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David Griffith

(PhD, Florida, 1983)
Office: 250 Flanagan Building
Telephone: 252-328-1748
E-mail: griffithd@ecu.edu

About Me

David Griffith has been conducting ethnographic research on labor, migration, and small-scale fisheries and farming in Latin America, the Caribbean, the Arctic, and the United States since the early 1980s. His work has resulted in seven books and dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles, chapters in edited volumes, book reviews, and review articles, along with technical reports, posters, government documents, conference presentations, policy reports, and appearances in the national media. He regularly consults for government agencies and private foundations. In 2012, building on a long tradition of securing external funding, he was awarded his seventh grant from the National Science Foundation to study Managed Migration and the Value of Labor in Guatemala and Mexico. This project evolved out of a seminar sponsored by the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which also resulted in his forthcoming edited volume: Mismanaging Managed Migration: Captive Labor in North American Labor Markets. Another of his books, The Estuary's Gift: An Atlantic Coast Cultural Biography, won second place in the James Mooney Award, given by the Society for Southern Anthropology. He has been editor-in-chief of The Anthropology of Work Review and Human Organization and is currently the Associate Editor for Public Anthropology for American Anthropologist. Griffith also writes fiction and creative essays, publishing in literary journals. He has been married to Nancy for thirty-seven years and they have two daughters and four grandchildren. He is currently working on a series of essays about poignant fieldwork experiences in Jamaica, Puerto Rico, the Arctic, and several other locations where he has conducted research, tentatively entitled, Field Days.

Personal Pages and Links

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Department News

Dr. Holly Mathews joined an interdisciplinary discussion panel on the Ebola Outbreak. The resulting article from the Daily Reflector describes the panel and discussion!
The Anthropology Student Organization (ASO) raised funds with Project Tumara to provide education and donations for the Ebola outbreak. Check out The East Carolinian for more details!
Dr. David Griffith received the Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Award and is announced as the Interim Director for the Institute of Coastal Science and Policy!
Check out the Department of Anthropology newsletter highlighting some of our recent activities! Download a copy here.

Congratulations to our graduate students published in the North Carolina Archaeology Journal!

  • New Data, Old Methods: The Rediscovery, Definition, and Functional Analysis of the George Moore House at Colonial Brunswick Town, by Jennifer L. Gabriel, pp. 71-93
  • NAGPRA's Impact on Academic Research in North Carolina and the Southeast, by William C. Broughton, pp. 94-121
  • Archaeologists as Activists: Can Archaeologists Change the World?, edited by M. Jay Stottman (book review), by Hannah P. Smith, pp. 130-136
Dr. Charles Ewen was elected president of the Society for Historic Archaeology, one of the largest anthropological organizations in the United States.
Dr. David Griffith recently received NSF funding for the research project "Managed Migration and the Value of Labor."