Sveta Yamin-Pasternak

Office: Bunnell Building

Research areas: foodways, post-Soviet studies, Alaskan ethnography, anthropology and contemporary art

Affiliations: Department of Anthropology, Institute of Northern Engineering, UAF; Resilience and Adaptive Management Group, UAA.

My interests span social science research on food, colonialism, sensory experiences, mobility, social-ecological adaptation, and aesthetics.  Since 2001 I have been conducting fieldwork in the Bering Strait area of Alaska and the Russian Far East, focusing on the relationships between local cuisine and understanding of landscape.  One of the outcomes of this fieldwork is the ongoing comparative study in ethnomycology, summarized on the “Mycelial Anthropology Page”  Beverage ethnography, use of aged and fermented foods, and the transforming living aesthetics in the communities around the Bering Strait are among the directions I have been pursuing as part of my current postdoctoral work.  I collaborate with Drs. Lilian Alessa and Andew Kliskey (Biological Sciences, RAM Group, UAA) and Dr. Peter Schweitzer (Alaska EPSCoR and Department of Anthropology, UAF).  Most recently I began working on an exploratory project funded by the National Science Foundation, together with my husband Igor Pasternak ( who is a visual artist and researcher with the UAF Department of Art and Institute of Northern Engineering.  We are trying to integrate perspectives from contemporary art criticism and anthropology to understand the aesthetics of an emerging ex-Soviet settlement in Delta Junction, Alaska.


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

2010 (with Peter Schweitzer, Lillian Alessa, Andrew Kliskey) Livelihoods on Thawing Ground: Relationships with Water Resources near the Bering Strait, Anthropology News 2 (22-24)

2008 From Disgust to Desire: Changing Attitudes toward Beringian Fungi, Economic Botany62(3):214-222;

2008 A Means of Survival, a Marker of Feasts: Mushroom Cookery in the Russian Far East, Ethnology47(2):95-107;

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

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