- Anthropology and Geography and Communication Studies
- Ph.D. Anthropology - University of Chicago
- M.A. Anthropology - University of Chicago
I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the departments of Communication Studies and Anthropology at Colorado State University and a former preceptor in the Masters Program in the Social Sciences (MAPSS) at the University of Chicago, where I graduated with a Ph.D. in Anthropology. My dissertation work addressed the semiotic and political economy of language, race, and mobility at play in African students’ interactions with their Chinese peers in contemporary Beijing.
The current book project based on this work is titled Third World Cosmopolitanism in White Spacetime: Intersectional Horizons of Afro-Chinese Encounter. It investigates hierarchical interactions between African students and their Chinese interlocutors in a number of top-tier Universities in China. The study focuses on the relationship between ‘English’, ‘whiteness’, and ‘cosmopolitanism’ as imbricated terms of commensuration mediating the interactions between African and Chinese actors, revealing how this relationship – between what appear to be familiar ‘colonial’ tropes – becomes reconstituted in novel, but ultimately limiting ways in Sino-African encounters in Beijing. As such, the book affords an opportunity to re-approach the analytics of intersectionality, postcolonial translation, and modernity’s malcontents from a context considered to be outside of a Western-to-other encounter. In this project, and in my work generally, I argue that non-Western encounters challenge and restage the stakes of translation as a disciplinary metaphor in anthropology, particularly with regard to its implications for the study of race, language, and mobility.
I have two follow-up research projects underway. One is a linguistic anthropological inquiry into multilingualism and mass-mediation in South African Parliamentary interactions and makes use of semiotic analysis of media objects. The other is a mass media and intellectual history project concerning the contradictory recruitment of tropes of indigeneity in the context of Third Worldist revolutions between 1948 and 1975.
Working between CSU’s departments of Communication Studies and Anthropology is in many ways an appropriate space for my research, given the both its methodological situatedness between semiotic-, media-, and interactionist analysis, on the one hand, and ethnographically situated social inquiry, on the other. I also see my work as contributing to CSU’s recent commitment to academic decolonization – an endeavor encouraged by the institution’s inter-disciplinary inclusivity, allowing emerging researchers to work productively between departments and subdisciplines.