Susan Dauria, professor of anthropology

Susan Dauria, professor of anthropology

Susan Dauria

Ph.D. State University of New York at Albany
M.A. State University of New York at Albany
B.A. State University of New York at Geneseo


Economic anthropology and the effects of deindustrialization on the construction of ethnic identity; Industrial and Organizational Culture, Child Socialization; Dance.

Why anthropology?

"I learned about anthropology for the first time as a freshman in college. My professor in introduction to anthropology encouraged me to write about my experience with the U.S. Army from a cultural perspective. Over the next four years I searched for a major and continued taking anthropology courses. I finally decided to take anthropology as a second major because I enjoyed the courses so much.

At that time I didn't expect to have a career as an anthropologist. After graduation, I got a job in New York City as an international licensing coordinator for United Features Syndicate, Inc. My career as an anthropologist was born during a business trip to Thailand, where I spent a week at meetings in the Bangkok Hilton Hotel. After that week, I broke out of the corporate world of the Hilton and spent time backpacking around the countryside. It was that trip that put my life in focus: I decided that I didn't want to work in business, but I wanted to experience life and stay in touch with the unique culture of regular people.

Once I returned from that trip I submitted applications to graduate school. Three months later I was at the State University of New York at Albany where I spent the next five years. I originally thought I would become an archaeologist and began working in a mortuary archeology lab on skeletal samples from Michigan. I later decided that cultural anthropology was more to my liking since it allowed me to interact with living people. I ultimately wrote my dissertation on the effects of deindustrialization on ethnic identity in a post-industrial community in upstate New York. Today, I still work in that community, as well as in northeastern Pennsylvania."

Scholarship 2007-14

2014 — Presented poster, “An Undergraduate Teaching and Learning Experience of Archaeology: The Creation of a Hands-on Summer Camp.” (w/James Nuss). American Anthropological Association, 113th Annual Meeting, Wardman Park Hotel, Washington D.C. Dec 3.

2013 — Published book chapter on the Bloomsburg Fair in, “100 Years of Columbia County Memories 1913 to 2013.” Edited by Robert Dunkelberger and Sam Bidleman. Published by the Columbia County Historical Society. Dauria’s chapter is an historical and cultural look at the Columbia County Agricultural Association (also known as the Bloomsburg Fair). This chapter addressed how rural fairs reflect important cultural beliefs about an agricultural past. This chapter included quantitative GIS analysis maps that had been part of the consolidated large-scale report submitted to the Fair Association.
2013 Presentation, “Community Based Research in the Liberal Arts: Creation of Applied Research Opportunities for Undergraduates.” Coauthor, Heather Feldhaus. Lilly Conference, Bethesda, Maryland, May 31.

2013 — Presented poster, “The Creation of a Multi-disciplinary Applied Research Program for Undergraduates within a Liberal Arts College, Using the Concept-model of an Anthropological Field School.” Coauthor, Shannon Bilder. The 73rd Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meetings, Denver, Colorado, March 20.

2013 — Presentation, “Local Anthropology in Pennsylvania: Studying the Harvest,” Annual Northeastern Anthropological Association, Bethesda, Maryland, March 1.
2012 Presented poster, “Community Collaboration – The Impact of Anthropology Student Projects with a Migrant Community.” The Teaching Professor Conference, Grand Hyatt, Washington DC. June 2-3.
2011 Presentation, “A Summary of Archaeological Activity –The Streater Site - Summer 2011.” The Bloomsburg Town Council. Bloomsburg PA. Oct. 24.

2010 — Publication, “Understandings of Diversity in Teaching Post-Secondary Education.” Published in the Journal of Global Awareness. (w/Dr. Caryn Terwilliger)

2010 — Presentation, “Teaching Anthropological Methods Through Community Involvement.” Co-author Caryn Terwilliger. 7th Annual Public Anthropology Conference, American University, Washington DC, Oct. 17.

2009 — Publication, “A Museum Exhibit Honoring Factory Workers,” Anthropology of Work Review.

2009 — Presented poster, “Liminal Space and Rural Rituals: A Celebration of Agriculture in Pennsylvania.” American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, PA. Dec 1.

2009 — Presentation, “An Assessment of the Migrant Community in Northeastern Pennsylvania.” National Migrant Education Conference, NASDME, San Antonio, Texas, May 3 – 6.

2009 — Presentation, “Commemorating Small Town Industrial Labor.” Northeastern Anthropological Association. Rhode Island College, Providence, RI. March 13.

2008 — Published entry on “Subculture.” In Encyclopedia of Social Problems. Editor Vincent Parrillo. Sage Publications. ISBN(13): 978141655.

2008 — Community sponsored book publication, “Voices from the Fair: Oral Histories of the Bloomsburg Fair.” Touchstone Publications and The Bloomsburg Fair Association. ISBN(13): 978-0-970775-6-2.

2008 — Presentation, “Studying Exotic Culture at Home: Research at the Bloomsburg Fair,” invited lecture, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Bucknell University, Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Sept. 18.

2007 — Published, Book Review, “Worked Over: The Corporate Sabotage of an American Community, “ by Dimitra. Doukas, Anthropology of Work Review. Volume XXVIII, Number 2.
2007 Anthropology and Employment (workshop) National Association of Student Anthropologists, American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting,Washington, DC, Nov. 31.

2007 — Presentation, “Pedagogy into Practice, Fieldwork Experience for Students in Anthropology.” Ethnography and Education Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Feb. 28.

2007 — Published, “Anthropologists Confront the CSI Effect.” Anthropology News, American Anthropological Association. Volume 48, November. (w/Dr. Conrad Quintyn)

Technical Reports 2007-13

2013 — Consolidated Data Report – Five-year review of the Bloomsburg Fair Activity: Results from 2006 to 2010 Quantitative Data and 2008 to 2013 Qualitative Data. A Bloomsburg Fair and Bloomsburg University Collaboration.

2012 — Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey: PA Historical Society. Excavation doc. Hummel site 2

2011 — Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey: PA Historical Society. Excavation doc.

2011 — Bloomsburg Fair Activity: Results of 2010 Demographic Survey. (GIS by J. Hintz)

2010 — Pennsylvania Archaeological Site Survey: PA Historical Society. Excavation doc.

2010 — Demographic Reporting of Fair Survey Data: 2009. Bloomsburg Fair Assoc.

2009 — Demographic Report of Attendance: Results from 2008 surveys. The Bloomsburg Fair.

2008 — Demographic Report of Fairgoer Activity: Results from 2007.Bloomsburg Fair Association.

2007 — Bloomsburg Fair Results of Survey Analysis: 2006. Bloomsburg Fair Association.

Ongoing Research Projects


Data collection “Fair Stories” Oral Histories and collective Memories: Dauria annually organizes a group of students and faculty to collect oral histories for a project entitled “Fair Stories,” which is a collaboration with the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble and the Bloomsburg Fair Association. To present, seven years of work have gone into preparing, collecting, and transcribing oral history interviews. “Fair Stories,” have been incorporated into a manuscript that was published by the Columbia County Historic Society. Using oral history and survey data collected over the years, an investigation and commemoration of agricultural and industrial culture in Pennsylvania has emerged. These past ways of life form the basis of rural culture, and in modern society many people have no exposure to this life-way. My research goal is in part to determine the extent to which agricultural fairs, like the Bloomsburg Fair, serve as important touchstones for cultural identification.

Student-centered Anthropological Curriculum Development: An educational anthropological and archaeological experience developed by using land owned by the town of Bloomsburg and equipment and facilities provided by Bloomsburg University. The purpose of the project has been to involve college students in the preparation, planning, and execution of an archaeological and anthropological learning program for elementary and middle-school students. The program has successfully shown school children how to do archaeological fieldwork, cultural resource management, and anthropological analysis. The locations for the camp have included archaeological sites along Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna River in Bloomsburg, the BU Anthropology Department space, and the Bloomsburg University adventure areas. The success of the program was evident in the BU student-interns’ assessment reports and the response from the town and the area children.