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Nov. 17: Michelle Johnson to Present Class of 1956 Award Lecture on ‘Engaging an Ancestor’

Professor Michelle Johnson, anthropology, is the recipient of the Class of 1956 Lectureship for Inspirational Teaching. In conjunction with that award, she’ll present a virtual lecture entitled “Engaging an Ancestor: Turnerian Ethnographic Performance as Pedagogical Resistance” on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. via Zoom.

Johnson joined the Bucknell anthropology faculty in 2002. In addition to teaching Johnson’s research areas include the anthropology of religion, Islam, life course rituals, Lusophone Africa, Africans in Europe and transnationalism. She is author of the recent book Remaking Islam in African Portugal: Lisbon – Mecca – Bissau (2020, Bloomington: Indiana University Press), as well as numerous chapters and articles on her research.

In her talk, Johnson will share her experiences with Turnerian ethnographic performance – in the form of classroom ritual reenactments – first as a student and then as a professor. She argues that ethnographic performances engage the body and senses, destabilize the centrality of the text, and disrupt normative structures of knowledge and power in and beyond the classroom. As such, they are creative forms of pedagogical resistance.

Anyone interested may view her lecture via this Zoom link.

The Class of 1956 Lectureship was established in recognition of inspirational teaching. The lecture is given annually by a Bucknell faculty member chosen by the recipients of the award from the prior year.

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