Bonnie Hewlett

New Aka mother and me
New Aka mother and me
  • Associate Professor, Career Track, Cultural Anthropology
  • Medical anthropology, adolescent development, hunter-gatherers, and evolutionary cultural anth.
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Biographical sketch ▾

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.

Research statement ▾

Research statement

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.

Projects ▾


Field sites ▾

Field sites

Books ▾


Adolescent Identity
Adolescent Identity: Evolutionary, Developmental and Cultural Perspectives
Listen, Here is a Story: Ethnographic Life Narratives from Aka and Ngandu Women of the Congo Basin
Ebola, Culture and Politics
Ebola, Culture and Politics: The Anthropology of an Emerging Disease
More info

Publications ▾


-- 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 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, 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, 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.