Sharon Gmelch

Sharon Gmelch

Adjunct Professor

Part-Time Faculty
Kalmanovitz Hall 233


Sharon Bohn Gmelch earned a PhD in cultural anthropology at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Her interests include visual anthropology, gender, ethnicity, and tourism. She is the author of ten books, including Nan: The Life of an Irish Travelling Woman (1986/91), which was a finalist for anthropology's Margaret Mead award, and The Tlingit Encounter with Photography (2008). She also co-produced an ethnographic film on the Tlingit. She has conducted research in Ireland, Barbados, Alaska, and the Napa Valley, and published Tasting the Good Life: Wine Tourism in the Napa Valley (2011, with George Gmelch). Her most recent book is In the Field: Life and Work in Cultural Anthropology (2018, with George Gmelch). She is currently engaged in a cross-cultural study of tour guides.

She teaches courses on women, the museum, culture through film, and tourism, and an intersession term on culture and the environment.

Research Areas

  • Visual anthropology, gender, ethnicity, and tourism


  • Co-director, Cultural Anthropology


  • PhD, University of California at Santa Barbara

Selected Publications

  • Gmelch, G. & Gmelch S. (2018). In the Field: Life and Work in Cultural Anthropology. Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Gmelch, G. & Gmelch, S. (2014). Irish Travellers: The Unsettled Life. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. 

  • Gmelch, S. (2008). The Tlingit Encounter with Photography. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

  • Gmelch, S. (1986). Nan: The life of an Irish Travelling woman. New York: Norton.