George Paul Meiu

George Paul Meiu

Assistant Professor
Joint appointment with African and African American Studies
On Leave Spring 2017
George Paul Meiu


Research and Teaching Interests: Race and ethnicity; Sexuality and sexual citizenship; Kinship; Gender; Economic anthropology; Historical anthropology; East Africa; Kenya.

George Paul Meiu is assistant professor in the Department of African and African American Studies and the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. He holds a BA in anthropology from Concordia University in Montreal and an MA and a PhD in anthropology from the University of Chicago. Meiu’s research focuses on the intersection of race, ethnicity, sexuality, and political economy in East Africa. Within this larger field, his current project explores how the tourist commodification of ethnic sexuality shapes collective identity and relations of age, gender, and kinship in Kenya. Combining ethnographic and historical methods, Meiu investigates how young Samburu men brand their ethnic identity through colonial images of the "primitive," sexual warrior, in order to initiate intimate relationships with European women, acquire wealth, and build futures. He also explores the multifaceted outcomes of ethnic and sexual commodification with a focus on ritual, politics, and everyday life in Samburu. Currently, Meiu works on a book manuscript entitled Ethno-erotic Economies: Ethnicity, Sexuality, and Commodification in Postcolonial Kenya, which sets out to make ethnicity and sexuality central to understanding economic production, social reproduction, and political belonging in the postcolonial world. His recent work appeared in Ethnos, Anthropology Today, the Canadian Journal of African Studies, and in edited volumes on tourism and African sexualities.

Contact Information

Tozzer Anthropology Building 213
21 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
p: (617) 496-3462

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