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Arianna Huhn

Arianna Huhn

Associate Professor & Director of the CSUSB Anthropology Museum


Associate Professor
Office Phone(909) 537-5505
Office LocationSB-309

Office Hours

Monday: 9:00-11:00


I am a sociocultural anthropologist with training in both African Studies and Museum Studies.

My research in Africa has centered on the Lake Malawi corridor, and specifically the Mozambican shore of Lake Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi), where I have focused on foodways, spirituality, and medicine to understand how the local Nyanja population conceptualizes what food is and what it does to the body. This work is published as Nourishing Life: The Dietary Ethnography of an African Town (Berghahn Books, 2020). I have also conducted fieldwork in Ghana. I am currently working on a project tracing a research expedition to South Africa that contributed toward an exhibition at the Panama-California Exposition in 1915 (which I became interested in while completing a faculty fellowship with the Smithsonian's Summer Institute in Museum Anthropology).

As Director of the CSUSB Anthropology Museum, I develop exhibitions, maintain a collection of over 500 objects, and develop community partnerships. I also supervise internships, which have resulted in numerous student-curated exhibits and educational programming. Past exhibits include Re|CollectIn|Dignity, and INTO LIGHT

Students who are interested in completing an internship with the Anthropology Museum should contact me and consider enrolling in ANTH 4603L Museum Research and Exhibit Development, which fulfils the laboratory methods requirement or a sociocultural requirement for Anthropology majors, and the upper-division WI requirement for all students. This course provides a foundation for museum work and will allow you to jump right into projects of collections management, curation, museum education, and exhibition development. 


PhD (2013) Boston University, Boston

MA (2005) George Washington University, Washington, DC

BA (2002) University of California, Berkeley


ANTH 1002: Understanding Cultural Diversity; ANTH 3604: Anthropology and Film; ANTH 3605: Anthropology of Health; ANTH 3705R: Anthropology of Africa; ANTH 4603L: Museum Research and Exhibit Development; Study Abroad (Jamaica)


Recent and in-press publications include:

"Recasting Colonial-Era Anthropometry in South Africa." In Putting Theory and Things Together: Working with Museum Collections, edited by J. Bell and J. Shannon. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Forthcoming.

"Promoting Social Justice through Storytelling in Museums." Co-authored with Annika Anderson. In Museum and Society 19 (3), 351-368.2021.

Nourishing Life: Foodways and Humanity in an African Town. Berghahn Books. 2020. Preview.

"Biographical Objects, Affective Kin Ties, and Memories of Childhood" in Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth 11(3): 403-420. 2018. 

"Enacting Compassion: Hot/Cold, Illness and Taboos in Northern Mozambique" in Journal of Southern African Studies 43(2): 299-314. 2017
​* Awarded the Terence Ranger Prize for 2017. 

"Information Curation Among Vaccine Cautious Parents: Web 2.0, Pinterest Thinking, and Pediatric Vaccination Choice." EJ Sobo, Arianna Huhn, Lori Thurman, and Autumn Sannwald. Medical Anthropology: Cross Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 35(6): 529-546. 2016. 

“Body, Sex, and Diet in Mozambique” in The Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology. Lenore Manderson, Anita Hardon, and Elizabeth Cartwright, eds. Routledge. Pages 54-58. 2016.

“What is Human?: Anthropomorphic Anthropophagy in Northwest Mozambique” in Cooking Cultures: Convergent Histories of Food and Feeling. Ishita Banerjee, ed. Cambridge University Press. Pages 177-198. 2016.

"¿Qué es Humano? Tabús Alimentarios y Antropofagia en el Noroeste de Mozambique" in Estudios de Asia y África 50(3), Number 158. 2015.

"Anthropophagy" and "Breastfeeding" entries in the Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues. Ken Albala, ed. Sage. 2015. 

"The Tongue Only Works Without Worries: Sentiment and Sustenance in a Mozambican Town" in Food and Foodways 21(3): 186-210. 2013. 

"The Changing Shape of Malnutrition: Obesity in sub-Saharan Africa" in Issues in Brief 11. 2009. 

​"Colonial Legacy in African Museology: The Case of the Ghana National Museum" in Museum Anthropology 31(1): 19-27. 2008.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • African Studies
  • Museums
  • Food and Foodways
  • Health and Medical Anthropology