Faculty Mentors

Cooper Barbara 460pxProfessor Barbara Cooper’s recent work bridges the disciplines of social history and legal/medical anthropology. More broadly she focuses upon gender, religion, and family life. Drawing upon archival sources in Niger, Senegal, France and the United States as well as participant-observation and oral interviews in Niger her publications include a prize winning book on the history of a minority Evangelical Protestant community in majority Muslim Niger, Evangelical Christians in the Muslim Sahel (Indiana University Press 2006), and a study of how political and economic change were mediated through the institution of marriage over the 20th century, Marriage in Maradi: Gender and Culture in a Hausa Society in Niger (Heinemann 1989). Her articles address the problem of religious violence; the relationships between religion, secularism, and modernity in the legal domain; the meanings of pilgrimage; and the construction of gender in Christianity and Islam. She is completing a manuscript on the history of childbirth in the Sahel tentatively entitled “Countless Blessings: A History of Fertility and Reproduction in the Sahel” under contract with Indiana University Press. She anticipates that her next project will be on the longer history of illicit trade and human trafficking in the Sahel.

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