Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Kathryn Boswell

Professor Kathryn Boswell

Associate Professor of Anthropology
Division Head, Social Studies


Liebowitz Center for International Studies

Academic Program Affiliation(s)

Areas of Specialization

  • Africa (both North and sub Saharan Africa)
  • Conflict, displacement, and resettlement
  • Material culture studies


Research Interests: Africa (historic and contemporary); conflict, displacement, and resettlement; migration studies; material culture; life cycle rituals and ceremony; gender; Islam

Teaching Interests: Life histories; urban anthropology; anthropology of religion; material culture; conflict, displacement, and resettlement; food studies; apocalypticism and dystopianism; comparative religions

Other Interests: Intellectual history of anthropology; art history; film

Favorite/Regular Courses Offered

  • ANTH 100 Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
  • ANTH 223 Life Histories
  • ANTH 227 Gender in Africa
  • ANTH 232 City Life: Anthropology, People, and Place at Home and Abroad
  • ANTH 328 Preternatural Predilections: Witchcraft, Sorcery, and Possession in Cross-Cultural Perspective
  • ANTH330 Anthropological Perspectives on Dispossession and Displacement
  • ANTH 317 Subjects and Objects: Engagements with Material Culture
  • ANTH 331 Anthropological Encounters with Rapture and Rupture


MA & PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington
BA, Drew University

Kathryn Boswell's recent publications include “Establishing ‘Stable Beginnings’ through Alternative Channels: Voluntary Association Membership, Marriage, and Women’s Socio-Economic Welfare in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso” in Africa Today and “Accumulation, War, and Dispossession: Burkinabé Repatriates’ Problematic Reincorporation in the Homeland” in NEAA Bulletin. She has previously taught at Indiana University, Richmond and served as an OSI-Africa Doctoral Scholar; Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, D.C. She has been the recipient of several Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowships as well as two-time IIE Fulbright awardee to Côte d’Ivoire (1999-2000) and Burkina Faso (2004-2005). Dr. Boswell has presented at the African Studies Association, American Anthropological Association, Northeastern Anthropological Association, among others. She has been teaching at Simon's Rock since 2008.