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Dr. Micah Trapp
Dr. Micah Trapp          
  Dr. Micah M. Trapp
  Assistant Professor  
  300 D Manning Hall  
             (901) 678-4332  
  Curriculum Vitae

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.

Research Projects

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 secondary market.

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?

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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.

Selected Awards

  • 2009 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant
  • 2008 American University College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Research Fellowship


  • Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 1200)

  • Nutritional Anthropology (ANTH 4541/6541) (co-instructor with Dr. Ross Sackett)

Courses Taught Previously

  • Developmental Anthropology (George Washington University)
  • Contemporary Problems in Anthropological Perspective (University of Maryland Baltimore County)
  • Anthropology of Food (UMBC)

Additional Resources

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Department of Anthropology | 316 Manning Hall | Memphis, TN | 38152-3530 | Phone: 901-678-2080 | Fax: 901-678-2069
Last Updated: 5/16/14