Current students

Masters and doctoral students carrying out research on Africa at the University of Chicago. For contact information, consult the UChicago directory.

Mary Adekoya | Cinema and Media Studies | Dissertation: “Shadows of Film: Nollywood and the Vernacular Revolution in African Cinema.”

Zoe Berman | Comparative Human Development | Research interests: sociocultural and medical anthropology; youth; intergenerational change; trauma; historical memory; healing; Rwanda.

Amanda H. Blair | Political Science | Interests: African politics, comparative politics, political theory and methodology, gender politics, armed conflict, and sexual violence

Jorge Campos-Téllez | Anthropology | Interests: Somaliland, Indian Ocean coast, fiscal technologies, anthropology of the state, cities, affect, the occult, phenomenology, critical theory, anarchist anthropology, sonic ethnography, visual anthropology

John Cropper | History | Research interests: French West Africa; environmental history; colonial and post colonial Senegal; history of charcoal and woodfuels | Dissertation title: The People’s Energy: The History of Charcoal Production and Forest Access in Senegal, 1900-2014

Zebulon Dingley | Anthropology | Dissertation: “Of Bond and Boundary: Kinship, Capital and the Occult on the South Coast of Kenya”

Ian Duncan | English Language and Literatures | Dissertation: “Reading the Postcolonial Cosmopolitan Novel: Ethical Encounters with the Literature of Incendiary Circumstances”

Dustin Gourdin | Sociology | Social Studies of Knowledge, Social Theory

Debora Heard | Archaeology and Anthropology | Dissertation: “In the Houses of the Ram and the Lion: Religious Displays of Royal Socio-Political Subjectivity in the Kushite Temples of Amun and Apedemak”

Kristin Hickman | Anthropology | Dissertation: “The Politics of Writing Moroccan Arabic”

Nana Holtsnider | Comparative Literature | Dissertation: “Exotic, Yet Integral: Empire in Nineteenth-Century British and Dutch Juvenile Colonial Literature”

Matthew Knisley | Archaeology and Anthropology | Tanzania, historical archaeology of the Sandawe homeland (central highlands, Tanzania); postcolonialism, landscape

Hilary Leathem | Anthropology | Kenya, Africa in the legal imaginaries of the Global North, the International Criminal Court; historical anthropology; (post)colonialism and violence; justice, power, and international law; temporality and modernity; human rights.

Stacy Pape | Anthropology | Interests: Ngazidja (Comoros), Indian Ocean Islands, circuits of mobility, Comorian diaspora and repatriates, gender & sexuality, kinship, and post coloniality

Gretchen Pfeil | Linguistics and Anthropology | Dissertation: “Small Change, Big Changes: Religious Commitments and the High Stakes of Small Charitable Gifts in Dakar, Senegal”

Betsy Pillion | Linguistics | Bantu linguistics, African tonal languages, the Mushunguli language (Somalia), and the Bulu language (Cameroon).

Mary Robertson | Anthropology | Dissertation: “Negotiating ‘Race’ in the Post-Apartheid South African Advertising Industry”

B. Theodore Rose | Anthropology | Freedom and selfhood; legal coercion and political sovereignty, the Postcolonial state in Africa; economic and political democratization, free and unfree labor, post-slavery regimes. Problems/tensions of forced labor within economic and political democratization processes in Sierra Leone

Abena Gyamfuah Sarfo-Mensah | Comparative Human Development | West Africa, Ghana, environmental anthropology, development studies, cultural psychology, participatory action research, qualitative methods

Jay Schutte | Anthropology | South Africa, Zimbabwe, China, South Korea, Translation, Mediation, Technology and the senses, Space-time and the work of the imagination, the confluence of media and language flows between East Asia to sub-Saharan Africa, semiotic analysis

Raffaella Taylor Seymour

Erik Lee Skjon | Anthropology | Dissertation: “The Lingual-Cultural Region: Its Figures and Grounds in Makhuwa Networks, Media, and Discourse”

Gregory Valdespino | History | Research Interests: Migration, Homemaking, Family, Gender and Sexuality, Material Culture, Imperialism and Empire, Francophone Africa, French Caribbean