Karen Tranberg Hansen, professor of anthropology, has been awarded a fellowship for 2005-06 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C. She is working on a book, "Youth Matters: Crafting Urban Space in Zambia."
The Wilson Center awards 20 to 25 residential fellowships annually to individuals with outstanding project proposals in the social sciences and humanities in a broad range of national or international issues. Topics relate to key public policy issues or provide the historical and cultural framework to illuminate them.
Hansen's project is an outgrowth of a long-term collaborative, interdisciplinary research project about youth and the city for which she has worked in Lusaka, Zambia. The project examines how "youth" is constructed in different cultures and which abilities and visions it encompasses. It compares how different social, cultural and economic factors are affecting young people's possibilities to acquire the kinds of skills that are required to become social adults.
Hansen specializes in socio-cultural, economic and urban anthropology, with interests in political economy, gender relations and colonialism and a geographic focus on southern Africa. She is the author of "Salaula: The World of Secondhand Clothing and Zambia," published by the University of Chicago Press in 2000.