Skip to content
Amanda Hilton

Amanda Hilton

Contact Information:

Amanda Hilton

Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department


  • 2024 Spring
    • ANT 111 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
    • ANT 400 Selected Topics - Sensory Anth Multispecies Rel

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., University of Arizona, 2020


Amanda Hilton (she/her/hers) joins the Anthropology Department in Spring 2024 as a tenure-track assistant professor. She will teach classes in environmental anthropology, critical food studies and applied cultural anthropology.

Prior to joining Syracuse University, Hilton was a research scientist at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology at the University of Arizona. There she conducted research on climate change adaptation and cultural resilience among southern Louisiana Tribal communities forced to relocate due to land loss and hurricane impacts. Prior to her work at the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, in 2021 she was an Instructor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona. In 2019 Hilton was an Instructor, Syracuse Academy/ACCENT for the University of California Education Abroad Program, Siracusa, Sicily, Italy.

Hilton's research focuses on political ecology, critical food studies and critical heritage studies. Her most recent publication, "Quality and Genuineness in the World of Sicilian Olive Oil," was published in Gastronomica: The Journal for Food Studies. She is the co-editor of a special issue "Making Collaborative Futures" of Collaborative Anthropologies. Her paper, "Amara e Bella, Bitter and Beautiful: A praxis of care in valuing Sicilian olive oil and landscapes." was published in Economic Anthropology.

Hilton's research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, The American Philosophical Association and by Fulbright awards.

She is a board member of the Society for Economic Anthropology and a founding and board member, Associazione Food Heritage, Palermo, Italy.

Hilton earned a Ph.D. in 2020, an M.A. in 2015 both from the University of Arizona, and a B.A. in 2007 from Colby College.

Areas of Expertise

Political ecology, environmental anthropology, critical food studies, applied cultural anthropology, critical heritage studies

Selected Publications

  • Journal Articles
  • Book Chapter
  • Book Review
  • Special Issue
    • "Collaborative Futures in the Making." Hilton, A., Storey, A. D. (eds.) Collaborative Anthropologies, 2022.
  • Technical Reports
    • Hilton, A., Pullen, S., Eklund, E. and Austin, D., Community-University Relations: Community Perspectives on their Interactions with The University of Arizona. , 2022.
    • Hilton, A., Austin, D., Composting Toilets in Nogales, Sonora: Assessing a Neighborhood Project After Seven Years. , 2017.
    • Hilton, A., "Ethnographic Literature Review." In O’odham Trails on the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument: The Western and Central Travel Corridors. Hart, S., Ferguson, T. and Hopkins, M. (eds.) , 2016.
    • Penney, L., Hilton, A., BARA Report on Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona Client Survey 2014. , 2014.
    • Bikiyaa, N., Hilton, A., Ndee Bikiyaa Survey Report. , 2014.
    • Bulletts, C., Anderson, S., Osife, M., Bulletts, K., Sheehan, M., Hilton, A. and Austin, D., Southern Paiute Consortium Colorado River Corridor Resource Evaluation Program: Annual Report of Activities. , 2014.
    • Hilton, A., Powers, R., BARA Report on Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona Client Survey 2013. , 2013.

Presentations and Events

Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, "Considering Mentorship: The Practicalities, Challenges, and Rewards of Mentored Projects and Research" (March 28, 2023 - April 1, 2023)

Colby College Center for Humanities Lecture Series: Food for Thought, Colby College (February 27, 2023)

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, "Living oil, living landscapes: Multispecies relationality and vitality in Sicilian oliviculture" (November 12, 2022)

European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, "Vivere la terra: Living landscapes of Sicilian oliviculture" (July 26, 2022 - July 29, 2022)

The Umbra Center for Food & Sustainability Studies Biennial Conference, "Italians lives matter? Belonging and gastronationalism in Sicilian PGI olive oil" (June 9, 2022 - June 12, 2022)

Master's Seminar L'antropologia tra conservazione e trasformazione: riflessioni metodologiche e etnografiche, Anthropology between conservation and transformation: methodological and ethnographic reflections, University of Catania, "Living Landscapes in Sicilian Oliviculture: A Political Ecological Approach" (May 11, 2022)

Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting, "Geographical Indications and Precarious Heritage: Sicilian Perspectives" (March 26, 2022)

Hilton, A., Tusing, C., Dimensions of Political Ecology Annual Meeting, "Sensory Approaches to Landscapes, Labor, Livelihoods, and Lifeworlds" (March 24, 2022 - March 26, 2022)

Dimensions of Political Ecology Annual Meeting, "Harvesting olives in Sicily: A sensory multispecies ethnographic exploration" (March 25, 2022)

American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, "Authentic or Not? Quality versus Genuine Sicilian Olive Oil" (November 19, 2021)

Hilton, A., McDonell, E., The American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, "Constructing Quality: Power and Negotiation in Commodity Chains" (November 19, 2021)

Society for Economic Anthropology Annual Meeting, "Protected Geographical Indication of Love? The Parallel Lifeworlds of Sicilian Olive Oil" (March 4, 2021)

Dimensions of Political Ecology Annual Meeting, "'Twenty years ago there didn’t exist a family that didn’t have oil in the house': The Local Lifeworld of Sicilian Extra-Virgin Olive Oil" (February 19, 2021)

Hilton, A., Storey, A., Lutri, A., European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, "Collaborative Futures in Practice: Methods andpedagogies for imagining and doing anthropology together [PechaKucha]" (July 24, 2020)

Indigenous Inequalities: Intersections of property, place, and rights in the United States and Australia Conference, "Cultural heritage, intellectual property, and the invention of tradition" (November 14, 2019)

Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School’s 10-week Cook the Farm Program, "The Olive in Sicily and the Mediterranean" (November 8, 2019)

12th Italian National Conference of Environmental Sociologists, "The Promise of Protected Geographic Indication Sicilian Olive Oil" (September 27, 2019)

Food Security and Social Justice Network Graduate Student Research Panel, "Precarious heritage: Sicilian Protected Geographic Indication olive oil and traditional cultural landscapes" (April 11, 2019)

Ethnobotany, University of Arizona, "The Olive in Sicily and the Mediterranean" (April 4, 2019)

Center for Regional Food Studies Graduate Student Panel, University of Arizona, "Selling or Saving Cultural Heritage? The Case of Sicilian PGI Olive Oil" (February 13, 2019)

Honors and Accolades

Traditions, Transitions, and Treasures Research Award, School of Anthropology (2015 - 2020)

Graduate College Fellowship, University of Arizona (2019)

Graduate Research Award, Diebold BARA and The Salus Mundi Foundation (2019)

Travel Award, Graduate and Professional Student Council (2019)

P.E.O. Scholar Award, P.E.O. (2018 - 2019)