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Catherine L. BESTEMAN

Dept. of Anthropology | Colby College
Symposium Co-Organizer

I have taught Anthropology and African Studies at Colby since 1994. My teaching and research interests focus on analyzing power dynamics that produce and maintain inequality, racism and violence, as well as activist and community efforts for social change. I have studied these issues in southern Somalia, South Africa, and the U.S. My work has been supported by grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, American Council of Learned Societies, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the School of Advanced Research, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


My artifact is Donald Trump's Executive Order reinstating the 'Secure Communities', first introduced and then abandoned by President Obama. The EO endows local police forces with immigration and deportation responsibilities. It obligates compliance by threatening to rescind federal funding for cities that resist or proclaim themselves as Sanctuary Cities.