Sarah Fouts

Sarah Fouts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies, director of the Public Humanities program, and affiliate professor in the Language, Literacy, and Culture doctoral program.  Fouts’s research interests include political economy, food studies, New Orleans, Honduras, ethnography, labor studies, and community engagement.

Fouts’s book manuscript, Right to Remain: Street Food Vendors and Day Laborers in Post-Katrina New Orleans (UNC Press 2025), uses ethnographic and archival research to analyze the stories of Central American and Mexican immigration in post-Katrina New Orleans. Fouts shows how despite being criminalized and pitted against other low wage workers, immigrants use multiracial solidarities and grassroots resistance to shape politics and culture in New Orleans.

Drawing from this research, Fouts produced two documentary shorts in 2023 as part of the American Folklife Center’s Homegrown Foodways Series. The films entitled, El Camino del Pan a Baltimore, and, El Camino del Mole a New Orleans, put the two cities in dialogue with each other through Mexican food.

Fouts is a 2022-2023 Whiting Public Engagement Fellow for the collaborative New Orleans-based work, “Project Neutral Grounds: At theIntersection of People, Food, and the Hustle.” Fouts was the principal investigator for the 2022-2023 ACLS Sustaining Public Engagement funded project entitled, “Baltimore Field School 2.0: Undoing and Doing Anew in Public Humanities.” Each project focused on developing qualitative research models that build collaborative humanities projects with community partners.

Fouts’s research includes public humanities projects with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the Southern Foodways Alliance, and the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ) New Orleans Black Workers Organize labor history timeline. From 2017-2019, Fouts produced and edited the series “Latinx Foodways in North America” for the Society for the Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. Fouts is also an op-ed contributor for the New York Times and contributes articles to NACLA and Gravy magazine.


  • PhD, Latin American Studies, Tulane University
  • MS, Urban Studies, University of New Orleans
  • BA, History and Spanish, Centre College

Selected Publications

  • “Rethinking the Field in Crisis: The  Baltimore Field School and Building Ethical Community and University Partnerships,” Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, co-authored with Nicole King and Tahira Mahdi. (Forthcoming)
  • “The Great Unbuilding: Land, Labor, and Dispossession in New Orleans and Honduras.” co-authored with Deniz Daser. Southern Cultures 27, no. 2 (July 5, 2021): 110–25.
  • “When ‘Doing With’ Can Be Without: Employing Critical Service Learning Strategies in Creating the ‘New Orleans Black Worker Organizing History’ Digital Timeline.” Journal of Community Engagement and Higher Education. 12(1): 29-38.
  • “Re-Regulating Loncheras, Food Trucks, and their Clientele: Navigating Bureaucracy and Enforcement in New Orleans.” Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, Fall 2018, 1-13.
  • “Informed Gatekeepers and Transnational Violence: Using Perceptions of Safety of Latino/a Youth in Determining Immigration Cases.” co-authored with Clare Cannon and Miranda Stramel. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, May 2018, 40(2): 134-149
  • “The Mafia, La Raza, and the Spanish-Language Press Coverage of the 1891 Lynchings in New Orleans.” Journal of Southern History. August 2017. 83(3): 509-530.
  • “Presumed Palettes and the Problems Perceived: Exploring Latin American Food and Food Establishments in the United States and New Orleans.” Race, Gender, and Class. 2011, 18(3-4): 316-328.