photo of Sarah Withers

Sara Withers

Principal Lecturer
Office: Anthropology, Huddleston Hall, Durham, NH 03824

I received my Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from Brandeis University in 2009.   My research was in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I was interested in a growing urban middle class—more specifically in the intersection of gendered ideals and ideas about work.  In Oaxaca, I focused on the ways in which female teachers negotiated their personal identities as professional women with idealized notions of motherhood in both Oaxaca and Mexico.  Since my research in Oaxaca, I have shifted my interests more locally—particularly to the lives and experiences of immigrants and refugees in NH.  I was Project Manager for the film Uprooted: Heartache and Hope in NH (2010), produced by the Center for Humanities at UNH, and since then, I have been a Humanities-to-go Presenter for NH Humanities Council, acting as discussant and facilitator for the film.  In addition, I was the Humanities Expert for the World Council of NH’s film, Refugees of Shangri-La, about Bhutanese refugees in NH and the US (2013-2014). I currently serve on the Board of Sycamore Community Garden in Concord, NH, a community garden that helps meet the food needs of many refugee and immigrant families in the Concord area.

My newest project is a a photovoice project with local community college students in central NH. This project is a participant-driven photography and interview based project that focuses on the ideas of community and identity--and how these students see themselves, their communities, and the world around them.

I teach a variety of classes including: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Core Concepts in Anthropology, Peoples and Cultures of Latin America, Medicine and Culture, Anthropology of Migration, and Applied Anthropology.  I am constantly honing my teaching practices and skills, which emphasize open pedagogy and engaged learning strategies. I was honored to be a University of New Hampshire Open Educational Resource (OER) Ambassador in 2016-2017. I have both participated in and reviewed courses in Active Learning and OER, have continued to build upon my technology-based pedagogical skills by being an invited participant at FITSI (2016 and 2022), and most recently, successfully completed the year-long ACUE: Effective Teaching Practices course in 2021-2022.

Courses Taught

  • ANTH 411: Global Perspectives:Intro Anth
  • ANTH 440A: Honors/Medicine & Culture
  • ANTH 500: Peoples&Cultures/Latin America
  • ANTH 511: Core Concepts in Anthropology
  • ANTH 612: Applied Anthropology
  • ANTH 650: Anthropology of Migration
  • ANTH 699H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • ANTH 796: Reading and Research
  • COLA 702: Research Interrupted
  • COLA 802: Research Interrupted


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Brandeis University
  • B.A., Women's Studies, Brandeis University
  • B.A., Anthropology, Brandeis University
  • B.A., Anthropology, Bowdoin College

Research Interests

  • Gender
  • Latin America
  • Sociocultural anthropology: gender
  • Sociocultural anthropology: refugees/immigrants
  • Sociocultural anthropology: the body
  • United States