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Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg

Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg

Education & Professional History

Indiana University (Bloomington), BA; Johns Hopkins University, MA, PhD.

At Carleton since 1993.

Languages Spoken

Highlights & Recent Activity

Recent Grants/Fellowships

2019--Research Affiliate, Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (research team Parenté et Logiques Relationnelles) (February-June)

2019--Residence, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (January)

2018--Residential Fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study, Stellenbosch, South Africa (July-December)

2017-2023--Appointed to the International Advisory Board (Fachbeirat) of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle.

2017--Small Faculty Development Grant, Carleton College (for summer research, Cameroon, Paris, and Berlin).

2017--Student Research Assistance Award, Dean’s Discretionary Fund, Carleton College (for transcription of interviews conducted among Cameroonians in Paris).

2016--Residency award, July-August 2016, Maison Suger, Centre international de recherche, d'accueil et de coopération pour chercheurs étrangers de haut niveau de la Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.

2015-2016--Student Research Assistance Award, Dean’s Discretionary Fund, Carleton College (for transcription of interviews conducted among Cameroonians in Paris).

2015--Small Faculty Development Grant, Carleton College (for summer research, Paris).

2013-14--Fellow, Kaete Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study, "Law as Culture," Bonn, to write a book, Mothers on the Move, about how Cameroonian mothers migrate to seek better conditions in which to raise families, forging new connections to manage the resulting tension between mobility and rootedness.

2012-13--Visuality Initiative, Writing Across the Curriculum, and Humanities Center Student Research Grants, Carleton College

2010-11--Post-Ph.D. Research Grant and Osmundsen Initiative Supplement, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; Hewlett Mellon Fellowship, Carleton College

Recent Publications

2019--Strange Expectations: Cameroonian Migrants and their German Healthcare Providers debate Obstetric Choices. Global Public Health, special issue “African Voices in Global Health: Knowledge, Creativity, Accountability,” edited by Mandisa Mbali and Jessica Rucell,, print version forthcoming.

2018--Comment on Krause, Elizabeth L., and Massimo Bressan. 2018. Circulating Children, Underwriting Capitalism: Chinese Global Households and Fast Fashion in Italy. Current Anthropology 59(5): 572-595 [584-586].

2018--African Diasporas in Europe (and Beyond): A Conversation Between Two Anthropologists. EuropeNow Journal, Issue 15, March 2018,

2017--Revelation and Secrecy: Women’s Social Networks and the Contraception-Abortion Process in Cameroon (with Sylvie Schuster). In Transcending Borders: Abortion in the Past and Present, edited by Tracy Penny Light and Shannon Stettner. Pp. 239-254. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

2016-- Mothers on the Move: Reproducing Belonging between Africa and Europe. Chicago: University of Chicago Press .

2016 Migranten, Recht und Identität: Afrikanische Mütter und das Ringen um Zugehörigkeit in Berlin. Bielefeld: Transcript Verlag (Series: Kultur und soziale Praxis).

2016--Forging Belonging through Children in the Berlin Cameroonian Diaspora.” In Affective Circuits: African Migrations to Europe and the Pursuit of Social Regeneration, edited by Jennifer Cole and Christian Groes-Green. Pp. 54-77. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

2015--Mothers on the Move: Mobility and Intensive Care Work among Cameroonian Migrants to Germany [Webs of Care across the Mothering Career: Care by and for Cameroonian Migrant Mothers and their Children in Germany]. pp. 207-230 In Anthropological Perspectives on Care: Work, Kinship and the Life Course, edited by Erdmute Alber and Heike Drotbohm. London: Palgrave.

2013--Wilson, Monica. Pp. 933-935 In: Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology, R. Jon McGee and Richard Warms, eds. London: SAGE.

2010--Urbanites and Urban Villagers: Comparing 'home' among elite and non-elite Bamileke women's hometown associations. Africa 80(3):371-396.

Papers Presented, 2018-2019

2019--Collective Memory, Rumor Genealogies, and their Public Health Consequences in Cameroon. Paper prepared for the Memory Studies Association Annual Conference, Madrid, 25-28 June, 2019.

2019--Moving Up and Holding Ground: Ambition and Anxiety in Cameroonian Migrants’ Childhood Celebrations. Paper prepared for the colloquium “Mobilités sociales et migrations internationals,” Paris, 13-14 June 2019.

2019--Avoiding Hardship, Deflecting Conflict: Short-Circuits in Transnational Family Relations. Paper prepared for the interdisciplinary workshop “Affectivité et Conflit” organized by the research team “Affectivité, perception, sensation: le corps agissant” of the Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, a joint program of the Collège de France, the EHESS, and CNRS, Paris, May 21, 2019.

2019--“En France, les parents sont différents”: Shifting Boundaries of Relatedness in Cameroonian Transnational Families. Paper prepared for the Parenté et Logiques Relationnelles Seminar, Laboratoire d’anthropologie sociale, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, April 19, 2019.

2019--Histoire et sociologie des migrations. Paper presented, in collaboration with Nancy L. Green, at the Social Sciences in Practice and Context seminar of the Programme Étudiants Exilés de l’EHESS, Paris, February 22, 2019.

2018--Fostering and Disciplining Children: Kinship and Class-Making Projects of Cameroonian Migrant Mothers. Paper presented at the Wits Anthropology Seminar Series, University of Witwatersrand, August 30, 2018.

2018--The Demise of African Modes of Child Fostering? What Parenting Choices tell us about Migration and Social Mobility. Paper presented at the STIAS Seminar, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, November 8, 2018.

2018--Legal Consciousness and Social Networks. Lecture presented at the University of Minnesota, Sociology of Law graduate seminar, March 28, 2018.

Works in Progress

 “Class Performances: Children’s Parties and the Reproduction of Social Class among Diasporic Cameroonians,” submitted and under review for a special issue of Africa Today titled “Migration and Social Class in Africa,” edited by Cati Coe and Julia Pauli.

“Legal Cultures and Global Mobility: Rethinking Kinship in the Shadow of the State”

“Rethinking Kinship Obligations: How Generation and Migration Contexts Affect Child Fostering Patterns”

Organizations & Scholarly Affiliations

2017-2023--Appointed to the International Advisory Board (Fachbeirat) of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle.

American Anthropological Association

African Studies Association

International Africa Institute

Current Public Scholarship Engagement

Listed on Expert Witness Database, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, University of California Hastings College of the Law

Member, Board of Directors, Beng Community Fund

Courses Taught This Year

  • SOAN 396: Advanced Sociological and Anthropological Writing (Fall 2019)
  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise (Fall 2019)
  • SOAN 262: Anthropology of Health and Illness (Winter 2020)
  • SOAN 331: Anthropological Thought and Theory (Winter 2020)
  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise (Winter 2020)
  • SOAN 256: Africa: Representation and Conflict (Spring 2020)
  • SOAN 395: Ethnography of Reproduction (Spring 2020)
  • SOAN 400: Integrative Exercise (Spring 2020)
Profile updated April 12, 2019

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