Francis F. Bartlett and Ruth K. Bartlett Professor of Anthropology
Reflections on an Anthropology of Adventure and Love
Political anthropologists often study the ideological and material structures that create and sustain inequality and the tactics and strategies used by those who challenge such structures. We talk of how our work is motivated by ethics and a passionate commitment to social justice. Colby students who have worked with me to study inequality and racism in post-apartheid South Africa and the racism and poverty faced by Somali Bantu refugees in the United States suggest that anthropology is also about adventure and love, even though anthropologists are reluctant to acknowledge these dimensions of our work. My talk explores these aspects of the work of anthropologists.
Professor Besteman has taught anthropology and African studies at Colby since 1994. Her research focuses on racism, immigration and mobility, inequality, and social transformation—topics she has studied in South Africa, Somalia, and the United States. She recently received fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies for her research on Somali refugees in the United States. She is the author of seven books and more than 40 articles.