Maria D. Vesperi holds a doctorate in anthropology from Princeton University, based on research in St.
Petersburg that contributed to her book, City of Green Benches: Growing Old in a New Downtown. She is
a professor of anthropology at New College of Florida, where she earned the American Anthropological
Association/Oxford University Press Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Anthropology in
2009. She was a Tampa Bay Times staffer from 1981 to 1993 and served as a trustee of the Poynter
Institute from 1995 to 2015. In 2017 she received the Anthropological Association’s Anthropology in
Media Award, and in 2018 she was elected by the Society for the Anthropology of North America for its
SANA Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America. Vesperi is executive
coordinating editor of Anthropology Now and anthronow.com, a journal and website dedicated to
making anthropological research and perspectives accessible to wider audiences. She is a cofounder of
the Society for the Anthropology of North America and founder of its first major publication, North
American Dialogue. In addition to City of Green Benches, her publications include Anthropology off the
Shelf: Anthropologists on Writing, coedited with Alisse Waterston, The Culture of Long-term Care, a
coedited volume of ethnographic research, and contributions to numerous anthologies and journals in
her field. Her current book project compares ethnography and narrative journalism.