Of Sociology


Dr. Cynthia “Cissy” Fowler teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Wofford College in South Carolina.  At Wofford College, Fowler teaches courses in the subdisciplines of cultural, ecological, and medical anthropology, as well as courses on ethnography, ethnographic film, cultures of Southeast Asia and Oceania, global health, and diversity.  Fowler participates in Wofford College’s initiative to reform its general education curriculum, to improve tenure and promotion processes for faculty, and to prepare students for post-graduate scholarships.

Dr. Fowler has been an active member of the Society of Ethnobiology since 1999, serving as the book review editor of the Journal of Ethnobiology, the board secretary, and the co-founder of the pioneering open access journal Ethnobiology Letters.  She serves as the Society’s President Elect from 2015-2017 and as the President from 2017-2019.

Her research interests are in the areas of space-time cultures and biosocial dynamics. She has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in

Dr. Cissy Fowler in the Wildnerness

Dr. Cissy Fowler in the Wilderness

Indonesia, Hawai‘i, and the U.S. South.  Fowler has published her research results in journal articles and books.  Dr. Fowler is the co-editor of the monograph series Global Change/Global Health published by the University of Arizona Press.

Fowler received her PhD from the University of Hawai‘i, and her MA and BA from the University of Georgia.

Classes Taught

Introduction to Cultural Anthropology & Communication


Ecological Anthropology

Global Health

Public Health

Medical Anthropology


Ethnographic Film

Cultures of Southeast Asia & Oceania


Fowler, Cynthia. Forthcoming.  Biosocial Change in the Landscapes and Seascapes of the Indonesian Island of Sumba: Sequential Synchronicities. Lexington Books.

Fowler, Cynthia and James R. Welch, editors. In Review. Fire Otherwise: An Ethnobiological Approach to Understanding the Impacts of Social and Environmental Change on Fire Ecology. University of Utah Press.

2015. Wayfinding Women: The Generation of Landscapes and Society through Female Entrepreneurship. Urbanities 5(1):83-94.

2015. With James R. Welch. Introduction: Special Issue on Fire Ecology and Ethnobiology. Journal of Ethnobiology  35(1):1-3.

2014. An Editor’s Opinion on the Ethics of Open Access. Ethnobiology Letters 5:1-3.

2013. Ignition Stories: Indigenous Fire Ecologies in the Indo-Australian Monsoon Zone. Carolina Academic Press, Durham.

2013.  Book Review of Fire: Nature and Culture by Stephen J. Pyne. Progress in Physical Geography 37(5):722-724.

2011. With Amy Pittsenbarger. Interview with Ethnobiologist Dr. Elizabeth Widjaja. Letter from the Editors. Ethnobiology Letters 2:81-84.

2011. Performing Pisgah: Endurance Mountain Bikers Generating the National Forest. Anthropology News 52(3):11.

2009. National Teach-In on Global Warming. Anthropology and Environment Column. Anthropology News May 2009:42-43.

2009. Heather McMillen, Lisa Gollin, Cynthia Fowler, JD Baker, Dan Moerman, Elaine Elizabetsky, and Michael Heinrich. Tribute to the Late Nina Etkin. HerbalEGram 6(6).

2008. National Public Health Initiatives that Integrate Traditional Medicine. In Human Health and Forests: A Global Overview of Issues, Practice and Policy. Carol J. Pierce Colfer, ed. Pp. 295-315. London: Earthscan.

2007. With Evelyn Konopik.  The History of Fire in the Southern United States. Human Ecology Review 14(2):165-176.

2007. Book Review of Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction by Brian Morris. American Anthropologist 109(1): 221-222.

2006. Edited with Deborah Kennard. The Encyclopedia of Southern Fire Science.  Available at

2005. Why is Maize a Sacred Plant? Social History and Agrarian Change on Sumba.  Journal of Ethnobiology 25(1):39-57.

2003. The Ecological Implications of Ancestral Religion and Reciprocal Exchange in a Sacred Forest in Karendi.  World Views: Culture, Environment, Religion 7(3): 303-329. 

2003. Human Health Impacts of Forest Fires in the South: A Literature Review. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 7: 39-63.

2002.  Book Review of People, Plants, and Justice: The Politics of Nature Conservation. Journal of Ethnobiology.

2001. Ecosystem Health and the Political Process: Ullsten and Rapport Revisited.  Journal of Ecosystem Health 7(3).