Mary Catherine Bateson is a writer and cultural anthropologist who divides her time between Massachusetts, where she is currently visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and New Hampshire, where she does her writing. She was born in New York City and went on to Radcliffe (B.A.) and then to graduate school at Harvard (Ph.D.) She has taught at Harvard, Northeastern, Amherst and Spelman College, as well as overseas in the Philippines and Iran. She was dean of the faculty at Amherst College 1980 to 1983. From 1987 to 2002, Bateson was Clarence J. Robinson professor in anthropology and English at George Mason University, becoming professor emerita in 2002.
Batesonís original research interest was in the Middle East. More recently she has been interested in how women and men work out distinctive ways of adapting to culture change, learning from those around them and improvising new ways of being. This led her to work with life histories and other types of first person narratives, both literary and ethnographic, focusing on learning in contexts of cultural difference. She is currently exploring the ways in which lifelong learning modifies the rhythms of the life cycle and the interaction between generations.
Bateson lectures around the world, and is president of the Institute for Intercultural Studies in New York City. She has written and co-authored numerous books and articles. Her books include a number of early academic works, a memoir of her anthropologist parents Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, With a Daughterís Eye: Composing a Life and Peripheral Visions: Learning Along the W.
In her most recent book, Full Circles, Overlapping Lives, Bateson looks at how our concepts of personal identity and shared fulfillment are changing. Bateson explores her theme by weaving together the words of a group of remarkable women whom she taught at Spelman College. The lives of these women--young, old, black, white, married, single, gay or straight--offer a prism through which to glimpse facets of ourselves.