Barbara G Hoffman (Dr. Hoffman), PhD
 Title: Professor
Director, Visual and Linguistic Anthropology Center, RT 930
 Dept: Criminology Anthropology & Sociology
 Office: RT 927
 Phone: 216-687-3549
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. RT 927, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught

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Research Keywords:
Cultural, linguistic and visual anthropology, expressive culture, culture change, globalization, gender, linguistics, Africa/African diaspora (Mande, Maasai), West Africa, East Africa, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast/Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Kenya, Eritrea, race, human evolution, diversity, conflict resolution
Ph.D., Indiana University, 1990
Brief Bio:
As an undergraduate French major, I went to France during my junior year for a semester abroad. Among the first people I met were young Africans studying at the University of Paris. My interest in African languages and lifeways began at that time; the following year I spent part of the summer in Côte d'Ivoire studying an endangered language, Tagbana, and have been returning to Africa almost yearly every since.

My doctoral research at Indiana University focused on how language communicates social status among Mande groups in West Africa where society is organized in castes as well as patrilineages, clans, and matrifocal family groups. My book, Griots at War: Conflict, Conciliation, and Caste in Mande (Indiana University Press, 2000) discusses the intricacies of the Mande caste system where the language of griots -- their speech -- differentiates them from members of the noble or freeborn caste.

I've developed an interest in visual anthropology as well, and during a Fulbright year in Kenya ('97-'98) began acquiring footage for a series of ethnographic films on gender and culture change among the Maasai. The first two films in the series,Womanhood and Circumcision: Three Maasai Women Have Their Say, and Making Maasai Men: Growing Courage Toward Circumcision are being distributed by Berkeley Media. Two more films are in post-production in the Department of Anthropology's Visual Anthropology Center. Students who enroll in my course on visual anthropology (ANT 323) have worked on these films with me, and receive credits in the film as well as in the class.

My current research focuses on the processes and cultural repercussions of globalization in West African cities: specifically, I'm interested in the influences of international media, the internet, broader participation in formal education, and foreign travel are changing urbanite patterns of settlement and habitat as well as kinship and marriage.
Research Interests:
Cultural, linguistic and visual anthropology, expressive culture, culture change, globalization, gender; Africa/African diaspora (Mande, Maasai)