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I am a sociocultural anthropologist whose work focuses on politics. Themes I have explored include the frictions between Pan-Africanism and Socialism, aspirational facets of kinship talk, the interplay between popular music and violent street protests, and the afterlives of revolutionary speech and practices. I have published three books: Making War in Côte d'Ivoire, Unmasking the State, and A Socialist Peace? Explaining the Absence of War in an African Country. I am currently working on a comparative book on resentment as a structure of feeling and a total social fact.
I have lived and worked in francophone West Africa on-and-off since 1989, and started research in Myanmar in 2016. I supervise students working in West and East Africa and Southeast Asia on a wide variety of topics ranging from the micropolitics and aesthetics of dance troupes in a postsocialist setting to quotidian interreligious relations in Myanmar and Thailand. My own work incorporates close attention to language, to historical materials, and to political economy alongside the interests of social and cultural anthropology. In addition to my academic work I was the West Africa director of a research-based conflict mitigation organization (International Crisis Group), and am committed to conversations about how to do things with anthropology in addition to training more anthropology professors.
- 2017-18 Wenner-Gren Post-PhD Research Grant
- 2018 Fulbright Scholar Award
- 2017-2020 National Science Foundation Senior Scholar Award
- Amaury Talbot Prize, Royal Anthropological Institute—Unmasking the State
- Arthur Greer Memorial Prize, Yale U.—Making War in Côte d’Ivoire