Meredith Small is a best selling author and award winning anthropologist and Professor Emeritus at Cornell University.
Meredith holds a Ph.D in physical and biological anthropology from University of California, Davis. She is trained as a primatologist, and has spent much time in the field observing and documenting the behavior of our closest non-human relatives. Her research is cross disciplinary and makes use of historical, anthropological, and biological methodologies to answer some of the biggest questions facing society today.
While at Cornell, Meredith conducted research on the anthropology of parenting, primate behavior, female choice, and mate selection. In addition, she has written and published for the popular press and was a regular guest contributor for NPR.
As an anthropologist, Meredith’s love of travel extends beyond what the tourism industry typically has to offer. She is not content to lay on a beach reading (something her daughter still laments!) but instead prefers to engage with her surroundings as an active learner and seeker of new knowledge and insight.
Through her wit, incisive writing, and insatiable curiosity about the world around her, Meredith provides a new way of seeing: one that connects the present with the past and deepens our understanding and appreciation for those places we hold most dear in the world.
Meredith began traveling at the age of 23 when she and her best friend Sandy backpacked across Europe. They slept on park benches, beaches, and several trains, seeking out adventures all along the way. Since then, Meredith’s career has taken her from the sandy dunes of Africa to ancient temples in Indonesia, and to the Venetian canals that inspired her upcoming book, “Inventing the World”.
In her upcoming book, Meredith leads a new travel movement that shies away from site-seeing, focusing instead on “site-being.” That is, being wholly and radically present wherever you are, immersing yourself in the history of your environment, and leaving with a sense of having been enriched, rather than “refreshed” from your travels. Meredith seeks not to “take” from the places she visits, but rather to highlight and amplify the voices that bring those places to life: voices that are often overlooked in today’s fast-moving “top-ten” dominated world.
In a time of global isolation, Meredith reminds us of the connections we have not only to each other, but to our past. We might never know why we are where we are, but Meredith certainly helps answer how we got here.