Lisa Feder, Ph.D in cultural anthropology.
lntegrating into foreign cultures through practices of art, music, and ritual yield different results from other ethnographic approaches. In my doctorate program at Cornell University, I studied jaliya, a musical profession of oral-historians and spiritual leaders of the Manding people in West Africa. Through embodied practice, I learned and tried to practice what Manding people value in both bodily and mental composure and as a result, I learned previously inconceivable ways of experiencing reality for me. My fieldwork with jalis continues today between Paris, New York, and West Africa. I alsospent ten years working on environmental issues with the Kayapo indigenous tribe in Pará, Brazil. I experiment with essays, audio, film, as well as academic writing to convey my ethnographic experiences.
Based on my work, I teach students the art of integrating into a culture through an embodied practice, and guide them in representing their experiences in creative ways. In 2015 I developed a pilot ethnographic field school accordingly, hosted by the University of Alberta, which is still running in Belgrade, Serbia. I am also developing multicultural community-building programs through music and other creative practices.
I’ve lived with host families in France, Costa Rica, Brazil, the Gambia, Guinea, Israel, and in the Brazilian Amazon with the Kayapo indigenous community of A'ukre village. As a student, a volunteer, and an employee in the study abroad industry I have years of experience watching students, myself included, adapt and thrive in new cultural milieux. I speak English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese and I have smatterings of other languages that emerge, sometimes rather spontaneously. Aside from crossing cultures, I study buddha-dharma and yoga, and I am passionate about the environment, the ocean in particular, and I am an avid kite-surfer.