Ruth Behar, Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professorship in Anthropology, Inaugural Lecture
TRAVELING HEAVY: ANTHROPOLOGY AND THE SEARCH FOR HOME
Pondering the relationship between feeling at home and being homesick has long been an anthropological obsession. The discipline took off from the idea that an anthropologist had to leave home in order to study otherness in a distant place. Knowledge was built through reflecting on the meaning of insider and outsider, familiar and exotic, native and stranger. But in our age of massive displacement, immigration, natural disasters, and world travel, the meaning of home is being redefined. Where is home in an age where the soul is global? These questions have long fascinated Ruth Behar, a MacArthur Fellow. In her lecture she will reflect on her travels in Spain, Mexico, and Cuba, discussing how in each of these journeys she has entrusted herself to the beauty and danger of life, trying to do anthropological work that heals the heart of homesickness.
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