Featured Faculty: Bambi Chapin


Exceptional” and “Excellent” are just two words that describe Dr. Bambi Chapin, an associate professor of Anthropology here at UMBC, says two of her former students, Daniel C. and Ruhma S.

“I have been a student of Dr. Chapin since my first semester at UMBC, and after four years, the positive impact that this professor and mentor has had on my academic career is visible,” says Melina L. “I am a stronger and more confident writer, more articulate and clear with my thoughts and ideas, and I am inspired to continue Anthropological studies in the future.”

Dr. Chapin is also an accomplished author. Childhood in a Sri Lankan Village offers an intimate look at how child rearing differs in a country like Sri Lanka compared to the United States. Dr. Chapin first traveled to rural Sri Lanka over ten years ago to find out why elementary-school-age Sri Lankan children appear uncannily passive, compliant, and undemanding compared to their Western counterparts. In her book, Dr. Chapin explores how Sri Lanka children, raised on the tenets of Buddhism, are trained to set aside selfish desires for the good of their families and the community. This cultural conditioning is carried out through small everyday practices, such as eating and sleeping arrangements, yet she also explores how the village’s attitudes and customs continue to evolve with each new generation.

This summer, Dr. Chapin will be teaching ANTH 211 during Summer Session II. In this six-week course, students are introduced to central concepts and issues in cultural anthropology. The course employs a worldwide comparative perspective that examines topics such as: the concept of culture, cultural-ecological systems and family organization; magic, religion and witchcraft; socialization, personality and mental illness; conflict resolution and warfare.

ANTH 211 also fulfills the Cultural and Social Science GEPs.

“… for those who are not anthropology majors, the classes taught by Professor Chapin tend to be interesting and the work is doable, with somewhat flexible deadlines,” says UMBC student Keinde V. “Professor Chapin also gives good advice for how to improve on writing skills which can be useful for other courses or in post-graduate schools.”

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