Spotlight on Irvin Hunt

Spotlight on Faye V. Harrison

FAYE V. HARRISON is a social/political anthropologist who specializes in the study of social inequalities and the politics that emerge from them.  She received her B.A. from Brown University in 1974, and her M.A. (1977) and her Ph.D. (1982) from Stanford University. 

Over the course of her long career, Professor Harrison has conducted her research on a wide range of subjects, published her work in numerous books and in an array of outstanding journals, and built a reputation among scholars in many parts of the world.  In much of her work, the topics involve issues of social and economic disparities related to race, gender, and class, and their manifestations in everyday life:  the underground economy and political violence in Jamaica; the impact of the International Monetary Fund’s structural adjustment program on everyday life in Jamaica; the impact of the U.S. Embargo on Afro-Cubans; and issues in U.S. higher education and the intellectual history of the discipline of anthropology.  Her current research examines modes of political activism that approach racism and sexism as human rights violations outlawed by international law.  She has also focused on the kinds of transnational alliances and collaborations which have developed among activists as they respond to the issues of her concern.

In addition to her research, Professor Harrison has been lauded for her teaching and for her service to professional organizations at all levels.  She has received numerous teaching and mentoring awards including the “Outstanding Research Mentoring Award” from the Ronald McNair Scholars Program, and the “Zora Neale Hurston Award for Mentoring, Service and Scholarship” from the Southern Anthropological Society.  Professor Harrison has also received the “President’s Award” from the American Anthropological Association for service to the association and to the field, and the “Legacy Scholar Award” from the Association of Black Anthropologists for “at least 25 years of professional experience [in the field of anthropology]” and “significant research or applied contribution to the field . . . .”

Professor Harrison was recently elected as President of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES), a position she will hold for the next four years.

Other experts in the fields of anthropology and African American Studies have described Professor Harrison as “the preeminent Black Anthropologist  and Anthropologist of the African Diaspora in this country,” as an “intellectual powerhouse,” an “incredible and influential scholar”, and as “the singular model for those of us who strive to excel at scholarship, teaching, and service/leadership.” 

Professor Harrison is scheduled to teach AFRO 415 (Africana Feminisms) and AFRO 560 (African Diaspora Seminar) during the Spring 2015 semester.  She will also play a pivotal role in discussions regarding graduate studies in the Department of African American Studies.


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