MacArthur Fellows Program

Ruth Behar

Cultural Anthropologist | Class of 1988

Title
Cultural Anthropologist
Location
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Age
32 at time of award
Area of Focus
Cultural Anthropology

Ruth Behar is a cultural anthropologist whose work focuses on folk religion, women’s lives, and personal narration in historical and contemporary Cuba, Mexico, and Spain.

Her first book, The Presence of the Past in a Spanish Village: Santa Maria del Monte (1986; expanded paperback edition, 1991), uses a variety of past and present narratives to tell a multilayered story of how one village negotiated its relation to the past in the wake of social transformations that removed people from the land during the late-Franco years.  She is the author of A Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story (1993), which combines a life history account with reflections on autobiographical truth.  In The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart (1996), Behar explores themes of memory, identity, and emigration.  Behar is also the editor of Bridges to Cuba/Puentes a Cuba (1995) and co-editor of Women Writing Culture (1995).

She is a professor in the Department of Anthropology, and is also affiliated with programs in Women’s Studies, Latin American Studies, and Latino Studies at the University of Michigan. 

Behar received a B.A. (1977) from Wesleyan University, and an M.A. (1980) and Ph.D. (1983) from Princeton University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

News About this Fellow
May 15, 2017
"Ruth Behar on Being Broken and Finding Strength"
Brightly
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
April 23, 2017
"Scholars Talk Writing: Ruth Behar"
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
February 4, 2017
"Lucky Broken Girl"
Kirkus
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
March 30, 2016
"Lifting the Emotional Embargo With Cuba"
Sapiens
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
September 1, 2015
"We are #MacFellow Ruth Behar and Dafnis Prieto, AUA!"
reddit AMA
Dafnis Prieto, 2011 MacArthur Fellow
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
June 24, 2015
"Richard Blanco: End Cuba's 'Emotional Embargo'"
Miami New Times
Edwidge Danticat, 2009 MacArthur Fellow
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
June 9, 2015
"Inaugural Poet Launches Cuba Writing Project"
Associated Press
Edwidge Danticat, 2009 MacArthur Fellow
Sandra Cisneros , 1995 MacArthur Fellow
Ruth Behar , 1988 MacArthur Fellow
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