Hervé Varenne is Professor of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he has been on the faculty since in 1972. In 1972, he received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He has published or edited several books and numerous articles. He is interested in the human experience and production of culture. This has led him to an interest in education, broadly defined, as a way of approaching this production, particularly in settings where people are most highligh controlled, and yet relatively free to make something for themselves and their immediate peers. He has worked mostly in the United States (including small towns, suburbs, urban centers, schools, families, etc.) and also in Ireland. Hervé Varenne was born and raised in France and remains a French citizen. He is a permanent resident of the United States. He has been married to Susan Varenne since 1972. They have three adult children and two grandchildren.
Linda Lin just moved to New York from California, where she was born and raised by parents who emigrated from Taiwan. She became interested in how people in the United States talk about race when she was a teacher in Los Angeles, organizing workshops on diversity and multiculturalism for teachers and parents. These well-intentioned efforts often worked against their goals. It seemed that talk either remained superficial or disintegrated into racial conflict. The questions that arose from these experiences led her to a doctoral program in the Anthropology of Education from Stanford University. Currently, she is a Minority Postdoctoral Fellow at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Eckson D. Khambule
Eckson D. Khambule hails from Gauteng Province, Johannesburg, South Africa. He studied at Vista University where he graduated with a BA in Sociology and English in 1998 and a Higher Diploma in Education respectively. He started working as a high school teacher in 2000 at a school with over 1600 children in Northern KwaZulu-Natal Province where he taught Business Economics and English. Some of the children that he taught passed their business economics matriculation (grade 12) examinations with A leading to the recognition of his efforts by the school and district officials. In 2003 he was awarded for being the best teacher in the department of Economic and Management Sciences at Snethezekile High School. While teaching at the same school, Eckson also helped with teacher development programs particularly in the areas of school leadership, management, and governance. When the Department of Education “borrowed” Outcomes Based Education as the official education policy and adopted Curriculum 2005, he was brought in to facilitate in teacher training workshops in the Ubombo Region.
In 2001 Eckson registered for a BA (Hons, an equivalent of US MA) in Educational Management at the University of Zululand and graduated in 2003 with a distinction. This led to part-time teaching jobs at the University of Zululand’s Mkhuze Campus. He instructed over 300 teachers in courses related to educational leadership. He also completed the first leg of a two-year masters program in educational leadership prior to coming to the United States in 2004. Upon winning a Ford Foundation International Fellowship, Eckson was accepted to the two-year masters degree at Teachers College, Columbia University where he majored in Anthropology and African Education and finished in June 2006. He is currently enrolled to the Ph.D. program in Anthropology and Education and intends doing work on educational equity, race, and agrarian reform in South Africa.