Understanding Communism Through Fieldwork – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Understanding Communism Through Fieldwork

Public and classroom presentations given by anthropologist Katherine Verdery as part of Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholars program

(Sept. 14, 2004) GENEVA, N.Y.– Anthropologist Katherine Verdery will present a public lecture titled “Anthropological Adventures with Romania's Wizard of Oz, or How to Understand Communism Through Fieldwork” at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 23, in Stern Hall, Room 103, at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

In addition to the public lecture, Verdery will visit classes and meet with student groups. Her appearance on campus is part of the Phi Beta Kappa Society's Visiting Scholars program. The talk is free and the public is invited to attend.

The Eric R. Wolf Collegiate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, Verdery also is a research associate at the Center for Russian and East European Studies. Before moving to Michigan in 1997, she spent 20 years teaching anthropology at Johns Hopkins University. Her field work, carried out primarily in Romania, has dealt with ethnic and national identity, the workings of socialism, power and social inequality. Currently, she is researching how family-owned Transylvanian land had been transformed into collective and state farms during the 1950s.

Verdery is the author of several books, including “Transylvanian Villages,” “National Ideology Under Socialism,” “The Political Lives of Dead Bodies” and “The Vanishing Hectare.” She is the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Slavic Studies and serves on the executive board of the Social Science Research Council. She is a past member of the American Anthropological Association's board of directors.

Verdery holds a bachelor's degree from Reed College, and a master's and Ph.D. from Stanford University.