Carleton Connects: Bruce Whitehouse ’93 & Prof. Cherif Keita, French

16 February 2013

The largest territory in the world under Al Qaeda’s control is currently the northern half of Mali, West Africa. Yet as recently as last winter, Mali was considered a paragon of democratic governance in the region and the host of a regular Carleton study abroad program. Join Bruce Whitehouse ’93, anthropologist at Lehigh University, for a presentation entitled “Mali’s Trajectory from Donor Darling to Failed State,” and a discussion of what Mali’s crisis means for the rest of the world.  He will be joined for a Q&A session with Carleton Professor Cherif Keita, Department of French and Francophone Studies.

This program took place on Saturday, February 16, 2013

About the Speakers

Bruce Whitehouse is a cultural anthropologist with interests in migration, development, marriage, demography, Islam and sub-Saharan Africa. Since the early 1990s he has spent more than five years in Africa, working in or traveling to a dozen sub-Saharan countries. Most of his fieldwork concerns populations living in or emanating from the western Sahel region, particularly the country of Mali. This part of the world offers fascinating perspectives not only on the diversity of human societies but on global processes of economic and cultural transformation. In his research he has sought to illuminate some of the ways Africans carve out spaces for themselves in the contemporary globalized world.

Chérif Keita is Professor of French and Francophone Studies (Ph.D., University of Georgia). He teaches Francophone Literature of Africa and the Caribbean, as well as advanced languages courses. A native of Mali, he has published books and articles on both social and literary problems in contemporary Africa. His special interests include the novel and social evolution in Mali, Oral tradition, and the relationship between music, literature and culture in Africa. . “Cemetery Stories: A Rebel Missionary in South Africa”, his second documentary traces the relationship between John Dube and a Northfield missionary family who mentored him and educated him in the United States.  Professor Keïta also leads a Carleton Francophone off-campus studies program to Mali every other year.