Lactation Newsmakers Column: An interview with Penny Van Esterik, MA, PHD

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Paige Hall Smith, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: It is my great pleasure to interview Penny Van Esterik, who is truly a “foremother” in our field. Penny is an anthropologist, and it is that background that defines her approach to scholarship and practice. She was educated in both the United States and Canada and is Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at York University in Toronto where she worked for 30 years. She has authored many books, chapters, and articles and continues to be a sought-after speaker. This interview was inspired by her keynote address at the 2018 Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference, where she spoke about themes from her recently published book, The Dance of Nurture: Negotiating Infant Feeding (Van Esterik & O’Connor, 2017). Her 1989 book, Beyond the Breast-Bottle Controversy (Van Esterik, 1989), was widely read and helped us better position breastfeeding within the context of both food systems and gender. She has consulted with, among others, UNICEF, Wellstart Lactation Management, Canadian International Development Agency, the Population Council, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). Her writing considers breastfeeding and nurture within many different contexts including culture, gender, work, food systems, HIV/AIDS, body politics, environmental sustainability, and human rights. Her work illustrates that the personal is political and the political, personal, reminding us to align our policies and practices to reflect the real stories and experiences of real people in their real contexts.

Additional Information

Journal of Human Lactation, 34(4): 663-667
Language: English
Date: 2018
Penny Van Esterik, breastfeeding, interview, infant feeding

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