Christine Jeske, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology
On Faculty since 2015

Phone: (630)752-5057


Ph.D.,  Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2016

M.A., Cultural Anthropology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2013

M.B.A., Economic Development, Eastern University, PA, 2004

B.A., English & Piano, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1999

About Christine Jeske

Christine has worked in microfinance, refugee resettlement, community development, and teaching while living in Nicaragua, Northwest China, and South Africa.  Her dissertation research in South Africa considers how people define and imagine achieving a “good life,” especially when unemployed or working in low-wage jobs. She loves thinking about the deeper moral and cultural questions behind economic development, and about what North Americans have to learn from the global South regarding finance and wellbeing.

Christine aims to notice and live out a good life within her own work, which is a mix of research, teaching, hospitality, parenting, and farming. She is the author of two books and has been a frequent contributor to Relevant magazine and a newspaper columnist. She lives in an old Wisconsin farmhouse named the Sanctuary, complete with a dozen chickens, three pigs, innumerable weeds, two children, and one wonderful husband.


Jeske, Christine. 2010. Into the Mud: Inspiration for Everyday Activists : True Stories of Africa. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers.

Jeske, Christine, and Adam Jeske. 2012. This Ordinary Adventure: Settling down without Settling. Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books.

Additional articles published in Christianity Today, Relevant, Adventure Motorcycle, Neue Quarterly, MomSense, The Gardener, Prism, Country, Ruminate, The Well: Women in the Academy and Professions, and Overland Journal.

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Anthropology
  • Biculturalism



  • South African narratives of a good life: insights into work, church, and prejudice. Eastern University On Knowing Humanity Conference.
  • Conflicting messages in church and culture on how work makes a good life. University of KwaZulu-Natal Theology Roundtable Seminar.


  • Is Laziness the Problem?: Unemployment and the Good Life Among Zulu South Africans. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
  • This is Not Working: Unemployment and the Good Life Among Zulu South Africans. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.


  • Pentecostalism as a Door into the World of Work. American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting
  • Social conceptualizations of work, unemployment, and blame in KwaZulu-Natal. University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, Centre for Civil Society Seminar
  • “Take me home in your suitcase”: Examining the boundaries of truth and intervention in anthropological subjects’ imaginary futures. Johns Hopkins University Anthropology Graduate Conference, Reclaiming Truth: Obligations, Methodologies, and Implications
  • Into the mud: No one promised this would be easy. University of Wisconsin- Madison Graduate Student InterVarsity Christian FellowshipThe Tragedy of a Wasted Life. Collyde conference, World Vision representative on microfinance and unemployment


  • Remember us: Positive international connections from mundane America. Trinity Christian College, WorldView lecture series
  • Literature as a response to poverty. Wheaton College Symposium, An Urban Majority: Responses to Deepening Hunger and Poverty in the World’s Burgeoning Cities


  • Incarnational Service in the Global Church. Bethel University, Convocation plenary session
  • Guest Speaker, Covenant College Chapel
  • International Development Student Brownbag Seminar, Eastern University
  • Guest Speaker, Spring Arbor University Chapel
  • Human Rights Week, Gordon College, Convocation plenary speaker
  • The Nitty Gritty of International Service. Calvin College, Conference on Faith and International Development

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