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Karla Erickson is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at Grinnell College. Her first single-authored book, The Hungry Cowboy: Service and Community in a Neighborhood Restaurant is a behind the scenes look at class, community, and gendered labor in a Tex-Mex restaurant. Karla is a feminist ethnographer of labor. Her current research is on the emotionally rich, often under- or un-paid interactions at the end of life. Based on interviews with nurses’ aides, administrators, and family care providers, Erickson’s current project, Laboring at the End of Life will use the knowledge of commercial care providers to shed light on how we die now. Recently, her work has been published in Symbolic Interaction, Space and Culture, Qualitative Sociology, Restaurants: The Book, and Gendered Society. Along with Jennifer Pierce, and Hokulani Aikau, Erickson edited an anthology entitled Feminist Waves, Feminist Generations, Life Stories from the Academy, 1964-2000 (University of Minnesota Press, 2007). Before she donned a scholar’s robe, Karla worked as a waitress for thirteen years. She received her PhD in the Department of American Studies at the University of Minnesota, with a minor in Feminist Studies at the University of Minnesota in 2004, her M.A. in Liberal Studies from Hamline University in 1998 and her B.A. in English and Women's Studies at Illinois Wesleyan in 1995.