Hodgson, Dorothy L.
Professor & Chair
Ph.D., University of Michigan, 1995
Professional Summary/CV [.PDF]
Department of Anthropology, School of Arts and Sciences, New Brunswick; Rutgers
Areas of Interest
Cultural anthropology, historical anthropology, cultural politics, gender, ethnicity, colonialism, missionization, indigenous rights, pastoralism, transnationalism, social movements, research methodologies, Africa.
Anthropology of Development; Anthropology of Africa; Women Writing Culture; Anthropology of Gender; Culture, Memory, and History; Gender and Power in Africa; Gender, Development, Environment; Perspectives, Politics; Introduction to Cultural Anthropology; Culture & Capitalism; Anthropology of Development; History & Anthropology; Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology.
Memberships and Professional Service
Elected member, Board of Directors, Association for Feminist Anthropology; Program Co-Chair, Association for Feminist Anthropology; Elected member, Board of Directors, African Studies Association, 1997-2000; Elected member, Steering Committee, Women's Caucus of the African Studies Association, 1998- ; Editorial Committee, Social Text, 1996-2001.
Dorothy interviewing Masaai activist, Moringe ole Parkipuny, at a policy conference in Tanzania in 2006
Grants, Honors, and Awards
Fellowship, National Endowment for the Humanities (2006-7); Fellowship, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2005-6); Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies (2005-6); Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship (2005-6); Faculty Fellow, Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture seminar on "Citizenship" (2003-2004); Faculty Fellow, Institute for Research on Women seminar on "Reconfiguring Gender and Class: Identities, Rights and Social Movements" (2003-2004); Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (2001-2002).
Academic Interests and Plans
I am a cultural anthropologist with long term research experience in Tanzania, primarily among Maasai pastoralists and agro-pastoralists. My first book 'Once Intrepid Warriors' combines cultural, historical, and political economy approaches to explore the intersection and interconstruction of gender and ethnicity, and to demonstrate how they shaped and were shaped by the shifting meanings, uses and effects of "development" from the colonial period until the present. The book seeks to define, locate and analyze "development" historically, culturally and spatially, with particular attention to how "development" is mediated, reshaped, and even resisted at local levels as policies are translated into practices. I explore the gendered ways in which Maasai imagine and experience "development," and negotiate "marginality" as well as "modernity."
My second book, The Church of Women, explores female experiences and expressions of spirituality in the context of Catholic evangelization. I use historical and ethnographic evidence to examine how gender ideas and practices shaped the contours of the encounter between Catholic missionaries and Maasai men and women since 1950.
I am presently working on two new research projects. The first, "Being Maasai, Becoming Indigenous," studies how issues of culture, power and history have shaped the indigenous rights movement in Africa, primarily through the experiences of Maasai indigenous rights organizations. The project includes research with and about the international donors, multinational institutions (such as the United Nations) and transnational advocacy organizations that have interacted with, funded, and nurtured the Maasai organizations.
The second project investigates forms of collective action among African women. I am trying to study "from the ground up" how women of various ages, classes, and rural/urban locations have organized themselves into formal and informal associations, their agendas, institutional structures, and interaction with translocal and even transnational networks. At present, I am focusing on groups in Tanzania and Senegal, as well as several regional organizations.