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."