Ruth Behar

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Ruth Behar

Victor Haim Perera Collegiate Professor of Anthropology and Women's Studies

Anthropology 228-A West Hall 1092 Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1107

Office Location(s): 228-A West Hall
Phone: 734.936.0365
rbehar@umich.edu
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  • Affiliation(s)
    • Anthropology
  • About

    Ruth Behar is Victor Haim Perera CollegiateProfessor of Anthropology and Women's Studies.  Her research as an anthropologist has taken her to Spain and Mexico, where she has carried out research on agrarian life, popular religion, and women's self-narratives. Her first book, The Presence of the Past: Santa Maria del Monte, was published by Princeton University Press in 1986 and issued in 1991 in a revised paperback edition. Her second book, Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza's Story (Beacon Press 1993), focuses on the life history of a Mexican woman street peddler, which is set within an innovative feminist, experimental theoretical framework. She co-edited Women Writing Culture (University of California Press, 1995) and edited Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba (University of Michigan, 1995). Her book of essays, The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart (Beacon Press, 1996) combines ethnographic criticism with autobiographic criticism in unusual ways that challenge traditional genres of reporting information. In 1988 Behar was named MacArthur Fellow and in 1995 she was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship.  Most recently she produced and directed Adio Kerida Goodbye Dear Love, a personal documentary about the search for identity and memory among Sephardic Jews.  Her latest book is An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba (Rutgers University Press, 2007). She has also co-edited, with Lucia Suarez, The Portable Island: Cubans at Home in the World (Palgrave, 2008).

  • Education
    • B.A., Wesleyan University, 1977
    • M.A., Princeton University, 1980
    • Ph.D., Princeton University, 1983
  • Awards
    • 1988, MacArthur Prize Fellow
    • 1995, John Simon Guggenheim Fellow
    • LSA Teaching and Research Awards
    • UM Graduate Mentoring Award