Faye Harrison

Faye Harrison

Head of the CLAS

Faye Harrison, a professor of anthropology and director of the African American Studies program, received the 2007 Presidential Award from the American Anthropological Association at its annual meeting held in Washington, D.C. on Nov. 28-Dec. 2. She served as program chair of the conference, for which she selected the theme, “Difference, (In)Equality and Justice.”

Through the publication of Decolonizing Anthropology, W.E.B. Du Bois and Anthropology, African-American Pioneers in Anthropology, and the forthcoming Outsider Within: Reworking Anthropology in the Global Age, Harrison’s work has continued to engage the anthropological community. In 2005, she was named the winner of the Society for the Anthropology of North America (SANA) Prize for Distinguished Achievement in the Critical Study of North America, which is given annually in honor of a senior-level anthropologist who has made broad-based contributions to the field.

“She has the rare distinction of being a productive and respected scholar, an award winning teacher and beloved mentor, and a skilled leader who never loses sight of engaged activism,” Lee D. Baker, Duke University cultural anthropologist. “I think if you look closely at the depth and breadth of her research, selfless service, and gallant leadership, there are very few scholars who can match her inestimable energy and impact on the discipline of anthropology.”

A political anthropologist, Harrison is recognized internationally for her work on the political economy of social inequality and human rights. In 2001, she presented her work on race and gender at the nongovernmental forum organized in conjunction with the United Nations World Conference against Racism, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Union of Anthropological & Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) and chairs its Commission on the Anthropology of Women. At the invitation of several research centers and universities, she gave several lectures and seminars in three different provinces of China last summer.  She plans to return in July 2008 to participate in the 16th World Congress of the IUAES, which will be held in Kunming.

Harrison received her B.A. in anthropology from Brown University in 1974 and her M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University in 1977 and 1982, respectively. She joined the UF faculty during the fall 2004 semester, after spending 13 years at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

“I came to the University of Florida for three main reasons,” Harrison said. “First, the high caliber and national reputation of the Department of Anthropology was definitely a motivating factor. Secondly, I knew that UF would be an excellent place to train graduate students interested in the African Diaspora and the entanglements of race, gender, and class that shape the contours of sociocultural life and political practices. Finally, I was excited about having the chance to bring my interests in Diaspora, social inequality, human rights as well as intellectual history and social theory into the development of African American studies as a respected academic pursuit."

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Buffy Lockette

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