Visiting CEW Scholar Erin Kenny

Erin Kenny (left) and ‘Empowered Girls’-founder Kellen Msseemmaa (right), Tanzania, 2010

The field of development studies is paying increasing attention to the importance of women’s education in improving quality of life for communities in the global South. And the research of CEW’s next Jean Campbell Visiting Scholar will make an impor¬tant contribution to this field. This fall, Erin Kenny, Ph.D., joins CEW for four months. Professor Kenny just returned from Mzumbe University in Tanzania where she was a Fulbright Scholar during the 2011-12 academic year. Her ethnographic research focused on the experiences of women students who come from rural areas to attend university and how they strategize to achieve educational success. During her stay, Kenny will be writing up her research findings. Based on participant observation, interviews, and detailed examinations of life narratives, she will create case-study vignettes suitable for teaching university-level courses in cultural anthropology, African studies, education studies and/or gender studies.


Kenny comes to CEW from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. She is an associate professor of anthropology and co-directs the Women and Gender Studies Program there. Her research focuses on the intersections of gender identity, migration, religion and culture in Africa.

Kenny will present the findings from her research on December 12, 2012, in the Henderson Room of the Michigan League, at 12:00 pm.

For questions about Erin Kenny’s visit or about the Visiting Scholar program, please contact Beth Sullivan at bsulliva@umich.edu.

CEW’s Visiting Scholar program brings faculty from across the United States and abroad to conduct research at the University of Michigan. Scholars must hold a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in their field and are responsible for producing a written summary of their work and presenting it at a public seminar.