“Maintaining hope for a better future”: An interview with Dr. Crystal Felima

Crystal Felima, Abigail DeeWaard, Clara Barbier, Erica Cano-Garcia, Gonzalo Jeronimo, Nari Coleman, Nataliya Hryshko, Mark Schuller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While anthropologists have played roles speaking out for marginalized groups, formalized to combat Antisemitism, racism, and xenophobia, they have also aided in the marginalization and oppression of communities, justified colonialism, and put the communities they have studied at risk. In recent decades, anthropologists have rethought the way research is conducted, presented, and justified to reduce harm to communities. Despite these shifts, anthropological training has been slow to include activist work by women of color and other marginalized people, leaving anthropologists-in-training with limited concrete guidance on how to apply their anthropological lens to social justice. Addressing this gap, this article centering a Black feminist analysis offers an interview conducted between anthropology students and a professor of anthropology, giving insights into how anthropological thought can be applied to activism and advocacy. Centering Black feminism is not only important to redress historical marginalization within the discipline. By centering the lives of marginalized people within an intersectional lens, Black feminist analysis provides a mandate to rethink theoretical models, such as political ecology, the dominant frame anthropologists have used to address disasters and climate change. Also importantly, centering Black women's bodies and embodied experience uncovers the urgent necessity for self-care during fieldwork. Prof. Felima embodies both these challenges, and offers candid advice to students, inspiring a two-way dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-115
Number of pages13
JournalAnnals of Anthropological Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the American Anthropological Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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