Department of Anthropology

Bonnie Hewlett

Position: Clinical Assistant Professor

Curriculum vitae: PDF

Biographical sketch

After working as a registered nurse in neonatal intensive care for ten years, I decided to return to school to extend my academic interests in health, children and culture. I obtained my PhD in Anthropology in 2004 at Washington State University. My dissertation, “Aka and Ngandu Adolescents of the Central African Republic”, was the basis of several publications listed below. I have conducted research in Gabon, Republic of Congo, and Central African Republic. I have had appointments at Willamette University, Oregon State University and Washington State University.


I have several topical areas of interest: the anthropology of adolescence, the anthropology of infectious and parasitic diseases, life histories of Central African women, Ethiopian orphans and relinquishment and abandonment of children by birth mothers and fathers. Specific topical interests in adolescence include: social-emotional development, grief and loss, intercultural and intra-cultural variation in the health of Aka forager and Ngandu farmer adolescents and the effect of health status and parasite load on the perception of physical attractiveness. Interests within the anthropology of infectious diseases include: local cultural models of disease, incorporating anthropological approaches to disease control efforts and emerging diseases. I am currently conducting research on Ethiopian children and the Chabu, a forager-farming society. Theoretically, I am interested in evolutionary approaches to culture, cognitive anthropology, and life history narrative.


Anth 302 Childhood and Culture
Anth 307 Contemporary Peoples and Cultures of Africa
Anth 316 Gender in Cross-Cultural Perspective
Anth 405 Medical Anthropology
Anth 417 Anthropology and World Problems

Research projects

Selected publications


Hewlett, BL 2013. Adolescent Identity: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Perspectives. London: Routledge University Press.
Hewlett, BL 2012. Listen, Here is a Story: Ethnographic Life Narratives from Aka and Ngandu Women of the Congo Basin. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
LNK Hewlett BS and Hewlett BL 2008. Ebola, Culture and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease. Wadsworth Cengage.

Articles and Chapters

Hewlett, BL 2014. “Ekeloko”: The Spirit to Create–Innovation and Social Learning Among Aka Adolescents of the Central African Rainforest. In Dynamics of Learning in Neanderthals and Modern Humans. . Springer Press.
Hewlett, BL 2013. Adolescent Identity, Risk, and Change: Evolutionary, Developmental, and Cultural Perspectives. In Adolescent Identity: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Perspectives. B.L. Hewlett (ed). London: Routledge University Press.
PDF Hewlett BL, Hewlett BS 2013. Hunter-gatherer adolescence, In Adolescent Identity, BL Hewlett (ed.).
PDF Hewlett BS, Fouts HN, Boyette AH, Hewlett BL 2011. Social learning among Congo Basin hunter-gatherers. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, 366, 1168-1178.
PDF Hewlett BS and Hewlett BL 2010. Sex and searching for children among Aka foragers and Ngandu farmers of Central Africa. African Study Monographs, 31, 107-125.
PDF Hewlett BL and Hewlett BS 2008. A biocultural approach to sex, love and intimacy in central African foragers and farmers. In Intimacies: Love and Sex Across Cultures, W Jankowiak (ed.).
PDF Hewlett, BL and Hewlett, BS 2005. Providing care and facing death: Nurses and Ebola in Central Africa. Transcultural Journal of Nursing, 16, 289-297.
PDF Hewlett BS, Epelboin A, Hewlett BL and Formenty P 2005. Medical anthropology and Ebola in Congo: Cultural models and humanistic care. Bulletin de la Société de Pathologie Exotique, 98, 230-237.
PDF Hewlett, Bonnie L 2004. Vulnerable lives: Death, loss and grief among Aka and Ngandu adolescents of the Central African Republic. In Culture and Ecology of Hunter-Gatherer Children, Barry S. Hewlett and Michael E. Lamb, eds. .


Hewlett, Bonnie L 2001. Adolescent culture: An exploration of the socio-emotional development of the Aka adolescents of the Central African Republic. The Oriental Anthropologist, 1, 84-96.