Professor in View: Leigh Campoamor, Anthropology

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By KATE HAWTHORNE
Photo from Muhlenberg College Website 

This year the Anthropology Department welcomes a new visiting professor – Professor Leigh Campoamor, who received her PhD in cultural anthropology from Duke University in 2012.

After receiving her degree, Campoamor began a two-year postdoctoral teaching fellowship at Duke in the International Comparative Studies Program. She has taught at Duke, Lafayette, and Muhlenberg colleges in the field of cultural anthropology.

Campoamor’s research centers around childhood and youth, urban Latin America, transnational development and global inequality. Her book delves into the struggles of children who work on the streets of Lima, Peru. These children face the hardships of poverty as well as the disapproval of the society in which they live.

The anthropology professor plans to travel to Peru over fall break to follow up with four young adults at the center of her research. She has been conducting a second project in Peru, Colombia and Spain regarding the corporatization of development and activism in Latin America.

Campoamor has had a long-standing love affair with Anthropology, an attraction which emerged from a trip she took to Peru on a Fulbright scholarship to research U.S.-funded aid projects in a post-war context.

“I love that anthropology is about making things messy and grappling with this messiness,” she explained. “Anthropology is about challenging the idea that there are ready-made explanations for the humans do, or ready-made solutions to all of the problems we’ve produced in our world.” Anthropology has also helped her consider her bicultural Latina identity.

        During her time in the Bi-Co, she has enjoyed sharing resources across colleges and how the relationship allows both students and professors to expand intellectual communities.

This fall, Campoamor is teaching three classes, and next semester she will be teaching ‘Introduction to Cultural Anthropology,’ ‘Global Latin America,’ and ‘Digital Cultures.’

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