Marit Østebø, Ph.D.

Published: November 20th, 2013

Category: Faculty, People

Assistant Professor
Office: Grinter Hall, 496
Phone: (352) 273-4754
Email: marit.ostebo@ufl.edu

Education

  • Ph.D. Anthropology of Gender and Development, University of Bergen, Norway, 2013
  • M.A. International Public Health, University of Bergen, Norway, 2007
  • B.Sc., Nursing, Menighetssøsterhjemmet College, Oslo, Norway, 1997

Research Interests

Gender equality and Women’s Rights, Gender Based Violence, Medical Anthropology, Global Health, Reproductive Health and Rights, Anthropology of Aid and Development, Anthropology of Human Rights, Feminist Anthropology, Religion and Development, Faith-Based Organizations, Team-Based-Learning


Personal Statement

I have a very interdisciplinary background with a BSc in Nursing, a MPh in International/Public Health and a PhD in Anthropology of Gender and Development. I have extensive field-research experience from Ethiopia, where I prior to pursuing an academic career, was involved in humanitarian and development work. My research reflects an interest in the relationship between normative frameworks, ideas, models and stories produced by the different actors within the human rights and development machinery and the complex realities that exist on ‘the ground’.


Positions and Honors

Positions and Employment

  • University of Florida, Assistant Professor, 2015 –
  • University of Florida, Lecturer, 2014- 2015
  • University of Bergen, PhD Candidate/ Junior Research Fellow, 2009-2013
  • Haraldsplass Deaconess University College, Bergen, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing and Health, 2008 –2013
  • Betanien Deaconess University College, Bergen, Assistant Professor, Department of Nursing, spring 2008
  • Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus / Ethiopia, Raytu Community Development Project
  • Advisor and Head of the Health Department 2005-2006
  • Norwegian Church Aid/Ethiopia, Relief Coordinator, April-September 2000
  • Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, Community Development worker, 2000-2003
  • Ullevål University Hospital – Oslo, Nurse in oncology ward, 1998
  • Rikshospitalet University Hospital – Oslo, Nurse in gastro-surgical ward, 1997

Other Experience and Professional Memberships

  • 2014-Current, Member, American Anthropological Association
  • 2014-Current, Member, African Studies Association

Honors

 


Selected Publications

Østebø, M.T. (2015) “Translations of Gender Equality among rural Arsi Oromo in Ethiopia.” Development and Change 46 (3): 442-463

Østebø M.T. & Østebø, T. (2014) “Are Religious Leaders a Magic Bullet for Social Change? A critical look at anti-FGM interventions in Ethiopia.” Africa Today 60 (3): 82-101

Østebø, M. T., Haukanes H. & Blystad A. (2013). “Strong State Policies on Gender and Aid: Threats and Opportunities for Norwegian Faith-based Organizations” Forum for Development Studies 40(2): 193-216

Selbervik, H. & Østebø, M.T. (2013). “Gender Equality in International Aid: What has Norwegian Gender Politics Got to Do With It?” Gender, Technology and Development 17 (2): 205-228

Østebø, M.T. (2010). Women’s Respect and Rights among the Arsi Oromo of southeast Ethiopia. Aspen,H. Birhanu Teferra, Shiferaw Bekele, Ege, S. (Eds.) Research in Ethiopian Studies. Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz Verlag

More Publications Available on Google Scholar


Contribution to Science

Translations of Gender Equality

My PhD research focused on translations of gender equality in development aid, with an empirical focus on Norway and Ethiopia. While gender equality as a concept often is taken for granted within the field of development, my research sheds light on the shifting meanings and translations of the concept. Drawing on translation theory, I among others engage with and challenge Sally Engle Merry’s work on vernacularization. I argue that contemporary theories of translation and discursively informed theories on global norm diffusion offer perspectives that allow us to recognize the potential of contestations in meaning creation. This opens up the translational space as the ‘grassroots’ are recognized as translators.

  • Østebø, M.T. & Haukanes, H. (2016) “Shifting Meanings of Gender Equality in Development. Perspectives from Norway and Ethiopia.” Progress in Development Studies, 16(1) 39-51
  • Østebø, M.T. (2015) “Translations of Gender Equality among rural Arsi Oromo in Ethiopia.” Development and Change 46 (3) 442-463
  • Østebø, M. T (2013) Translations of Gender Equality in International Aid. Perspectives from Norway and Ethiopia. University of Bergen, Bergen. PhD thesis
  • Selbervik, H. & Østebø, M.T. (2013). “Gender Equality in International Aid: What has Norwegian Gender Politics Got to Do With It?” Gender, Technology and Development 17 (2): 205-228

Religion, Gender and Development

Part of my research has focused on the role of religion in relation to development and gender. While religion for long was regarded as an anti-thesis to development, this has changed over the last two decades, reflected in increased recognition of and involvement of faith-based organizations and religious leaders within mainstream development. In my work I acknowledge, yet also problematize the turn to religion in development.

  • Østebø M.T. & Østebø, T. (2014) “Are Religious Leaders a Magic Bullet for Social Change? A critical look at anti-FGM interventions in Ethiopia.” Africa Today 60 (3): 82-101
  • Østebø M.T. & Østebø, T. (2014) “Are Religious leaders Key in Efforts to Eradicate Female Genital Cutting?” ICA (Instituut Culturele Antropologie) March-April Issue
  • Østebø, M. T., Haukanes H. & Blystad A. (2013). “Strong State Policies on Gender and Aid: Threats and Opportunities for Norwegian Faith-based Organizations” Forum for Development Studies 40(2): 193-216

Respect and Gender Justice

My long-term engagement as a development practitioner combined with ethnographic fieldwork among the Arsi Oromo of south-east Ethiopia generated an interest in exploring a local concept of respect and sacredness known as wayyuu. In addition to detailed ethnographic descriptions of the concept and its related institutions, my work reflects an interest in exploring respect as a concept with relevance for women’s rights and gender justice.

  • Østebø, M.T. (2010). Women’s Respect and Rights among the Arsi Oromo of southeast Ethiopia. Aspen,H. Birhanu Teferra, Shiferaw Bekele, Ege, S. (Eds.) Research in Ethiopian Studies. Wiesbaden: Harrossowitz Verlag
  • Østebø M.T. “Can Respect be Key to Gender Justice? Accepted for publications conditioned on minor revisions in the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

The Politics of Models in Development

I am currently working on a book project called “The Politics of Models in Development”. With an empirical focus on various efforts and initiatives undertaken in order to promote gender equality and women’s rights in Ethiopia, my overall aim is to provide a critical analysis and discussion of the politics of models and modeling within the field of international development. The book draws, among others, on research conducted in Awra Amba, a small rural community in Northern Ethiopia hailed as a model for gender equality and sustainable development.

  • Østebø, M.T (2015) Awra Amba – A model for gender equality and gender justice? Report submitted to International Law and Policy Institute

Research Support

Ongoing Research Support

The Research Council of Norway

  • 2018-2020
  • Developmentality and the Anthropology of Partnership (PI: Jon Harald Sande Lie, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs)
  • Role: Co-PI

 

Completed Research Support (within the past three years)

 

Courses Taught

 

 

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