Instructor of the SI Seminar
Associate Professor of Anthropology, Anthropology Department Chair
In September 2000, I arrived to Appleton, Wisconsin, coming directly from cultural fieldwork with Sudanese refugees in Cairo, Egypt. As an Arabic-speaking and Italian-speaking cultural anthropologist, I teach what I research academically— society and cultures in the Middle East and Africa, the impact of migration and globalization on cultures, the anthropology of food, sex/gender/sexuality systems across cultures, race and ethnicity across cultures, anthropological theory and cultural research methods. I am also the chair of the Anthropology Department and am active in the Ethnic Studies and Gender Studies programs. I still can’t believe it has been 21 years!
More about me personally, I was born and raised in an Air Force family, my father graduating from the ROTC Program (Reserve Officer’ Training Corp) at Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) to become a commissioned officer in the Air Force and my mother studying nursing also at Tuskegee to become a registered nurse and later (after graduate school) a Professor of Nursing. Growing up in a military family and before coming to Wisconsin, I lived in 9 different states in the U.S. and was often the new black kid in predominantly white K-12 schools. Also, I was among the few African American women at Mount Holyoke College. And, I was counted as an under-represented minority in graduate school at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Point 1: Growing up adapting like a chameleon to different social environments, one would think I was destined to become a cultural anthropologist! Point 2: I know what it is like to be in betwixt – in between or to be that insider-outsider or to sometimes feel socially out of place.
I am excited to teach for the SI Seminar and to facilitate student connections to other faculty, staff, and other students, and to resources on and off campus. My goal is to mentor and educate the whole student—covering the social, personal and academic—because social belonging and personal wellness can have an impact on academic success. Congratulations on having this opportunity to be an SI Scholar! Welcome to Lawrence University!