MSc Social Anthropology (2016), now an Anthropologist
My name is Christopher Sisca and I am an anthropologist from Toronto, Canada, and completed the MSc in Social Anthropology in 2015/2016.
Broadly speaking, my research examines the social significance of culinary traditions and food consumption practices, their relationship to both memory and identity construction (collective and individual, regional and national), and how they change within different geographic, social, and economic contexts. Other interests include the importance of empirical and embodied skilled practices and knowledge within culinary and craft traditions, as these processes of 'making’ and ‘creating’ enable cross-generation connections and our creative interaction with the material world.
My final graduate dissertation entitled Cooking Up Reconnection examined the food consumption habits and food production practices of Cosenza, Calabria, Italy, and I investigated whether the same social disconnection and loss of empirical culinary skills/knowledge occurring in Calabrian diaspora communities in Toronto was also occurring in Calabria. In addition, I connected my fieldwork findings to literature on the importance of cooking and the continuation of empirical culinary knowledge, and how these skills can enable the reconnection of ourselves to nature, our food systems, our ability to ‘create', and to the rituals of eating and meal sharing. Through my anthropological research, I hope to contribute to food policy and cultural programming, more sustainable food systems and practices, and assist in the conservation and education of empirically learned culinary knowledge and traditions.
My time at Oxford was one of the best in my life both within and outside my academic program. The School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography became my home away from home, and I always felt welcomed and supported. From the wealth of library facilities and great teaching staff, to the termly seminar series and events, I was constantly intellectually stimulated and inspired. One of the best and most rewarding experiences from my master’s program was planning and conducting 5 weeks of fieldwork in Calabria interviewing food producers, retailers, activists, and anthropologists from that region for my dissertation.