Geographical areas of specialization: Africa; North America; Senegal

Research Interests: circulation and value; material and visual culture; photography; gender and Islam

Beth Buggenhagen writes about visual culture, value, gender, and Islam in contemporary West Africa. Her scholarly work emerges from her long-term ethnographic research in Senegal since the early 1990s. She has traced the global trade networks of Senegalese Muslims by focusing on the transmission of enduring social value through gifts of cloth in family ceremonies and religious offerings to Muslim clergy.

Combining research on photography’s past in Senegal and contemporary lens based artists who are pushing the parameters of portraiture in exciting new directions, Beth Buggenhagen is currently working on a book, Photography Beyond the Frame: Family Portraiture in Muslim Senegal.

Areas: The politics of social production and value; material culture; visuality; gender; Islam; globalization; focus on Senegal and Senegalese migrants in New York City and Chicago.

Middle Eastern Studies
PhD, University of Chicago, Sociocultural Anthropology, 2003
MA, University of Chicago, Social Sciences, 1995
BA, University of Michigan, Afroamerican and African Studies and Political Science, 1993