News » Archives » March 2013

Alumni Reflections: Questioning Assumptions and Finding Relevance

Author: Ryan Lash ’10

I remember reading the description for the anthropology major at Notre Dame kind of like you remember meeting a good friend for the first time.

It was the summer before my freshman year, and in retrospect, I cannot recall the moment without a musical cue in the background heralding the significance of the moment. I can claim little credit for the great experiences I have had since, for it has without doubt been the support and encouragement of faculty members of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology that has made it possible.

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Recent Books From Our Faculty

Author: Department of Anthropology

I Did It to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone

I Did It to Save My Life: Love and Survival in Sierra Leone



Catherine E. Bolten

Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Peace Studies


I Did it To Save My Life provides fresh insight into how ordinary Sierra Leoneans survived the war that devastated their country for a decade. Individuals in the town of Makeni narrate survival, illuminating a social world based on love that transcends romance and binds people together across space and through time. In situating their wartime lives firmly in this world, they call into question the government’s narrative that Makeni residents collaborated with rebel forces. Instead, they argue that it was the government’s disloyalty to its people, rather than rebel invasion and occupation, which destroyed the town and forced uneasy co-existence between civilians and militants.…

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