Dr. Kathryn Hicks

Associate Professor

300 McCord Hall, Memphis, TN 38152
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Kathryn Hicks

About Dr. Hicks

Dr. Kathryn Hicks completed her PhD in anthropology at Northwestern University in 2008. Her dissertation research examined norms of social support in the Bolivian city of El Alto, particularly forms of economic or instrumental support, and evaluated interactions between women’s marital status and access to social support in predicting health outcomes such as immune function and body composition. Dr. Hicks joined the Department of Anthropology at The University of Memphis in the fall of 2008. As a compliment to the research projects described below, she is currently writing about the importance of political economic and evolutionary approaches for understanding inequalities in risk and experiences of chronic disease. 

Expertise and Interests

Biological and Medical Anthropology, human-environmental interactions, developmental systems theory, political economy, social justice, health inequities, environmental health, Andes, US.

Research Projects

Dr. Hicks has worked on a number of projects in the Memphis area including an evaluation of the social and nutritional impacts of the South Memphis Farmers Market with Dr. Katherine Lambert-Pennington. She is currently collaborating with Rita Harris of the Sierra Club and anthropology students to document the history of environmental racism and environmental justice organizing in Memphis. Dr. Hicks and her students have engaged in service-learning with other faculty and a number of local non-profit and community organizations on an evaluation of community perceptions of a proposed extension to the Shelby Farms Greenline, neighborhood perceptions of environmental inequality in SW Memphis, and an assessment of fresh food availability in local corner stores. Students from her classes have also volunteered at the local Sierra Club’s annual grassroots environmental justice conference.

Dr. Hicks has also continued her work in highland Bolivia since coming to Memphis. In collaboration with Dr. Nicole Fabricant of Towson University, she is exploring perceptions of climate change, social movement action and environmental policy in the cities of El Alto and La Paz, and the role of Bolivians in multilateral climate change negotiations.

Selected Publications

Hicks, K. and N. Fabricant. In Press. The Bolivian Climate Justice Movement: Mobilizing Indigeneity in Multilateral Climate Change Negotiations. Latin American Perspectives.

Hicks, K. and W.R. Leonard. 2014. Developmental Systems and Inequality: Linking Evolutionary and Political Economic Theory in Biological AnthropologyCurrent Anthropology. 55(5): 523-550.

Hicks, K. 2014. A Biocultural Perspective on Fictive Kinship in the Andes: Social Support and Women’s Immune Function in El Alto, BoliviaMedical Anthropology Quarterly. 28(3): 440-458.

Hicks, K. and K. Lambert-Pennington. 2014. Evaluating the South Memphis Farmers Market As a Strategy to Improve Access to Healthy Foods: Lessons from 2011. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. March: 45-59.

2013  Hicks, K. Instrumental Social Support and Women’s Body Composition in El Also, BoliviaAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology. 152(1): 51-57.

Selected Awards


Additional Resources