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Alma Gottlieb

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Alma Gottlieb is a Cultural Anthropologist.[1][2] She specializes in gender studies and African studies.[2] Gottlieb obtained both her Master's and Doctorate of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. She is Professor Emerita at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.[3] She has published her ethnographic research and other writing on the Beng people of Cote d'Ivoire,[2][3][4] and won the 1993 Victor Turner Prize from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology for her book with Philip Graham, Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa.[5][6]

Academic Life[edit | edit source]

As a young adult, Gottlieb was an avid reader and was “passionately involved in anti-Vietnam War protests and the women’s and civil rights movements”.[4] Gottlieb obtained her Bachelors of Arts in anthropology and French from Sarah Lawrence College. She continued on to the University of Virginia where she obtained both her Master's and Doctorate in anthropology.[7] She is Professor Emerita in the Departments of Anthropology, Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and African Studies at The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, where she began working in 1983.[3] She has also been a visiting professor and researcher at American University, Princeton University, and Brown University. In 2015, Gottlieb cofounded the non-governmental organization Beng Community Fund alongside Philip Graham, which provides funding for Beng communities development.[8]

Books and Contributions[edit | edit source]

Publications by Gottlieb include The Afterlife Is Where We Come From: The Culture of Infancy in West Africa; Under the Kapok Tree: Identity and Difference in Beng Thought; & A World of Babies.[1][3][9] Gottlieb edited the publication The Restless Anthropologist: New Fieldsites, New Visions.[2] She has also coauthored with Philip Graham to produce Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and A Writer Encounter Africa and Braided Worlds.[6][10]

Fellowships and Awards[edit | edit source]

Gottleib received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, US and Canada, fellow in 1998 in the category of Anthropology and Cultural Studies.[11] She was also a fellow with the American Association of University Women Constance L. Tomkies Fellow in 1982-1983.[4] In 1993, she and co-author Philip Graham won the Victor Turner Prize for their book Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa.[5][6]

Interviews[edit | edit source]

In an interview that was published to StoryCorps on March 9, 2016, Gottlieb spoke about her interest in Anthropology, in studying Africa and African people, political activism, and matrilineal societies. She spoke about the influences of activists and intellectuals in her youth that helped form her passion in improving the world and her draw to Anthropology as a way to study questions that don't have easy answers. Gottlieb also details her initial draw to the Beng people as a matrilineal society, only to discover that some clans are matrilineal and others are patrilineal. She also details mistakes that she has made and how she has recognized those mistakes to help better educate her students as well as her own studies.[12]

On an episode of Period posted October 7, 2016, Gottlieb is interviewed by Kate Clancy of University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. During the interview, Gottlieb discusses the taboos of menstruation in American society compared to other societies around the world. She discusses how anthropologists have looked at menstruation through history and the realization that menstruation taboos aren't universal.[13]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gottlieb, Alma (2004). The Afterlife Is Where We Come From. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Gottlieb, Alma (2012). The Restless Anthropologist: New Fieldsites, New Visions. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Gottlieb, Alma (2017). A World of Babies. Cambridge University Press.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Meet Alma Gottlieb, the Restless Anthropologist". AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Turner Prize from the Society for Humanistic Anthropology".
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Gottlieb, Alma; Graham, Philip (1993). Parallel Worlds: An Anthropologist and a Writer Encounter Africa. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  7. "Alma Gottlieb, professor of anthropology at Univeristy of Illinois | The Wooster Voice". Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  8. Gottlieb, Alma (2017). A World of Babies. Cambridge University Press.
  9. Gottlieb, Alma (1992). Under the Kapok Tree: Identity and Difference in Beng Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  10. Gottlieb, Alma; Graham, Philip (2012). Braided Worlds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.
  11. "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation | Alma Gottlieb". www.gf.org. Retrieved 2017-05-06.
  12. "Dr. Alma Gottlieb". StoryCorps.me. Retrieved 2017-02-23.
  13. "Listen to Period online". TuneIn. Retrieved 2017-03-29.

External links[edit | edit source]

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