Marianna Betti


Postdoctoral Fellow



Marianna Betti has completed her PhD in social anthropology from the University of Bergen in 2020. She holds a MPhil in the anthropology of development (2010) from the same institution and a Master (2005) from the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA. Marianna Betti has conducted anthropological fieldwork in Eastern Africa and Europe and her research interests lay in political ecology, the anthropology of oil and energy, development and phenomenology. In her phd research she has explored the recent discovery of hydrocarbons in the region of Turkana in Kenya and how the oil operations had affected social relations at different scales and how disparate groups have respondended to the fast changes brought by the discovery of the oil. Betti's most recent interests are on what forms and social manifestations of energy transition do to social practices, the vast array of conflict arising from, for instance, energy vulnerability and the unequal redistribution of energy resource, and on the life and agency of "hyperobjects" embedded in the "automation turn".


Betti, Marianna.

Encounters and expectations: A case of syncretic oil complex in Turkana, Kenya. Workshop. Corporate entanglements: Citizenship, Governance and Transnational Companies at Key Sites of Neoliberal Globalization. Utrecht University, Utrecht, NL. 11-12.12.2018.

Betti, Marianna.

Blood, meat, oil and the generative power of moving resources. EASA 2018: Staying, Moving Settling. Stockholm, SE. 14.-17.08.2018.

Betti, Marianna.

Claiming the “Cradle of Mankind”: strategies to power and access amongst oil companies and local political elites in Turkana. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2016. Minneapolis, USA. 16.-20.11.2016.

Betti, Marianna. 

Health and Well-being along the Shores of Lake Turkana. MAGic 2015 Conference. Sussex, UK. 09.-11.09.2015.

Betti, Marianna. 

Right to Work and Rights at Work: egalitarian practices and paradoxes in Italy in a time of crisis. Second ISP-workshop: The Anthropology of Uncertainty. NTNU, Trondheim, NO. 30.-31.10.2014.

Betti, Marianna.

Endurance and Social Growth among sedenterized Turkana. EASA 2012. Nanterre, FR. 10.-13.07.2012.


Fall 2020, course coordinator for SANT105 "Power: its articulations and disguises", UiB.

Spring 2018, course coordinator for SANT285-1 "The Anthropology of Oil", UiB

Fall 2017, course coordinator for SANT100 "Invitasjon til sosialantropologi", UiB

Spring 2016, teaching assistant for SANT102 "Sosialt liv i globalt perspektiv" and SANT220«Anthropology, Intervention and Development», UiB.

Fall 2014, teaching assistant AFR1012 “Anthropology of Africa: regional perspectives”, NTNU

Spring 2011, teaching assistant SANT215 “Comparative Ethnography” and SANT220 «Anthropology, Intervention and Development», UiB.

Fall 2010, teaching assistant SV100 “Sociological Approaches”, SANT104 «Culture, Meaning and Communication», and SANT105 «Expressions and Disguises of Power».UiB.

Fall 2004, teaching assistant ANTHRO8-1 «Introduction to Anthropology». UCLA.

Academic lecture
Book review
Masters thesis
Academic chapter/article/Conference paper

See a complete overview of publications in Cristin.

Dictionary Entry

2020 (with C. Gianella) "Water". Dictionary entry. In: De Lauri, A. ed. Humanitarianism: Keywords. Brill, Leiden.

Book Review

2020 "In the Time of Energy, it is Time to Make Place for Energy in Cultural Production." In Anthropology Book Forum, Vol. 6, no. 1. Book review of Imre Szeman (2019). On Petrocultures: Globalization, Culture, and Energy. West Virginia University Press.

2019 "The Academic Legacy of a Concerned Anthropologist. Review of Contrarian Anthropology. The Unwritten Rules of Academia by Laura Nader" Public Anthropologist, Vol. 2, Issue 2.

Book chapters

2018a. What Lies Below: the politics of resource conflict in Turkana, Kenya. In Szolucha, Anna ed. Energy, Resource Extraction and Society. Impacts and contested futures.Routledge.

2018b. Well-Being, Healthcare and Development in Turkana: Pre and Post Devolution. In Fyhn H., H. Aspen and A.K. Larsen Edges of Global Transformation Ethnographies of Uncertainty.Rowman and Littlefield.

PhD thesis

2020 "Generating Oil in the Cradle of Mankind: an ethnographic analysis of the Syncretic Oil Complex in Turkana, Kenya". Thesis for the degree of Philosophiae Doctor, University of Bergen.

Master thesis

2010 "The Children of Eve: change and socialization among sedentarized Turkana children and youth". Thesis for the degree of Master of Philosophy. Department of Social Anthropology, University of Bergen.