Kendall M. Thu

Professor Thu is a cultural anthropologist with specific interests in applied anthropology, food systems, public and environmental health, the anthropology of sports, North America and Northern Europe. His research focuses on the relationships between industrialized food systems, the environment, public health, rural social dynamics and state power and policy, and low-income housing. He has served as  editor of the journal Culture & Agriculture, served on the board of the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology and is a fellow in the Society for Applied Anthropology. He has chaired the American Anthropological Association’s committee on public policy, served on the board and as President of the Culture and Agriculture section and served on the executive board of the Central States Anthropological Society. Professor Thu teaches courses in applied anthropology, medical anthropology, environmental anthropology, the anthropology of food, American culture, introductory cultural anthropology and anthropology and human diversity.

Selected Publications

Being Heard, Not Only Seen: Intersections of Tea Partyism, Raceism, and Classism in a Low-income Housing Struggle in DeKalb, Illinois. Human Organization 76(4): 76(4):348-357. With Mark Schuller, Tiara Huggins, and Valarie Redmond. 2017

The Intersection of Anthropology and Agricultural Health. Journal of Agromedicine 22(1):9-13. 2016

Where’s the Producer? Limiting Liability in Midwestern Industrial Hog Production. Rural Sociology 79(1):2-27. 2013. With Loka Ashwood and Danielle Diamond. 2013

The Centralization of Food Systems and Political Power. Culture & Agriculture. 31:23-37. 2009.

Integrating Epidemiology, Education, and Organizing for Environmental Justice:Community Health Effects of Industrial Hog Operations. American Journal of Public Health 98:1390-1397. With S. Wing, R. Avery, N. Muhammad, G. Grant, and M. Tajik. 2008.

Farm activities associated with eye injuries in the Agricultural Health Study. Journal of Agromedicine 13(1):17-22. With N. Sprince, C. Zwerling, P. Whitten, C. Lynch, L. Burmeister, P. Gillette, and M. Alavanja. 2008.

Impact of Odor from Industrial Hog Operations on Daily Living Activities. New Solutions: A Journal of Environmental and Occupational Health Policy 18(2):193-205. With M. Tajik, N. Muhammad, S. Wing, and G. Grant. 2008.

Assessment of Air Quality at Neighbor Residences in the Vicinity of Swine Production Facilities. Journal of Agromedicine 11(3/4): 15-24. With K. Donham, J. Lee, and S. Reynolds. 2007.

Risk factors for low back injury among farmers in Iowa: A case-control study nested in the Agricultural Health Study. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene 4:10-16. With N. Sprince, P. Hyesook, C. Zwerling, P. Whitten, C. Lynch, L. Burmeister, P. Gillette, and M. Alavanja. 2007.

Agriculture In Culture. Culture & Agriculture 28(1):25-27. 2006.

Industrial Agriculture: Pig Prison or Hog Hotel? In: Encyclopedia of the Midwest. R. Sisson, C. Zacher, and A. Cayton, Editors. Pp. 1025-1026. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. 2006.

Community Health and Socioeconomic Issues Surrounding CAFOs. Environmental Health Perspectives. 115(2):317-320. With K. J. Donham, S. Wing, D. Osterberg, J. L. Flora, C. Hodne, and P. Thorne. 2006.

Risk factors for animal-related injury among Iowa livestock farmers: A case-control study nested in the Agricultural Health Study. Journal of Rural Health 19(2): 165-173. With N. Sprince, H. Park, C. Zwerling, C. Lynch, P. Whitten, L. Burmeister, P. Gillette, and M. Alavanja. 2003.

Keeping the Game Close: Fair Play Among Men's College Basketball Referees. With K. Hattmann, V. Hutchinson, S. Lueken, N. Davis, and E. Linboom. Human Organization 61(1) 1-8. 2002.

Public Health Concerns for Neighbors of Large-Scale Swine Production Operations. Journal of Agricultural Society and Health 8(2): 175-184. 2002.

Certified Safe Farm: Using Health Insurance Incentives to Promote Agricultural Safety and Health (with S. Schneiders, K. Donham, P. Hilaenath, and N. Roy). Journal of Agromedicine 8(1): 25-36. 2002.

Agriculture, the Environment, and Sources of State Ideology and Power. Culture Agriculture 23(1) 1-7. 2001.

Cultural Challenges in Agricultural Health. Journal of Agromedicine 5(4): 85-89. 1999.

The Health Consequences of Industrialized Agriculture for Farmers in the United States. Human Organization 57(3): 335-341. 1998. 

Pigs, Profits, and Rural Communities. K. Thu and E.P. Durrenberger, editors. Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. 1998.

Health Problems and Disease Patterns. In The International Labor Encyclopaedia of Occupational Health and Safety, 4th Edition. With C. Zwerling, and K. Donham. Geneva, Switzerland: ILO. 1997.

What's a Year's Work Worth?: The Influence of the State on Cultural Constructs of Farming in Norway. Human Organization 55(3): 300-308. 1996.



President, Faculty Senate

Executive Secretary of University Council
SB 189
AL 103


Ph.D.: University of Iowa 

Contact Us

Department of Anthropology
Stevens Building Rm 190