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Sarah Fouts

Sarah Fouts is an Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies. She received her PhD in Latin American Studies at Tulane University and an MS in Urban Studies at the University of New Orleans. Fouts’ research interests include transnationalism, Honduras, New Orleans, ethnography, labor, accompaniment methodology, and food studies.

Currently, Fouts is working on a book manuscript, Tacos and Gumbo: The Politics of Food, Labor, and Immigration, which uses ethnographic and archival research to analyze the transnational stories of Central American and Mexican food industry workers in post-Katrina New Orleans. Set within the context of hyper-investment in New Orleans’s tourist industry economy along with growing anti-worker and anti-immigrant movements, Tacos and Gumbo sheds light on contradictions within free-market systems by underscoring the interplay between urban governance, disaster capitalism, immigrant entrepreneurship, and worker activism. Fouts shows how despite being criminalized and pitted against other working class communities, Latinx immigrants take advantage of exclusionary systems by cultivating networks and maneuvering politics and culture to effect change and shape the city in their own terms.

Fouts’ community engaged research centers on activist scholarship with the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice (NOWCRJ). Fouts is currently collaborating with leaders of the NOWCRJ on the second phase of the New Orleans Black Workers Organize labor history timeline. Fouts’ research includes public humanities foodways projects with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and with the Southern Foodways Alliance. 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.

  • PhD, Latin American Studies, Tulane University
  • MS, Urban Studies, University of New Orleans
Selected Publications:
  • “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.
Selected Courses:
  • Introduction to American Studies
  • What is an American
  • Approaches to American Studies
  • American Food
  • Ethnography in America