Sharp, Lesley A.
Sharp, Lesley A.
(Lesley Alexandra Sharp)
PERSONAL: Education: University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D., 1990.
CAREER: Worked as a researcher, in Madagascar, 1988-95; Barnard College, New York, NY, professor of anthropology and chair of department; Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY, associate professor of sociomedical sciences and anthropology.
The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.
The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2002.
Strange Harvest: Organ Transplants, Denatured Bodies, and the Transformed Self, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2006.
Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer, Columbia University Press (New York, NY), 2007.
SIDELIGHTS: Lesley A. Sharp trained as a medical anthropologist and works as both an educator and a researcher. She spent an extensive period of time in Madagascar, where she studied a multicultural plantation community where the possession of spirits is considered an indication of the right to rule. She presented the results of her research in The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town. In a review for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, Karen Middleton remarked of Sharp’s effort: “The data are fascinating, and the analysis is good. This is a very interesting book.” Sharp followed up with a second volume on the same region, The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar, which she wrote after a second visit to Madagascar in the mid- 1990s. In this book, Sharp looked at the educational system in the area, and the effects of the policies instituted by Didier Ratsiraka, then-president of Madagascar. Michael Lambek, also writing for the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, commented: “This is a notable attempt to address the colonial legacy through the historical consciousness and political agency of those who have inherited it, but in the end this pioneering book is most welcome as an account of earnest, hard-working, capable young people struggling to acquire a decent education.”
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES
American Anthropologist, September, 1995, Linda L. Giles, review of The Possessed and the Dispossessed: Spirits, Identity, and Power in a Madagascar Migrant Town, p. 577.
American Ethnologist, May, 1995, Erika Bourguignon, review of The Possessed and the Dispossessed, p. 425.
Booklist, September 15, 2006, Donna Chavez, review of Bodies, Commodities, and Biotechnologies: Death, Mourning, and Scientific Desire in the Realm of Human Organ Transfer, p. 11.
Choice, April, 2003, W. Arens, review of The Sacrificed Generation: Youth, History, and the Colonized Mind in Madagascar, p. 1407; May, 1994, W. Arens, review of The Possessed and the Dispossessed, p. 1475.
Chronicle of Higher Education, December 1, 2000, Peter Monaghan, “Book Aims to Give a Voice to Relatives of Organ Donors.”
International Journal of African Historical Studies, winter, 2003, Janice Harper, review of The Sacrificed Generation, pp. 208-210.
Journal of African History, January, 2004, Gerald M. Berg, “Youth, History, and Social Criticism,” review of The Sacrificed Generation, p. 170.
Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, June, 1995, Karen Middleton, review of The Possessed and the Dispossessed, p. 452; December, 2003, Michael Lambek, “Anthropology and History,” review of The Sacrificed Generation, p. 801.
Social Science & Medicine, August, 1998, Malcolm P. Cutchin, review of The Possessed and the Dispossessed, p. 549.
Barnard College Anthropology Department Web site, http://www.barnard.edu/anthro/index.html/ (February 12, 2007), faculty biography.
Columbia University Faculty Page, http://www.barnard.columbia.edu/ (January 31, 2007), faculty biography.*
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