#56 Jennifer Hays – Contemporary hunter-gatherer communities, Ju/’hoansi, indigenous rights & knowledge systems

Hør afsnittet

In this episode you will meet Jennifer Hays, who is professor in social anthropology at the University of Tromsø (UiT) – the Arctic University of Norway. Jennifer has been working with hunter-gatherer San Populations in southern Africa for 25 years, as a researcher, and as a consultant for governmental bodies and local and international NGOs. She is, among other things, a founding member of the Hunter Gatherer Education Research and Advocacy Group (HG-Edu), a board member of the Kalahari Peoples’ Fund. She also works as a consultant for UN bodies on global human rights issues.

A primary focus of her work has been on issues relating to education, language, and indigenous rights, including the impact of formal education on San lifeways and on their own efforts to attain educational self-determination.

In the podcast, Jennifer gives us insights into what characterises the ways of life of the approximately 10 million people worldwide who live in contemporary hunter-gatherer communities. Focusing on the Ju/’hoansi in the Nyae Nyae conservancy in Namibia, where Jennifer has conducted decades of extensive fieldwork, we discuss some of the challenges that this community face, especially in terms of education and knowledge transmission.

Finally, Jennifer offers some reflections on the complex topic of how we can uphold the rights to self-determination of indigenous peoples, and some of the pitfalls that we must take caution to avoid.

The episode is part of Regnfang’s series of co-publications of the Anthropology on Air podcast. A podcast created and published in collaboration with the Department of Social Anthropology at the University of Bergen. The podcast was recorded in early November 2023 when Jennifer was in Bergen to give a lecture at the Bergen Anthropology Department Seminars.


–       Read more about Jennifer’s work and find her publications here

Host and production: Sidsel Marie

Music: Victor Lange