Melinda Reidinger, Ph.D.

Faculty Senate Secretary; Adjunct Lecturer, School of Humanities & Social Sciences

Melinda Reidinger is an Adjunct Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She teaches Intro to Sociology, and is currently developing a course on Food and Culture. Melinda holds a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Cultural Anthropology, and a B.A. from Williams College in Art History and Literary Studies. Her primary research interests have all focused around themes of humans and nature. Her dissertation was a study of the essentially Czech phenomenon of second-home ownership in the countryside. It pays particular attention to the historical roots and philosophical underpinnings of the cottaging movement, and provides four different theoretical frameworks in which to analyze it. She also puts Czech tramping into a different light, after a careful study of period sources which reveal some surprising aspects of the movement. Melinda recently contributed a chapter on Neopaganism to be included in a forthcoming edited volume on "Practical Spirituality and Human Development," and she is currently formulating a new research project. This will be a triptych of "altered animals" that have all been transformed by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century: the Dark European Honeybee (Apis mellifera mellifera), Heck Cattle, and the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.


Anthropology, Sociology, Food Studies, Environment, Nature, Landscapes, Bioregionalism, Neo-Paganism

courses taught

Intro to Sociology

publications & other activities

  • Paganism as Practical Spirituality, a chapter in Practical Spirituality and Human Development, Ananta Kumar Giri, ed. (forthcoming).
  • Islands of Bourgeois Self-Realization in a Sea of Changes: A Century of Czech Cottaging. Doctoral dissertation. University of Virginia, 2007.