Walley, Christine J. 1965–

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Walley, Christine J. 1965–


Born 1965. Education: Pomona College, B.A., 1987; Swahili and Foreign Language Institute, certificate for advanced learning, 1992; New York University, M.A., 1993, Ph.D., 1999.


Office—Anthropology Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 77 Massachusetts Ave., Rm. 16-267, Cambridge, MA 02139-4307. E-mail—[email protected]


Writer, educator. New York University, New York, NY, instructor in anthropology, 1993-97; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, assistant professor, 1999-2003, associate professor of anthropology, 2003—.


American Anthropological Association, African Studies Association, Association for Feminist Anthropology.


Social Science Research Council grant, 1992; Elaine Brody fellowship in the humanities, New York University, 1994; Research Institute for the Study of Man grant, 1995; Dean's Dissertation fellowship, New York University 1996; Sylvia Forman Prize, Association for Feminist Anthropology, 1997; Dean's Outstanding Dissertation Award in the Social Sciences, New York University, 2000; Provost Fund Award, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001; Old Dominion fellowship, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2001; Marion & Jasper Whiting Foundation fellowship, 2004.


Rough Waters: Nature and Development in an East African Marine Park, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 2004.


Christine J. Walley, an associate professor of anthropology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, previously taught at New York University. She is the recipient of grants from the Social Science Research Council and the Research Institute for the Study of Man, fellowships from New York University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Jasper Whiting Foundation. In 1997, she won the Sylvia Forman Prize of the Association for Feminist Anthropology. Walley writes widely about environmental conflict, globalization theory, and gender issues. Her 2004 work Rough Waters: Nature and Development in an East African Marine Park is based on nineteen months of field research she performed in Tanzania from 1994 to 1997. Rough Waters concerns the Mafia Island Marine Park, a national park off the coast of Tanzania that became a source of controversy during its creation. Prized for its spectacular coral reefs, the park is also an important marine habitat containing breeding and nesting grounds for threatened species such as the dugong.

"As a new type of international project," Walley writes in her introduction to the book, "the Mafia Island Marine Park was consciously created to counter critiques leveled against an older generation of projects…. The marine park was intended to address charges that national parks, which generally have been based upon exclusionary preservationist models, disregard the economic welfare of poor citizens and are authoritarian in their orientation. Parallelling common trends among development institutions, the design of the marine park sought to encourage ‘sustainable development’ through ecotourism and to incorporate the participation of affected communities."

In the work, Walley notes that area residents—who were invited to participate in the management plan—initially supported the park, particularly because of the hope that officials would halt destructive fishing methods, including dynamite fishing, and coral mining. Those same residents, however, soon found themselves excluded from the decision-making process, "which Walley partly attributes to the legacy of colonialism: a centralized and highly bureaucratic state," observed Africa contributor Marja Spierenburg. As Walley charts the difficulties that arose, she argues against technocratic approaches to community-park relations that work to the detriment of project stakeholders. The reviewer for Library Bookwatch found that "Rough Waters examines important struggles over access to and use of natural resources." Spierenburg recommended Rough Waters "to anyone interested in community-based natural resource management, scholars and practitioners alike, as well as to anyone interested in the Swahili coast." Writing in Africa Today, Roderick P. Neumann cited the scholarly trend towards analysis of community conservation initiatives in the Third World. He believed that "Walley's Rough Waters stands out in this important and growing body of work for its empathetic vision, ethnographical and historical depth, and critical insights on globalization and development. In combining a theoretically informed analysis with an engaging narrative style, Walley has established a standard against which future studies of community conservation can be measured."



Africa, summer, 2007, Marja Spierenburg, review of Rough Waters: Nature and Development in an East African Marine Park, p. 464.

Africa Today, summer, 2006, Roderick P. Neumann, review of Rough Waters, p. 149.

Choice, January, 2005, F.Y. Owusu, review of Rough Waters, p. 908.

Current Anthropology, February, 2006, Michael Sheridan, "Islands of Political Ecology in Africa," review of Rough Waters, p. 202.

International Journal of African Historical Studies, winter, 2005, Heather J. Hoag, review of Rough Waters, p. 140.

Library Bookwatch, October, 2004, review of Rough Waters.


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Web site,http://mit.edu/ (May 10, 2008), biography of Christine J. Walley.

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Walley, Christine J. 1965–

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