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Faculty Feature: Dinah Hannaford

Dr. Dinah Hannaford is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Studies affiliated with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. Dr. Hannaford is a cultural anthropologist by training, and her journey with Women’s and Gender Studies started when she was doing ethnographic work on research for her dissertation in Italy and France. When talking […]

Dr. Dinah Hannaford is an Associate Professor in the Department of International Studies affiliated with the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Dr. Hannaford is a cultural anthropologist by training, and her journey with Women’s and Gender Studies started when she was doing ethnographic work on research for her dissertation in Italy and France. When talking to the people and learning more about them she stumbled into the topic of transnational marriages. From there she wrote her first book: Marriage Without Borders: Transnational Spouses in Neoliberal Senegal (Penn Press, 2017). Since that was what people wanted to talk to her about, it ended up putting her in a conversation with gender studies in a very natural and organic way.

Dr. Hannaford’s research focuses broadly on how gender shapes the way that we experience the world. Her work points out the importance of recognizing that every worldview or opportunity we have is shaped by gender. Dr. Hannaford’s favorite part of the kind of research that she does is getting to ask personal questions because “from what seems to only be intimate conversations you can actually draw really important understandings about economics, politics, how our world is organized and that has a very feminist approach.”

One of Dr. Hannaford’s personal inspirations is bell hooks. “Every time I read something she wrote I need to sit with it for a while, is just so profound,” said Dr. Hannaford.

Dr. Hannaford finds it really inspiring when authors (like Angela Davis or Gloria Steinem) can bring together how power functions and their relation to gender, race, and class.

Dr. Hannaford’s book/article recommendation for students:

Dr. Hannaford TAMU page