Marianna Betti is originally from Italy, but been trained in anthropology in the US and Norway. She has a BA in anthropology from CUNY and a Master’s degree in Anthropology of Development from the University of Bergen, Norway. For the Master’s degree, she conducted fieldwork in Turkana, Northern Kenya in 2009-2010. Since August 2015 she is a PhD candidate at the University of Bergen. For the PhD research she will be going back to Turkana to investigate how the recent (2012) discovery of hydrocarbons in the region might inform existing social relations and also create new forms of communitarian ties.
Her anthropological interests lie in political ecology, studies of pastoralist groups, poverty politics, witchcraft logics, and organizational anthropology (as in the anthropology of companies and corporations). She is specialized in East Africa but also interested in other parts of the world where struggles over natural resources have ignited extremely complex cultural expressions of trust, mistrust, hope, expectations and delusion. Lately she is interested in the ethical dilemmas surrounding the exploitation of natural resources, and the production of energy from hydrocarbons, as expressed by the local and indigenous populations using their own environmental logics and moral economy.