What’s happening with Prof. Elizabeth Eames

Elizabeth Eames


Since our last newsletter, I have added to the department’s curriculum a short term unit called Global Maine: Documentary Production in Community.  In an intense five weeks, students explore the ethics of ethnographic filming while acquiring both videography and editing skills.   In addition, since the last newsletter, Mellen published The Politics of Wealth in Southwestern Nigeria: Why Ondo’s Women Went to War, based upon my long term fieldwork.


During fall semesters of late I have found myself teaching, simultaneously, a first year seminar (Disney Demystified) and the long-running required senior seminar in Economic Anthropology now called Production & Reproduction.  As a by-product of this odd circumstance, though, every fall I am reminded why I love my job—by teaching entering and graduating students at the same time, I get to re-experience the miraculous metamorphosis continuously wrought by this college.  That shot in the arm then keeps me going through the cold months, when I have lately been rotating two out of these three courses:  African Perspectives on Justice, Human Rights, & Renewal, or, Gender & Culture, or, another one of my mainstays, Cinematic Portraits of Africa.


As to my ever-evolving Community Engaged Learning projects, we most recently focused on a new Somali Bantu farming cooperative’s efforts to create a farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Lewiston.  This effort is ongoing, but new projects come along at a regular clip.


Some of you may recall my son as a toddler hanging around the department with his [solo] mom?  After graduating first from Lewiston High, then from Yale, he is now happily employed full-time as an assistant editor at The New Yorker (which means I get to hear the inside story on every issue)!


The department will soon be in the capable hands of our newest hires, Kristen Barnett and Jacqueline Lyon—about whom you can read more here.  I have approximately three more years of active teaching before my retirement at the end of the 2020 calendar year, after which I anticipate many years of my own “community engaged learning” here in town.