Martha Kaplan

Martha Kaplan
Department of Anthropology
Vassar College

Welcome….   I am a cultural anthropologist specializing in the study of ritual and colonial and post-colonial societies. I have done research in Fiji, India, the United States and Singapore; my first book is about an anti-colonial political-religious movement in Fiji, my second is about the nation-state and decolonization in Fiji, and I have recently been writing about water and visions of the environmental good in post-colonial societies. I am working on a book, Water Cultures: Fiji, New York, Singapore.  I have been teaching at Vassar since 1990. My courses range from “Introduction to Anthropology” to “Myth, Ritual and Symbol” to “Imagining Asia and the Island Pacific”. I am based in the Anthropology department and also participate in the programs in Asian Studies and International Studies. My husband, John D. Kelly, is also an anthropologist, and we have written a number of books and articles together. We have two wonderful children.


1988 Ph.D. Anthropology University of Chicago
1981 M.A. Anthropology University of Chicago
1979 A.B. magna cum laude Bryn Mawr College

Specialization:   Cultural Anthropology
Social/Cultural Theory
Historical Anthropology, Colonialism, & Post Colonial Societies
Ritual, Cosmology, & Anthropology of Religion
Pacific, Colonial India, & Colonial British, US, Singapore

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