Sveta Yamin-Pasternak

Phone: 907-474-6188
Office: 305B Bunnell Building

Research areas: Food and culture, ethnomycology, aesthetics, Circumpolar North, contemporary art, gender, post-Soviet studies

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, Institute of Northern Engineering, UAF

As a cultural anthropologist interested in how human food practices in high latitude regions interact with the local climate, built environment, ecology, and aesthetics, I work in communities around Alaska and Russian Far East, and with scholars in the fields of humanities, natural sciences, and engineering. After completing my PhD dissertation in 2007, with a focus on ethnomycology in the Bering Strait, I continued to study anthropology of food in the course of two postdoctoral appointments, first as a National Science Foundation Polar Research Fellow at Johns Hopkins University and later at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Northern Engineering. I currently lead several interdisciplinary projects at the Institute of Northern Engineering and teach a broad range of courses at the UAF Department of Anthropology. The graduate and undergraduate students I mentor at UAF conduct research on questions related to foraging, identity, post-Soviet transitions, cookery, expressive culture, and contemporary art..


Individual, Culture, and Society (ANTH100X)

Fundamentals of Cultural Anthropology (ANTH 215)

Culture and Global Issues (ANTH 245)

Ethnography of Siberia (ANTH 302)

Ethnomycology (EBOT/ANTH 393), team-taught with Igor Pasternak

Anthropology of Art (ANTH/ART 402/602), team-taught with Igor Pasternak

Economic Anthropology (ANTH 446/646)

Gender in Cross-cultural Perspectives (ANTH/WGN 445/446)

Food and Culture Seminar (ANTH 402/602)

Structures of Anthropological Argument (ANTH 629)


In Press. Yamin-Pasternak, S., Schweitzer, P., Pasternak, I., Kliskey, A., Alessa, L. A Cup of Tundra: Ethnography of Thirst and Water in the Bering Strait. Meanings and Values of Water in Russian Culture, Coslow J, and A. Rosenblum, eds., Ashgate Press.

Yamin-Pasternak, S., Kliskey, A., Alessa, L., Pasternak, I., Schweitzer, P. 2014. The Rotten Renaissance in the Bering Strait: Loving Loathing and Washing the Smell of Foods with a (Re)Acquired Taste, Current Anthropology 55(5):619-645.

Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2014 Book Review: Our Ice, Snow and Winds: Indigenous and Academic Knowledge of Ice-Scapes and Climate of Eastern Chukotka (Heritage of Beringia series, Issue 2). Bogoslovskaya, Lyudmila and Igor Krupnik, editors and compilers. Moscow and Washington DC: Russian Heritage Institute, 2013.” Alaska Journal of Anthropology 12(1).

Yamin-Pasternak S, 2014 Book Review: Yupik Transitions: Change and Survival at Bering Strait, Igor Krupnik and Michael Chlenov, 1900-1960, University of Alaska Press, 2013. ARCTIC 67(3): 412-414.

Yamin-Pasternak, S., and I. Pasternak, I. 2013. The Unconditionally Loved Conditional Edibles or How to Ruin a Morel: Patriotism and Connoisseurship in the Russian System of Mushroom Rating, Fungi (6)1:12-16.

Yashchenko, O., Yamin-Pasternak, S., Pasternak., I., 2012 Book Review: Vekhi na Mysakh [Landmarks on Capes]: Papers in Honor of Sergei Arutyunov on his 80th birthday, Bronshtein, M. and I. Krupnik, eds,” Alaska Journal of Anthropology 10(1&2): 89-91.

Yamin-Pasternak. 2011. Ethnomycology: Mushrooms in Cultural Enganglements, Ethnobiology, a Textbook , E.N Adnerson and Nancy Turner, eds. Wiley Blackwell Publications.

Schweitzer, P., Alessa, L., Kliskey, A., Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2010. Livelihoods on Thawing Ground: Relationships with Water Resources near the Bering Strait, Anthropology News 2 (22-24)

Yamin-Pasternak., S., 2010 Book Review: Shroom: A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom, Andy Letcher 2007. Ethnobiology Letters 1:26–27.

Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2009. “The Day that Feeds a Year: Ethnography of Mushrooming in the Russian Arctic,” Fungi 2(2): 49-56.

Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2008 From Disgust to Desire: Changing Attitudes toward Beringian Fungi, Economic Botany 62(3):214-222.

Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2008 A Means of Survival, a Marker of Feasts: Mushroom Cookery in the Russian Far East, Ethnology 47(2):95-107.

Yamin-Pasternak, S. 2007 An Ethnomycological Approach to Land Use Values in Chukotka, Etudes/Inuit/Studies 31:121-141.

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