Development: A Brief Adventure

In the mid-1960s I began fieldwork in rural Panama with an interest in economy and development. I knew little about either one, especially development, and what I did know had little relevance to what I encountered. In Panama I unexpectedly lived in a seedbed of development efforts that blossomed in the latter part of the century although in other locales. I present the story of my adventures in development that took me from one Cambridge to the other, to Washington and to the field, as I learned about unpredictable encounters and consequences of actions, and their connections to centers of power. I still do not know what development “really” means but will close with a few thoughts about my aspirations for all economies.

Professor Stephen Gudeman will be visiting the Social Science Division in Michaelmas Term 2018 as an Astor Visitng Lecturer.

About Professor Gudeman

Steve Gudeman is Emeritus Professor at the University of Minnesota and Associate Member of the Max Planck Institute. Trained at Harvard, Cambridge, and the Harvard Business School, he has carried out fieldwork in Panama, Colombia, Guatemala, and Cuba, and has supervised a research project in six former socialist nations of Eastern Europe.

The author or editor of 12 books and numerous articles, he frequently focuses on economy as well as social life and related topics. A visiting professor at several universities, he has been a member of different institutes in the US and Europe.

Students will be particularly interested in reading: Anthropology and Economy (2016, Cambridge University Press); Economy’s Tension. The Dialectics of Community and Market (2008, Berghahn); and an earlier book co-written with Alberto Rivera, Conversations in Colombia: The Domestic Economy in Life and Text (1990, Cambridge University Press).

He will be delivering another seminar at the Oxford Department of International Development. Find out more here.

12 Oct
  • Professor Stephen Gudeman (University of Minnesota)
External Special Events
Lecture Room, 64 Banbury Road, Oxford OX2 6PN