Irma McClaurin
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Anthropologist, Poet, Journal Editor


Work Information

Hot List

Contact Information

Current Projects

Biographical Information

Professional Awards, Fellowships, and Honors

Selected Articles and Reviews of Author's Work

Work Information

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida

Member of Graduate Faculty, Affiliate of the Center for Latin American Studies, the African Studies Program, and the Center for Research on Women and Gender Studies

Key responsibilities

Graduate and Undergraduate Teaching, Coordination of the African Diaspora Interest Group, Coordination of the Zora Neale Hurston Diaspora Studies Research Project, Director of the Zora Neale Hurston Ethnographic Field School, Editor of Transforming Anthropology (peer-reviewed journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists)

Research Interests

Research Interests:  African Diaspora, Anthropological Theory and Method, Feminist Theory and Gender Analysis, Domestic Violence, Migration, Narrative and Life Histories, "Native" Anthropology, Social Inequality (Race/Class/Gender), Tourism and Natural Resource Management, Women and Development

Areal Focus

The African Diaspora, especially, Belize, Suriname, and the United States

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Hot List

Transforming Anthropology (Journal of the Association of Black Anthropologists)

Association for Feminist Anthropology

Department  of Anthropology

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Contact Information

1112 Turlington Hall, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-7305

(352) 392-2253 x 211; 392-6929 (fax)

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Current Projects

Zora Neale Hurston and Anthropology.  An intellectual biography of Zora as an anthropologist

Deadly Love: Research on the meaning and impact of domestic violence cross-culturally

Black Feminist Anthropology: Theory, Praxis, Politics and Poetics. Editor.   Through narrative and ethnographic description, contemporary black women anthropologists discuss how their identity has resulted in a unique kind of politicized/activist anthropology  (Rutgers University Press, forthcoming)

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Biographical Information

Irma McClaurin was born in Chicago, Illinois.  She received her BA in American Studies from Grinnell College in 1973, her MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst in 1976, and was awarded the Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1993. She is the author of  Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America (2000 [1996]: Rutgers University Press) and three books of poetry: Pearl's Song (2000 [1988]: Lotus Press), now available from McClaurin Creative Resources at; Song in the Night (1974: Pearl Press); and Black Chicago (1971: Amuru Rannick Press).   Her poetry has appeared in over 16 anthologies and journals including Glencoe Literature Library: African American Literature (forthcoming), Essence Magazine, Black Sister, Double Stitch, and Obsidian, and has been translated into Spanish and Swedish.  She was the 1975 Recipient of the Gwendolyn Brooks Award in Poetry from Black World Magazine.

Professional Awards, Fellowships, and Honors

2000-2001   On Sabbatical Leave, AAAS Fellowship in Diplomacy, Washington, D.C.

2000            Donald C. Gallup Fellowship in American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript
                    Library, Yale University.

1991-1993  Consortium for a Stronger Minority Presence Dissertation Fellowship, Grinnell College.

1988           Awarded the William R. Jones Most Valuable Mentor Award, McKnight Fellowship  Program

1988-91      National Science Foundation Minority Predoctoral Fellowship

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Selected Articles/Chapters

1999  (with Heather McIlvaine-Newsad) Gender and the Environment in the New Millennium. Anthropology News 40 (7).

1999    Salvaging Lives in the African Diaspora: Anthropology, Ethnography & Women's Narratives. Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society. Volume 1 (3), Summer. Institute for Research in African American Studies at Columbia University and Westview Press.

1994  A Writer's Life, A Country's Transition. Americas. Organization of American States. July-August.

1990  Incongruities: Dissonance and Contradiction in the Life of a Black Middle-Class Woman.  IN Uncertain Terms: Negotiating Gender in American Culture, Eds. Faye Ginsburg and Anna Tsing (Beacon).

Reviews of Author's Work

1998    Henderson, Peta. Review of Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America. NWIG (New West Indian Guide/Nieuwe West-Indische Gids), vol. 72 (1&2)

1998  Babcock, E.C., "Review of Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America.Royal Anthropological Institute. Volume 4 (2).

1997  Michael Stone, "Review of Irma McClaurin, Women of Belize: Gender and Change in Central America." H-LatAM, H-Net Reviews, January, 1997. URL: http//

Invited Lectures

2000    Through One's Own Life Lens: Living Diversity on a Daily Basis. James Madison University. Inaugural Speaker. Harrisonburg,VA.

1999    A Sense of Place: Longing and Belonging -- from the streets of Chicago to the Islands of the Caribbean (poetry reading/lecture). Wick Poetry Series. Kent State University. Kent.

1999   Visibility and Gender: Salvaging Women's Narratives in the African Diaspora. Spelman College, Atlanta.

1999   Curious Conjunctions: Anthropology, Autoethnography, and Black Feminism. Emory University, Atlanta.

Professional Affiliations

Editor, Transforming Anthropology

General Editor, Association of Black Anthropologists

Executive Board, Association for Feminist Anthropology

Editorial Board, Journal of Social Sciences (Tijdschrift voor Maatschappijwetenschappen) University of Suriname.

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