Christine Zinni, Ph.D

(585) 395-5142
Office: Liberal Arts 315


  • PhD in American Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2007
  • M.A. in American Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2000

Areas of Specialty

  • Research Interests: ethnopoetics, oral history & public history, collective memory and traditional folk arts; visual anthropology/documentary film & media; indigenous and transnational studies; social and environmental justice issues related to food, culture and the commons.
  • Leads Food and Culture of the Aegean, International Study Abroad program in Greece and Turkey.
  • Folk Arts programs for Explore and More Children’s Museum in Buffalo.
  • Committee member, New York State Folklore Society’s 2017 “Cultural Migration: Displacement and
  • Renewal” Symposium & 2018 Annual American Folklore Conference.

Courses Taught

  • ANT 201 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANT 301 Contemporary Native American Issues
  • ANT 303 Native Women
  • ANT 304 Native Image in Film and Media
  • ANT 316 Food and Culture
  • ANT 462 Museum Studies Internship
  • ANT 401 Biography and Life History

Research Interests

Dissertation and Current Research Projects

Awarded a PhD. in 2007 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Thesis Advisor: Dennis Tedlock, indigenous scholar and translator of Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life

My Doctoral Thesis, titled “Interweaving: Memory Through Machines,” argues stone carving, weaving and music were forms of non-alphabetic writing systems used to transmit cultural memories and histories in ancient indigenous cultures of the Americas and the Mediterranean. The second part of my dissertation is based on ethnographic fieldwork and research into contemporary memories of these traditional arts and the use of modern media like video to document the contemporary oral histories of stone carvers, textile artists and musicians in western New York State.

I am currently working on publication of a book based on the transnational migration stories of Italian American stone carvers from the Abruzzo region of Italy. I am also involved in documentary video projects involving ecology, social justice and commons-based solutions related to food and culture.