How can the study of religion correct errors, raise new questions, and elevate the public discourse?
Carolyn Rouse, Professor of Anthropology, engages in conversation with Ph.D. Candidate Fatima Siwaju.
Carolyn Rouse is a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University. Her work explores the use of evidence to make particular claims about race and social inequality. She is the author of Engaged Surrender: African American Women and Islam, Uncertain Suffering: Racial Healthcare Disparities and Sickle Cell Disease and Televised Redemption: Black Religious Media and Racial Empowerment. Her manuscript Development Hubris: Adventures Trying to Save the World examines discourses of charity and development and is tied to her own project building a high school in a fishing village in Ghana. In the summer of 2016 she began studying declining white life expectancies in rural California as a follow-up to her research on racial health disparities. In addition to being an anthropologist, Rouse is also a filmmaker. She has produced, directed, and/or edited a number of documentaries including Chicks in White Satin (1994), Purification to Prozac: Treating Mental Illness in Bali (1998), and Listening as a Radical Act: World Anthropologies and the Decentering of Western Thought (2015). As an extension of her commitment and training in visual anthropology, in the summer of 2016 she created the Ethnographic Data Visualization Lab (VizE Lab) to work with students and colleagues on ways to visualize complex ethnographic data. One project she is currently working on through the lab brings together 60 years of biological data with 60 years of social scientific data to study epigenetic effects on physical development.
Fatima Siwaju is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Princeton University. Her research engages with the intersections of religious, racial and (trans)national identity, particularly as they relate to Afro-descendant Muslim communities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Siwaju has previously conducted ethnographic research in Trinidad, and she is currently undertaking her dissertation fieldwork in the Pacific region of Colombia. Her theoretical interests include the anthropology of religion and Islam, African diaspora studies, postcolonial theory and Afro-American intellectual traditions. Siwaju holds a B.A. (Hons) in French and Spanish from the University of Cambridge, and an M.A. in Religion from Syracuse University.