Senate Faculty

Carolyn Martin Shaw
  • Title
    • Professor Emerita
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Anthropology Department
  • Affiliations Humanities Division
  • Phone
  • Email
  • Office Location
    • Social Sciences 1
  • Mail Stop Social Sciences 1 Faculty Services

Summary of Expertise

Carolyn Martin Shaw has traveled widely in Africa and has done research in Kenya and Zimbabwe. Her latest work explores the intersection of race, class, gender, and sexuality in the construction of colonial cultures in Kenya and focuses on ethnographies, histories, and novels written during and representing the period between the two world wars. Her early research on kinship and social change in Kenya developed into a feminist analysis of gender, ideology, and political economy. The social and cultural construction of sexuality and sexual minorities is also one of her research areas. After completing works started during her Fulbright Fellowship in Zimbabwe, Martin Shaw plans to focus on an African community in the southeastern United States.

Research Interests

Teaching Specialties: African ethnography and African women, social theory, and sexuality.
Area of Research: Political economy, women and gender, colonial discourse.
Area of Fieldwork: Kenya and Zimbabwe.

Biography, Education and Training

B.S., Ph.D., Michigan State University

Selected Publications

  • Colonial Inscriptions: Race, Sex and Class in Kenya. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.
  • "Louis Leakey as Ethnographer: On the Southern Kikuyu Before 1903." Canadian Journal of African Studies, 23(3):25-42, 1989.
  • "Land and Food, Women and Power: A Re-Analysis of the Contribution of Domestic Activities to the Political Economy of the Nineteenth Century Kikuyu," Africa, 80(4):357-69, 1980.