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Camille Frazier

Contact Information

Email    c.frazier@ucla.edu
Office  Haines 360
I am a doctoral candidate in sociocultural anthropology studying shifting food ecologies in in the context of rapid urban development in India.

I began my studies at UCLA in fall 2011 and received my MA in 2013. My MA thesis, titled “The Country and the City in Mid-20th Century Ethnographies of Village India,” examines ethnographic representations of the changing relationship between rural and urban India following Independence in 1947. 

My doctoral research, conducted from June 2014 through January 2016, traces the fresh fruit and vegetable supply chain linking urban consumers with nearby agricultural producers in Bengaluru, India. I examine how food ecologies intersect with changing livelihood structures, consumption patterns, and interlinked aspirations and insecurities in the context of rapid urban development. In Bengaluru today, a wide variety of actors—from government agencies to NGOs to corporations—are involved in designing and implementing new programs to create more "direct" market linkages between producers and consumers. I argue that two factors motivate these attempts to re-work Bangalore’s supply chain: 1) the perceived and lived aspirations and insecurities of the urban middle class, and 2) the challenges of agricultural livelihoods and the desire to link farmers with the market opportunities of urban expansion. My ethnographic research suggests that despite their potential, efforts to re-work food production, exchange, and consumption often exacerbate existing inequalities among and between urban and agrarian communities. For example, rising demand for high-value, but also water-hungry, agricultural commodities like fruits and vegetables has worsened water availability in communities on the outskirts of the city, making farming livelihoods more precarious and deepening inequalities between those farmers who have access to irrigation and those who do not.

I am a member of the Contributing Editors program at Cultural Anthropology and am the author of the "Teaching with Hope" series, available here: https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1061-teaching-with-hope-an-introduction

Fields of Study

Sociocultural Anthropology


Supply chains; food systems; urbanization; agriculture; rural-urban interrelationships; health and the body; class and consumption; India


2017. "Teaching with Hope: An Introduction." Teaching Tools, Cultural Anthropology website, January 23. https://culanth.org/fieldsights/1061-teaching-with-hope-an-introduction

2017. Invited book review, “The Slow Boil: Street Food, Rights, and Public Space in Mumbai. Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria.” American Ethnologist.

Grants and Awards

2016 Society for Urban, National, and Transnational Anthropology (SUNTA) Graduate Paper Prize 

2016 Charles E. and Sue K. Young Graduate Student Award for “exemplary academic achievement, research, and service to the campus and community,” UCLA (2016)

2014 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA), U.S. Department of Education 

2014 Language Fellowship, U.S. Department of Education, to attend American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Kannada Language Program

2014 International Institute Fieldwork Fellowship, UCLA

2014 Asia Institute Graduate Fellowship Award, UCLA

2014 Graduate Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA

2014 Department of Anthropology Student Research Grant, UCLA

2013 Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Fellowship, UCLA

2012 American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS) Hindi Summer Language Program Fellowship

2012 Department of Anthropology Student Research Grant, UCLA

2009 Anthropology Thesis Award, Scripps College


Conference Presentations

May 2017. "Contaminated Food, Exposure, and the Limits of the Sensorial in Bangalore, India." Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference on South Asia, University of California, Los Angeles 

March 2017. Panel chair, “Exposure in the Developing City.” Presentation title: “Unscrupulous Middlemen and Chemically-Ripened Mangoes: Exposure as Embodied Materiality and Ethical Project in Bangalore’s Shifting Food System.” American Ethnological Society Annual Meeting, Stanford University 

Dec. 2016. Invited mediator, “Delicious: A History of Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) and Umami, the Fifth Taste Sensation.” Talk by Dr. Sarah Tracy, University of California, Los Angeles 

Nov. 2016. “‘The Middleman is Eating Money’: The Ethical Ambiguities of Agricultural Intermediaries in Bangalore’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chain.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN

May 2016. “Rising Temperatures as Social Critique in India’s ‘Air-Conditioned City.’” Anthropology, Weather, and Climate Change 2016 Conference, Royal Anthropological Institute and the Department of Africa, Oceania and the Americas of the British Museum, London

April 2016. “The Processes and Products of Agro-Environments: Tracing the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Supply Chain in Bangalore, India." Princeton South Asia Conference, Princeton University

March 2016. “Taking Out the Middlemen: Efforts to Shorten the Food Chain in Bangalore, India.”Association for Asian Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, WA

Feb. 2016. “Managing Perishability and Contamination: Conflicts and Convergences in Bangalore’s Shifting Food System.” Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference, University of Kentucky

Jan. 2016. “‘Grow What You Eat, Eat What You Grow’: Organic Terrace Gardening in Bangalore.” Indian Society for Ecological Economics Conference, Bangalore, India

Nov. 2015. “Cultivating and Managing ‘The Market’ Through Producer-Consumer Linkages in Bangalore’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Food Chain.” Invited Talk, Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bengaluru, India

Oct. 2015. “Following Food-in-Motion: The Interlinked Materialities of Perishability and Contamination in Bangalore’s Shifting Food System.” Invited Talk, School of Policy and Governance External Speaker Series, Azim Premji University, Bangalore, India

Aug. 2015. “Managing Perishability and Contamination in Bangalore’s Shifting Food System.” Materiality of Cultures Conference, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, India

July 2015. “Moralities in the Marketplace: Divergent Meanings and Expressions of ‘Trust’ in Bangalore’s Shifting Food Ecology.” Bangalore Research Network and NAGARA Workshop, Bengaluru, India

March 2015. “The Moral Economy of the Participatory Guarantee System in Karnataka.” South and Central Asia Fulbright Conference, Hyderabad, India

Dec. 2014. “Authentic Producers and Conscientious Consumers: Certification Programs and the Moral Economy of Producer-Consumer Networks.” American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C.

Aug. 2014. “Organic and Indigenous Agriculture in Karnataka.” Invited Talk, Karnataka Janapada Vishwavidyalaya (Karnataka Folklore University), Gotagodi, India

July 2014. “Agriculture as Risky Business: Agricultural Crisis, Inequality, and Resistance in India.” Young South Asia Scholars Meet, ETH Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland    


Akhil Gupta, Sherry Ortner, Jessica Cattelino, Allison Carruth, Tulasi Srinivas 


B.A. Anthropology, Scripps College (2009)
M.A. Anthropology, University of California Los Angeles (2013)