Melissa Beske

Graduate Fellow 2010-2011

Center for Ethics
The Murphy Institute People


Melissa Beske is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Anthropology. She is currently writing her dissertation entitled “‘If Ih Noh Beat Mi, Ih Noh Lov Mi’ [If He Doesn’t Beat Me, He Doesn’t Love Me]: An Ethnographic Investigation of Intimate Partner Violence in Western Belize” under the direction of Dr. Shanshan Du. She received a B.A., magna cum laude, in Anthropology with minors in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Vanderbilt University in 2004, and a M.A. in Anthropology from Tulane in 2007. Her research foci include the cultural underpinnings and moral discourses which normalize gender-based intimate partner violence in contemporary Belize, and additionally the steps which advocates are taking to create a more peaceful society.

Ms. Beske has completed three field seasons with the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project and eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork alongside Cornerstone Foundation NGO, Mary Open Doors NGO, and the governmental Women’s Department in San Ignacio, Belize, over the past eight years. She has also conducted research among midwives in Carhuaz, Peru, and street musicians in New Orleans.

In addition, Ms. Beske has taught courses in Cultural Anthropology and the Anthropology of Women and Men at Tulane, and her most recent publication is entitled “Applying International Human Rights Laws to promote Wellness within the Community: On Diminishing Intimate Partner Violence in the Context of Western Belize” in Global Public Health: An International Journal for Research, Policy, and Practice (Volume 4, Issue 5-June 2009).

Education & Affiliations

  • B.A. in Anthropology, Vanderbilt University
  • M.A. in Anthropology, Tulane University