Pavilion V on the UVA Lawn

The Politics of Food in Two Indigenous Communities

Date & Time

May 11, 2021 @ 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT


Online, Live Captioning

Register Now (Free)


Join Lifetime Learning and faculty from UVA’s College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences to explore how food plays a significant part in the cultural survival and affirmation of two Indigenous communities. Christian McMillen, professor in the Corcoran Department of History, will moderate the event and share information about UVA’s Indigenous Studies working group.

Sonia Alconini, the David A. Harrison III Professor of American Archaeology, will explore Inka cuisine and identity construction in the Inka empire’s fringes in South America. Kasey Jernigan, assistant professor of anthropology and American studies, will share how shifting patterns of participation in food assistance programs have shaped foodways among Native American women in Oklahoma.


Christian McMillen

Professor, Corcoran Department of History and Associate Dean for the Social Sciences, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Christian W. McMillen is a professor in the Corcoran Department of History and the associate dean for the social sciences in the College of Arts & Sciences. McMillen researches the history of epidemic disease and American Indian history. He is the author of three books, including Discovering Tuberculosis: A Global History, 1900 to the Present (Yale University Press), and Pandemics (Oxford University Press).

Sonia Alconini

David A. Harrison III Professor of American Archaeology, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Sonia Alconini is an anthropological archaeologist who specializes in the rise of sociopolitical complexity in ancient pre-Columbian societies. Originally from Bolivia, Alconini has researched the Andes for several decades. She is particularly interested in exploring the Inka empire’s frontiers and the ways these contested spaces affected the dynamics of ancient borderland populations.

Kasey Jernigan

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and American Studies, College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Kasey Jernigan is a critical medical anthropologist whose research focuses on obesity (and related chronic conditions) at the intersections of issues related to structural violence, historical trauma, heritage narratives, and meaning-making among Indigenous communities in Oklahoma. Using collaborative and participatory methods, Jernigan’s research examines the socio-cultural, economic, political, and historical influences of health, while centering tribal citizens’ personal stories and meaning-making in these processes.


Registration is free and open to all.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation email with your link to the Zoom webinar. Please check your spam folder for emails from Eventbrite. We will also send a reminder email two days before and two hours before the event.

Program Host

Lifetime Learning is a program in the Office of Engagement. You can follow us on FacebookTwitter, the Thoughts From the Lawn blog, or subscribe to our email list and we will send you notifications about upcoming Lifetime Learning events, information, and offerings.

Media, for an interview, please contact Lifetime Learning’s Senior Director.