Gwyneth Talley
Adjunct Faculty Member Anthropology


Dr. Gwyneth Talley is a visual and cultural anthropologist who focuses on the intersections of gender, kinship, sport/leisure, and human/animal relationships in the Middle East and North Africa. She is interested in multispecies ethnography and the connection between environment, animals, and humans. She is a Fulbright Alumna, National Geographic Explorer, and National Geographic Expert for Morocco.

Research and Current Projects

I am currently working on my first book project, entitled “Gunpowder Women: Playing in Morocco’s Traditional Horse Sport.” It is based on three years of ethnographic fieldwork in Morocco. I argue that women become exceptional figures through their involvement in the traditional tbourida sporting arena. Through visual ethnography, I document the unique ways these women utilize religion, kinship, and social networks to create agency for themselves in these male-dominated spheres. A history of female participation in the sport focuses on the loss of the national women’s trophy class and how the female riders adapted to the new political and social circumstances. They not only forged all-female exhibitions at local events, but also parlayed their tbourida experience into other male-dominated hobbies like hunting, or jobs such as serving in the mounted police, or as jockeys in regulated horse racing.

My next project focuses on North African Muslim women athletes in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. This research asks how female athletes negotiate space for themselves within networks of power in local, national, and global contexts. By examining female athletes and their life experiences, I will analyze lived experiences of negotiating cultural and political expectations, and challenge assumptions regarding sporting culture, government influence, and gender expectations for Morocco and the greater North African region.


ANTH 110 – Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH 212 – Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
ANTH 189H – Honors: Sports, Games, and Leisure: The Anthropology of Getting Fit & Chilling Out
ANTH 410 – Gender: An Anthropological Approach
ANTH 472 – Belief Systems: Animism to Zombies

GLST 201 – Introduction to Global Studies
GLST 495 – Global Studies Capstone

SOCI 217 – Race & Ethnicity

Selected Publications

Educational Background

  • BA – University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Global Studies, Anthropology, History, Medieval & Renaissance Studies, and English
  • MA – University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology
  • PhD – University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology

Research Interests

North Africa, Orientalism, human-animal relationships, multispecies ethnography, cultural anthropology, visual anthropology, ethnographic film, sports, equestrian sports, Olympics, Islam, gender, kinship, writing ethnography


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