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Benjamin Bean


  • B.A. Letters, Arts, & Sciences, The Pennsylvania State University, 2011
  • M.A. Cultural Sustainability, Goucher College, 2015


Research interests: Music and sound, especially reggae and bomba; performance and improvisation; Puerto Rico; religion and secularism; the Rastafari movement; colonialism in the Caribbean; sense, vibe, affect, and resonance.


Research Focus

I am currently looking at how participants in Puerto Rico's musical subcultures are sensing their political and religious worlds in the context of hurricane recovery. Additionally, I hope to situate my preliminary fieldwork about music within a broader project on style and the senses, looking at how artists, farmers, Ifá practitioners, craft brewers, and food service professionals are reproducing and reinventing Puerto Rico, its local institutions and infrastructure, and its relationship to the US and neighboring territories. My driving question: How might our senses unsettle political and religious teleologies - crisis, sovereignty, modernity, civilization - and attune us to possibilities for collective becoming?


Currently Head TA for ANT 002: Cultural Anthropology (Professor Alan Klima), Spring Quarter, 2018

Previous TA experience:

ANT 100: Theory in Sociocultural Anthropology (Professor Donald Donham), Winter Quarter, 2018

ANT 124: Anthropology of Religion (Muneeza Rizvi, Instructor), Fall Quarter, 2017

ANT 002: Cultural Anthropology (Professor Smriti Srinivas), Spring Quarter, 2017

ANT 002: Cultural Anthropology (Professor Marisol de la Cadena), Winter Quarter, 2017

ANT 002: Cultural Anthropology (Professor Alan Klima), Fall Quarter, 2017

Previous teaching experience:

MUSIC 009: Music, Conflict, and Peacebuilding (co-taught with Professor Paul D. Greene), Spring 2016 at Penn State Brandywine

Race, Identity, and Experience, Spring 2016 at Hussian College

ANTH 045: Cultural Anthropology, Spring and Fall 2015 at Penn State Brandywine