Thoughts on Breastfeeding
For the 2013-14 academic year, Dr. Dettwyler is teaching anthropology at the University of Delaware in Newark, DE.  She is the author of Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa (1993), and the co-editor of Breastfeeding: Biocultural Perspectives (1995), which includes her own two chapters "Beauty and the Breast: The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding in the United States," and "A Time to Wean: The Hominid Blueprint for a Natural Age of Weaning in Modern Human Populations."  In 2003 she co-edited an anthropology reader with Vaughn Bryant, titled Reflections on Anthropology: A Four-Field Reader.  In 2011 her introductory cultural anthropology textbook was published by Waveland Press, Cultural Anthropology and Human Experience: The Feast of Life.  In 2013, Waveland Press also published a 20th anniversary edition of Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa, which includes two additional new chapters.  Initial results of her research on extended breastfeeding in the United States were published in Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology, Volume 47, Number 3, pp. 712-723 ("When to Wean: Biological Versus Cultural Perspectives").  She is the author of many other scholarly articles.  She is a frequent speaker at universities, La Leche League conferences, and lactation consultant conferences.  She is currently working on an historical project involving old admission/clinical notes ledgers from the Delaware State (Mental) Hospital from 1894 to 1920.  Dr. Dettwyler lives in Newark, Delaware with her husband Steven and son Peter, and two Standard Poodles, Truman and Ulysses.  Her daughter Miranda has undergraduate degrees in Physics and Architecture, and an MA in Physics, and is currently working on an MA in Architecture.  Miranda is married to physicist Mark Hannam, who teaches at Cardiff University, Wales, and blogs at  They have two happy children, Henry, born in 2006, and Eleanor, born in 2012.  Her younger son, Alexander, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2013 with a degree in Anthropology.  He is married to Shenin Dettwyler and lives in Pittsburgh.