Cheleen Ann-Catherine Mahar, Ph.D.
Professor, Social Anthropology
Ph.D. in Social Anthropology, Massey University (New Zealand), Directeur D'Etudes
Associe, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, (Paris), M.A. University of Illinois
in Cultural Anthropology. B.A. in Spanish and French, University of Northern Colorado.
Why I study anthropology...
I grew up in California, in the Bay Area, in the 1950s and 1960s, deeply imbued with the idealism that swirled around the social movements surrounding resistance to the Vietnam War, President Johnson's War on Poverty, and the compelling struggle towards civil rights among African-Americans. The most important book that I read as an undergraduate was Oscar Lewis's The Children of Sanchez, (1959).
|After reading it I decided to train as an anthropologist, to work with Lewis in the field with urban poor migrants (which I did in Oaxaca, Mexico), and to find a job that would allow me to focus on questions of class, ethnicity, and power - which I did in the university and in the Housing Authority offices of Santa Clara County and San Francisco. These issues have always been of central interest to me and thus form the core concepts around which I write, teach and research.|
The second reason I chose
anthropology is the disciplinary methodology. In our field the key research tool is participant
observation. What this means is that we explore the lived experience of our informants, doing
long-term research living in the field, and then, leaving the field we write ethnographies about that
experience. Such information is critical when applied to health care delivery, public health issues,
issues of economic equality, marketing products that are useful to consumers, and government
policies, both domestic and international. Being a social anthropologist has allowed me to travel
the world, and to be touched and humbled by the people I have had the good fortune to meet and
live beside. If this sort of experience is attractive to you, please join us in anthropology.
Publications and Professional Work
An Introduction to the Work of Pierre Bourdieu: The Theory of Practice, ed. R. Harker, C. Mahar, and C. Wilkes. 1990, London: Macmillan, 1990 New York: St. Martins Press and Tokyo: Macmillan.
Reinventing Practice in a Disenchanted World: Bourdieu and Urban Poverty in Oaxaca, Mexico, University of Texas Press, 2010.
Cuisine and Symbolic Capital: Food in Film and Literature, ed. Cheleen Ann-Catherine Mahar, Cambridge Scholars Press, 2010
2010 “Pavlova Paradise: Arcadia in New Zealand” in Cuisine and Symbolic Capital: Food in Film and Literature.
2005 "Practice Theory" in the International Encyclopedia of Social Science, forthcoming.
2005 "The British Diaspora and the Creation of Modern New Zealand." In Landscape and Empire, 1800 – 2000. Ed. Glenn Hooper. Ashgate Press.
2004 "Pierre Bourdieu" with Christopher Wilkes. In Contemporary Critical Theorists, ed. John Simon. Edinburgh University Press.
2000 "From Rural Migrant to Urban Citizen: A Brief Social History of the Development of an Urban Poor Suburb in Mexico". In Urban Anthropology and Studies of Cultural Systems and World Economic Development. Vol. 29, #4, Winter 2000, pp. 355- 402.
2005 "Paradoxes of Feminine Identity In Mexico" paper presented to Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Conference at Pepperdine College, November.
2004 "A Narrative of Success: Moving from Migrant to Citizen in Oaxaca, Mexico." Oxford Round Table, Lincoln College, Oxford.
2003 "Cuisine and the Struggle for Symbolic Capital" paper presented to Pacific Ancient and Modern Languages Conference at Scripps College co- authored with Christopher Wilkes.
2002 "Creating the New Zealand Landscape" paper presented to the Western
States Anthropological Association, Boise, Idaho.
Grants, Honors and Awards
2000 Pacific University Faculty Research Grant.
l998/9 National Science Foundation Research Grant.
l996 Pacific University Faculty Research Grant.
l990 Visiting Research Fellow, Arbetslivscentrum, Stockholm.
l990 Directeur D'Etudes, Associe, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Research Grant, College de France, Paris
Courses that I teach....
At Pacific University, all faculty teach a variety of different courses. Typically, we do not use graduate teaching assistants, which means that your classes will be taught by professors and that you will have plenty of opportunites to get to know the faculty in your discipline.
Below, I have listed some of the courses that I teach. We are always developing and trying out new classes, so the list may change now and then. You can use the links to the left to read descriptions of the courses listed below.
|Anth||101||Inroduction to Anthropology|
|Anth||202||Film, Text and Culture|
|Anth||299||Anthropology Field Experience|
|Anth||301||Research Methods in Anthropology|
|Anth||320||South American Traditional Societies|
|Anth||330||Gender in Cross Cultural Perspective|
|Anth||340||Symbolism, Myth and Ritual|
|Anth||356||Culture, Class and Cuisine|
|Anth||494||Senior Research Seminar|