UMass Boston

Barbara Worley

Senior Lecturer III
McCormack Hall Floor 04

Areas of Expertise

Cultural Anthropology: Social performance, contested identities, pastoral nomads, gender, linguistics. Geographical Area: Africa, Islamic Societies.


PhD Columbia

Additional Information

Barbara received her PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University, with geographic specializations in Africa and the Middle East, and topical specializations in gender and cultural ecology. Her undergraduate degree was in Ancient Greek language and literature. Trained in all four fields of anthropology she teaches courses on cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics. Barbara has also taught introductory sociology, social theory, symbolic anthropology, gender, ritual and religion, popular culture in the media, and the contemporary family. She also teaches survey courses on peoples and cultures of the Middle East and Africa.

Barbara’s three expeditions to the central Sahara, covering four years of field work in Africa, along with her writing and research, have been funded by Fulbright-Hays, the Social Science Research Council, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies. Her doctoral research on matrilineal ideology, ritual and gift exchange has been among the Muslim, Berber-speaking Kel Fadey Twareg pastoral nomads of the Sahara.

She has several published articles, along with numerous online articles, and is currently revising two book-length manuscripts, one on Twareg matrilineal practices and another on the Amazons of North Africa.