Visiting Assistant Professor of English Elisabeth Stokes published an essay on eater.com titled “What It Really Means to Eat a Big Mac in the Arctic Circle.” Her essay recounts her childhood in the remote village of Fort Yukon, Alaska, where sled dog teams and outhouses were norms and McDonald’s—the closest one 140 air miles away—represented much more than burgers and fries. Stokes meditates on the phenomenon of McDonald’s as both a status symbol and an archetype of the idealized outside world for rural Alaskans—and on how that view was inverted when she and her family moved to Fairbanks, with its very own McDonald’s.

Stokes’s essays have also appeared in the New York Times, Time, and the Washington Post.