Associate Professor of Anthropology
Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles, 1997
M.S. Counseling Psychology, University of Southern California, 1986
B.A. Psychology, University of Vermont, 1983
I am interested in Islamic youth cultures and spatial (in)justice in Nigeria and in Kuwait, with particular attention to the following:
- colonialism and postcolonial identity
- religious and medical heterodoxy
- media, memory, and emotion
- political subjectivities and ‘affective citizenship’
- vigilantism and militarism
- human trafficking and debt bondage
- spatial (in)justice and human rights.
My most recent research project in Kano, Nigeria, is entitled ‘Youthful Martyrdom and Heroic Criminality: The Formation of Youth Groups in Northern Nigeria’. The project was funded by the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation from 2000-2002 and by Fulbright IIE in 2006. Situated at the intersections of global capitalism, Nigerian political, economic insecurities, and the implementation of Shari’a criminal codes in twelve states of northern Nigeria, my research explored the formations of youth groups, who through communal ideologies and acts, both suffered and meted out physical and metaphysical forms of violence.
A second long-term research project in Kuwait is entitled ‘Tense Space: Mind, Mood and Environment in Kuwait’, which I started in April of 2006. The 1990 Iraqi invasion and seven-month occupation of Kuwait led to dramatic changes in the health and mental health of Kuwaitis, with 20 percent higher rates of mortality and increased post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among Kuwaiti civilians who remained in Kuwait during the occupation. My research explores the temporal and spatial relations of memory, subjectivity and the environment in the aftermath of the 1990 Iraqi invasion, and the ongoing meanings and emotions that shape Kuwaiti personal and social relations.
A third long-term research project in Kuwait is titled ‘Working to Death in Kuwait: Debt Bondage and Suicide among Expatriate Asian Domestic Laborers’, which I started in 2007. This research explores the intersections of human trafficking, debt bondage and the increasing prevalence of suicide among Asian domestic laborers in Kuwait. The research is situated within historical and contemporary perspectives on global capitalism and the material and human costs of human trafficking and forced labor.
2009 (with Salisu Abdullahi and Ismaila Zango, eds.) An Introduction to Anthropology and Sociology in Nigeria. Kano, Nigeria: Bayero University Press.
2005 (with Robert Edgerton, eds.) Companion to Psychological Anthropology: Modernity and Psychocultural Change. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.
2011 Hypocrisy, Spatial (In)Justice and Youthful ‘Policing’ in Northern Nigeria. Journal Justice-Spatiale, forthcoming.
2010 Remembering Genocide: Hypocrisy and the Violence of Local/Global ‘Justice’ in Northern Nigeria. In Local Justice: Global Mechanisms and Local Meanings in the Aftermath of Genocide. Alexander L. Hinton and Devon E. Hinton, eds. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. In press.
2009 Witchcraft and Spirit Possession. In An Introduction to Anthropology and Sociology in Nigeria. Salisu Abdullahi, Ismaila Zango and Conerly Casey, eds. Kano, Nigeria: Bayero University Press.
2009 Mediated Hostility: Media, ‘Affective Citizenship’, and Genocide in Northern Nigeria. In Genocide: Truth, Memory, and Representation. Alexander L. Hinton and Kevin O’Neill, eds. Pp. 247-278. Durham: Duke University Press.
2008 ‘Marginal Muslims’: Politics and the Perceptual Bounds of Islamic Authenticity in Northern Nigeria. In special issue: Muslim West Africa in the Age of Neoliberalism (Benjamin Soares and Marie Nathalie LeBlanc, guest editors), Africa Today 54 (3): 67-94.
2008 Mediated Hostility, Generation and Victimhood in Northern Nigeria. In Workbook on Ethnic Conflicts. Judy Carter, Vamik Volkan, and George Irani, eds. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
2007 ‘Policing’ through Violence: Fear, Vigilantism, and the Politics of Islam in Northern Nigeria. In Global Vigilantes. David Pratten and Atreyee Sen, eds. Pp. 93-126. London: Hurst & Company.
2006 Niger (Republic of). In Mosby’s Pocket Guide Series: Cultural Health Assessment. Mosby Publishers.
2005 Mediating Cultural Communities. Journal of Neuroaesthetic Theory: http://www.artbrain.com.
2003 Robert Edgerton. In Biographical Dictionary of Anthropology, Vered Amit, ed. London: Routledge.
2001 (with Nancy Anderson, A. Nyamathi, J. McAvoy, and F. Conde) Conceptions about Risk for HIV/AIDS Among Adolescents in Juvenile Detention. Western Journal of Nursing Research 23 (4): 336-359.
1998 Suffering and the Identification of Enemies in Northern Nigeria. Political and Legal Anthropology Review 21 (1): 1-25.
1997 Medicines for Madness: Suffering, Disability, and the Identification of Enemies in
Northern Nigeria. Dissertation, University of California. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Publishers.
1996 (Anderson, Nancy, G. Uman, C. Keenan, D. Koniak-Griffin) The Process of Instrument Development for Ethnically Diverse Early Adolescents. The Journal of Early Adolescence 16 (4): 427-450.
Grants and Fellowships
2007 Council of Private Universities Research Grant, Kuwait
2006 American University of Kuwait, Completion Grant
2006 American University of Kuwait, Initiation Grant
2005-10 Fulbright Senior Specialist
2004 Lecturing/Research Award, Fulbright IIE
2002 Humanities Institute Fellow, Dartmouth College
2000-01 Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Award
2001-02 Harry Frank Guggenheim Research Award
1996-97 Dissertation Year Award, UCLA
1996 Fellowship, Department of Anthropology, UCLA
1994-95Dissertation Research Award, Fulbright IIE
1993-1996 numerous Research Awards from Social Psychiatry, Department of Anthropology, Psychocultural Studies Program, UCLA
2008 Innovative Lecturer Award, Student Government Association, American University of Kuwait
2005 Choice Magazine Outstanding Academic Book Award for Companion to Psychological Anthropology: Modernity and Psychocultural Change
1997 Association for Political and Legal Anthropology Student Essay Prize
- Cultural Anthropology
- Global Studies
- African Cultural Histories
- African Popular Cultures
- Genocide and Post-Conflict Justice
Given my areas of specialization, I am exploring possibilities to develop courses in the following areas: African Medicine; Islamic Youth Cultures; Global Health and Pathologies of Power; Slavery and Debt Bondage.