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African immigration and transnational studies; West African historical anthropology; economic anthropology; anticolonial movements; intrahousehold processes; rural, urban and transborder trade; ecological history; Islam; African cinema. Areal focus: Burkina Faso, West Africa, Turkey.


Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois (Urbana); Curator, The Spurlock Museum                
2004 Associé de Recherche, Laboratoire d’Anthropologie Sociale, Collège de France and Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales.
2004 Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany.
1999 DAAD Visiting Professor, Institute für Ethnologie, Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany
1996-1997  Scholar in residence (Chargé de Recherche),   Laboratoire ERMES, Orléans, France
1991-1992  Visiting Associate Professor of Anthropology, Yale University
1982-1988  Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois (Urbana)
1988 and 1989 Acting Director, Center for African Studies

Affiliated with: The Center for African Studies, Center for South Asia and Middle Eastern Studies, Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program, Human Dimensions of Environmental Systems, Russian, East European and Eurasian Center, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies


2004 Distinguished Africanist Award, Association for Africanist Anthropology, section of American Anthropological Association.
2002 Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute (for West African Challenge to Empire, coauthored with Dr. Patrick Royer)
1982  Esther L. Kinsley Outstanding Dissertation Award


2010 The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; 2010 Erasmus Mundus Fellowship. Master TPTI Program (Techniques, Patrimoine, Territoires de l’industrie). Consortium of Université Paris 1, Sorbonne (France), Universidade de Evora (Portugal), Università di Padova (Italy); 2004 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship Award; 1992-1998 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Joint Research Grant  “The African Environment:  Experience and Control”; 1994  Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Fellowship; 1988-1990  National Science Foundation BNS 88-15676; 1988  William and Flora Hewlett International Research Grant; 1988  The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; 1983-1984  National Science Foundation BNS 83-05394; 1983-1984   The Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research #4392.


 2005 Associate, Center for Advanced Study; 1993 Fellow, Program for the Study of Cultural Values and Ethics; 1986 Fellow, Center for Advanced Study.