Phone: (919) 660-7093
Office: 200W, Art Building
Durham, NC 27705
I am an anthropologist broadly interested in how culture shapes the diverse ways that children learn and develop, and how learning and development lead to the production and reproduction of culture. I am particularly interested in the functions of children’s play, the nature of teaching in everyday social learning, learning to parent, and family systems. Ultimately, I am interested in how different social learning processes and care taking systems impact children’s health and well being.
My research on culture, childhood and the family has involved fieldwork among communities of foragers and subsistence farmers in the tropical forests of Central African Republic and Congo-Brazzaville. In these small-scale, multi-ethnic societies, I have been using the comparative method to understand how cultural models – such as those related to the core forager values of respect for autonomy, egalitarianism, and sharing – influence social learning and care taking, and, ultimately, the resilience of contemporary forager peoples and cultures.
As a lecturing fellow in the Thompson Writing Program at Duke University, I teach course options on contemporary hunter-gatherer studies, biocultural approaches to the anthropology of childhood, paleoanthropology, medical anthropology, and culture in/and the mind.