Ruth Behar is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, where she is also affiliated with programs in Women’s Studies, Latina/o Studies, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and Jewish Studies. Bom in Havana, Cuba, she came to the United States with her parents as a young child after a brief stopover in Israel. She is co-editor, with Deborah Gordon, of Women Writing Culture, a classic text about women anthropologists and the art of ethnography. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship, as well as Guggenheim and Fulbright awards. In 1999, Latina Magazine named her one of 50 Latinas who made history in the twentieth century.

Behar’s books include The Vulnerable Observer: Anthropology That Breaks Your Heart and Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s Story, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times. Her newest book, An Island Called Home: Returning to Jewish Cuba, blends memoir and photography to tell the story of her encounter with Jews living in Cuba today. In addition, her essays, poetry, and fiction appear in magazines and collections including The Female Body: Figures, Styles, Speculations: Her Face in the Mirror: Jewish Women on Mothers and Daughters', King David ’s Harp: Autobiographical Essays by Jewish Latin American Writers; and How I Learned English. Her story “La Cortada” was selected by Joyce Carol Oates for inclusion in the anthology Telling Stories: An Anthology for Writers. She also wrote, directed, and produced the film Adio Kerida/Goodbye D ear Love: A Cuban Sephardic Journey.

I reached Dr. Behar by telephone in May 2009.