Affiliation: NYU Abu Dhabi
Education: BA University of Washington; MA New York University; PhD University of California Los Angeles
Research Areas: visual ethnography; aesthetics; politics; performance; media; postcolonial theory; violence; war; humanitarianism; West Africa (Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso); South India
Samuel Mark Anderson is an ethnographer of West African expressive culture and its encounters with religion, politics, and public health. He teaches writing at NYUAD through themes at the intersections of arts, politics, humanitarianism, and postcolonialism. His ongoing work in Sierra Leone tracks a former militia commander who redeploys defensive mystic powers he gained in wartime for touring spectacles promoting reconciliation, Islam, and development projects. His research has been funded by the Social Science Research Council, the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation, the U.S. Fulbright Program, and a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard. Sam Anderson has written articles for the journals Africa and Cultural Anthropology, as well as invited contributions to African Art, American Ethnologist, and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, and he served as co-editor of The Art of Emergency: Aid and Aesthetics in African Crises (Oxford, 2020).