George Epple

Building 30 (B30)

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Academic Background

B.A., Brown
Ph.D., Brandeis

After completing an undergraduate degree in Anthropology I headed for Brandeis University with the intention of focusing on economic anthropology and the peoples of the Northwest Coast. The economics part stuck, but the regional focus shifted after spending the two months on a summer research project in Trinidad, W.I. That research, conducted in a small fishing village on the north coast of Trinidad would shape most of the rest of my career, as I seem to have always worked on Islands and always with fishermen. Ph.D. research took me to Grenada, W.I., where I studied the development of a local fishermen's cooperative.

A sabbatical in 1978 found me commuting back and forth between New Bedford and Cuttyhunk Island where I did basic ethnographic and ethno-historical research on the community, with special emphasis on fishing traditions. My more recent research has been to study the culture of surf fishing along the southern coasts of New England, with a particular interest in the informal rules (etiquette) governing the pursuit of game fish in the surf.

A return trip to previous research locales in Trinidad and Grenada in 2002 gave new perspectives on my earlier research and provided enrichment for my classes. A highlight of the trip was the opportunity to reunite with my primary informant of 36 years earlier. In support of my teaching about global tourism, I have made a number of trips to Europe, the Caribbean and North America to acquire teaching materials and gain first hand experiences of the dynamics of international tourism and intercultural encounters.


ANTH 162: Non-Western Worlds: Caribbean "Others"
ANTH 261: Intercultural Encounters: Tourists and Their Hosts
ANTH 204: Art, Society and Culture
ANTH/SSCI 400: New England and the Sea

Page last updated: Wednesday, September 21, 2011