation team.
In 2013, Dr. Trapp began conducting ethnographic research at grocery auctions in Southern
Maryland and plans to extend this research in the Mid-South region. This research
explores how vendors, auctioneers, and bidders re-construct the value of food in the
Dr. Trapp is also interested in situating this research within the broader distribution
networks of our industrialized food system. As a grey economy, how do grocery auctions
fit into the larger cycles of industrialized food consumption and waste? What possibilities
exist for alternative economies?
Selected Conference Presentations and Publications
2013 Trapp, Micah. From "Refugee Mansions" to Traveling Homes: How Transnational
Constructions of Home Influence Migratory Decisions Among Liberian Refugees. International
Association for the Study of Forced Migration Annual Conference.
2012 Trapp, Micah. Rice is Like Diamonds: Reconsidering Food (In)Security in Concept
and Practice. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting.
2012 Trapp, Micah. Solutions and Strategies: navigating refugee aid policy in a long-term
camp. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.
2010 Trapp, Micah. What's on the Table: Nutrition Programming for Refugees in the
United States North American Association for the Practice of Anthropology Bulletin,
Special Theme Issue: Anthropological Perspectives on Migration and Health, Vol. 34.
2009 Trapp, Micah. Transnational Torborgi: tools and prospects for evaluating food
insecurity in Liberia. Liberian Studies Association Annual Meeting, Monrovia, Liberia.
Courses Taught Previously
- Developmental Anthropology (George Washington University)
- Contemporary Problems in Anthropological Perspective (University of Maryland Baltimore
- Anthropology of Food (UMBC)