- (812) 855-0617
- IU Bloomington
Student Building 216
Beth Buggenhagen writes about visual culture, value, gender, and Islam in contemporary West Africa. Her scholarly work emerges from her long-term ethnographic research in Senegal since the early 1990s. She has traced the global trade networks of Senegalese Muslims by focusing on the transmission of enduring social value through gifts of cloth in family ceremonies and religious offerings to Muslim clergy. She is the author of Muslim Families in Global Senegal, published by Indiana University Press (2012), an open access edited volume with Anne Maria Makhulu and Stephen Jackson, Hard Work, Hard Times. Global Volatility and African Subjectivities, published by the University of California Press (2010), and numerous journal articles. Her work was awarded a research grant from the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research and a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend.
Combining research on photography’s past in Senegal and contemporary lens based artists who are pushing the parameters of portraiture in exciting new directions, Beth Buggenhagen is currently working on a book, Photography Beyond the Frame: Family Portraiture in Muslim Senegal. Based on museum, ethnographic, and archival research, Portraiture Beyond the Frame engages the practices, discourses, and concerns of contemporary visual artists based in Senegal addressing themes of separation, visibility, rupture, and repatriation through portraiture. The book pursues an expansive frame for photography moving from the visual to the visceral showing how women and men fashion idealized images to mend fraught and fragmented lives. What are the cultural politics of posing for and displaying portraits, keeping albums, viewing magazines, and creating contemporary visual art? Lens based artists are like family archivists—knitting family stories with the pairings and sequences in albums, fictions and omissions.