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Alma Gottlieb, professor of anthropology at Univeristy of Illinois

Alma Gottlieb, associate professor of anthropology, African studies and gender and women’s studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will visit The College of Wooster to present her speech, “Deconstructing the Notion of ‘Education’: A View from the West African Rain Forest.”

Her speech is part of the Stieglitz Memorial Speaker series, which will take place on Monday, March 2, at 7:30 p.m. in Lean Lecture Room in Wishart Hall.

Pamela Frese, professor of anthropology, described Gottlieb’s presentation as one that “explores ‘education’ as a cultural construction that may begin ‘before the womb;’ an educational process much different than that Western-trained educators assume. Gottlieb’s talk will help us all to rethink what we thought we knew about ‘education’ in our world.”

Gottlieb’s core goal is to promote tolerance and to reduce injustice. According to Frese, Gottlieb’s interests include infants and children, gender, religion, diaspora, humanistic anthropology and ethnographic writing.

Most of Gottlieb’s research has taken her to West Africa, specifically to Côte d’Ivoire, to research the Beng people. She has also more recently researched Cape Verdeans who have Jewish heritage.

Frese praises Gottlieb by describing her as “an amazing and prolific scholar.” Frese went on to explain how Gottlieb’s research “has contributed in significant ways to anthropological understandings of religion, gender and childhood among the Beng.”

Gottlieb received her Bachelor of Arts in anthropology and French from Sarah Lawrence College and her Master of Arts and doctorate degree in anthropology from the University of Virginia. She has published over 24 articles in scholarly journals, has received many awards, and has taught and researched at several other institutions, including Brown University and Princeton University.

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