College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department of History and Anthropology


Dr. George Geib

Professor Emeriti of History







Dr Susan M. KenyonSusan Kenyon

Professor Emerita, Anthropology
(317) 704-4863

Areas of Expertise

Socio-cultural anthropology; anthropology and history; Northern Africa; Sudan; Muslim cultures; gender; religion and ritual; comparative medical systems; international economic development.

Major Publications

Spirits and Slaves in Central Sudan2012 - Spirits and Slaves in Central Sudan: the Red Wind of Sennar. New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan Press.

2004 - Five Women of Sennar: Culture and Change in Central Sudan.  Second edition, Waveland Press: Long Grove,  Illinois.  First edition, 1991, Clarendon Press: Oxford.

1980 - The Kyuquot Way:  The Study of a West Coast (Nootkan) Community. National Museums of Man Mercury Series, no 61.  Ottawa, Canada.

See also link to "Peer-reviewed articles and book chapters".


B.A (Honours), History.  London University, Bedford College.  1965.

M.A., Anthropology.  Bryn Mawr College, PA.  1972

Ph.D . Anthropology.  Bryn Mawr College, PA.  1977

Professional Experience


1990- 1991.  Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis: Visiting Assistant Professor

1991-1995.  Valparaiso University, Indiana:  Assistant Professor (1991-3), Associate professor (1993-5).

Butler University 1995-2008

Associate Professor, 1995-2001
Professor, 2001-2008
Professor Emerita, 2008-Present 
Director of Gender Studies, 1998-2001
Director of the Anthropology Program, 1995-2004
Head, Department of History and Anthropology, 2004-2006

Field Research

1972, 1974. Doctoral Research in Kyuquot, most northerly settlement of the West Coast (Nootkan) peoples, British Columbia, Canada.

1979-1985. Independent Research in the Republic of Sudan into gender and popular religion in a poor urban district of Sennar.  Also assisted the Sennar Mahiwal Umiya project, helping poor urban women manufacture and sell home crafts (supported by funds from the Small Projects Fund of the Dutch Embassy, Khartoum)

1985-1989. Independent Research in Indonesia into gender and popular religion in an urban kampung (village). Was also adviser to the director and member of the board of management of Yayasan Tenaga Sukarela Sosial (YTSS, a non-governmental organization in Bogor), and Editor, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and Pacific (ESCAP) at the CGPRT (Coarse Grains, Pulses, Roots and Tubers) Centre in Bogor, Indonesia.

1991-1995.  Co-Investigator, Michigan State U/Purdue U/Costa Rica U project, to "Improve the Digestibility and Nutritional Quality of the Common Bean through Traditional Plant Breeding Molecular Biology and Food Technology."  As the social scientist on the project my role was to ensure that social and cultural constraints and context were fully part of the research design and implementation and entailed three field trips to Costa Rica.  This project was funded by US-AID, through the Bean/Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP).

2000. One month fieldwork in Sudan (Khartoum, Sennar), supported by a Butler Academic Committee grant, to look at continuity and change in women's  lives, and set up a new long-term research project  on therapeutic  choices in contemporary Sudan.  Project title: The Impact of Clinical Medicine on the Pluralist Healing System of Central Sudan. 

2001. Four months field research in Sudan, investigating the training of doctors in the new medical school at the University of Sennar, part of the broader project looking at therapeutic choices.  I also collected data to update my work on the lives of women of Sennar, and on the work of other types of healers in the region.  This research was supported by a Butler Academic Committee (BAC) grant.

2004. Six weeks of ethnographic field research in Sennar, Sudan, investigating the career of herbalist and business man, Ismael el-Dul.  Research supported by Holcombe Academic Committee grant,  Butler University 

Since 2009, I have been living on the Caribbean island of St Kitts, where I have initiated an oral history project, focusing on the lives of elderly women.