Billie Jean Isbell
Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1973
Office: Uris 190
Research Interests: Andean region of South America, ethnography and fiction, the Slow Food Movement, innovative technologies for teaching; and issues of global development.
I served as the director of the Andean program for Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development from 1990 until 2002.
I also served as director of the Latin American Program at Cornell from 1987 to 1993 and again in 2001-2002.
I have been a Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center and a Chercheur AssocÃ de Ã‰ole des Hautes Ã‰udes, Paris. I have received awards and grants, fellowships and grants from: Woodrow Wilson, Fulbright, Mac Arthur, NEH, and A Ford Training Grant for Interdisciplinary Training of Graduate Students. The most recent grants include an Institute for the Social Sciences grant (2006) and two Faculty Innovation in Teaching grants from the office of the Provost (2005, 2007) and a grant from Olin library to create digital web site (2005) resulting in the following websites:
- A Virtual Tour through Time and Space: Lessons from Vicos, Peru
- A grant from Olin Digital Collection to create a site for Isbell's work
I am currently serving on the Inter-American Grassroots Development Fellowship selection committee.
Most recently, I have taught courses on:
- Cornell Law School: Truth and Reconciliation in Democratizing Societies
- Dept. of Anthropology Courses: Sex and Gender, Social Movements in Latin America and a Writing Seminar on Human Rights.
- Cuisine, Production, and Biodiversity in Peru: offered over the last 6 weeks of Fall semester and a Winter Intersession field trip to Peru followed by 6 week course in spring.
- Art in the Modern World Summer 6 week session.
My current book project is: Gender Journey to the Land of Neither Nor
- Finding Cholita, an anthropological novel, University of Illinois Press
- “Cornell Returns to Vicos, 2005” in Vicos and Beyond: A Half Century of Applying Anthropology in Peru. Landman, Md., Alta Mira Press, pp 283-307.
- "Lessons from Vicos" in Anthropology in Action. Vol. 16. No. 3, pp. 41-54.
- “Written on My Body,” in Violence: Anthropological Encounters. Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi, editor. London, Berg Press, pp. 15-34.
- Para Defendernos (Spanish Translation of To Defend Ourselves: Ritual and Ecology in an Andean Village, 1985 Waveland Press, originally published in 1978 by Texas Press;) Cusco, Peru (with a new introduction and two new chapters)
- "Protest Arts from Ayacucho, Peru: Song and Visual Artworks as Validation of Experience" In Quechua Expresivo: La InscripciÃ³n Voces Andinas pp 237-262; edited by G. Delgado and J.M. Schechter; Bonn, Germany: Bonn Americanist Studies.
(The art and recorded song texts are available on isbellandes.library.cornell.edu)
- "You Can Make a Difference: Human Rights as the Subject Matter for a First-Year Writing Seminar." in Local Knowledges, Local Practices: Writing in the Disciplines at Cornell, pp. 90-98. Edited by Jonathan Monroe, Pittsburgh, University of Pittsburgh Press.
- "Public Secrets from Peru". A drama currently on isbellandes.library.cornell.edu