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Visiting Scholars

Joanna Davidson blank photo
Back row:
Chris Krupa, Joanna Davidson
Front row: Patience Kabamba

Joanna Davidson was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the States at Regional Risk Program from 2008-2011. Joanna is an anthropologist working in West Africa, and her primary research interests include political ecology, cultural conceptions of knowledge, and anthropological engagements with development theory and practice. As part of her postdoctoral research, she spent six months in 2010 in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau exploring environmental change, agricultural transformation, and schooling, and following up on her previous extensive research in rural Guinea-Bissau. While at Emory, Joanna taught interdisciplinary courses on development, the political ecology of food and water, and African Studies. She helped organize the SARR conference on “Mano River Region at Risk” in Monrovia, Liberia in November 2008.

Joanna has a BA in Anthropology and Feminist Studies from Stanford University, and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Emory University. In addition to her academic career, Joanna has worked with a range of progressive non-governmental international development organizations in Latin America and Africa, and has presented testimony and prepared policy briefings based on her research for the UN.

Joanna started a position as Assistant Professor of the Department of Anthropology at Boston University in the fall of 2011. In addition to teaching courses in cultural anthropology, she is currently writing a book manuscript of changing conceptions of "sacred rice" in rural West Africa.


Patience Kabamba

Patience Kabamba is currently Senior Lecturer at the University of Johannesburg, South Africa in the Department of Anthropology and Development Studies.

Patience Kabamba received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Columbia University. He received his M.A. in Anthropology at Columbia University, a Masters in Philosophy at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, a Masters in Development Studies at the University of Natal Durban, South Africa and his B.A. in Philosophy from Centre Sevres, Jesuit College of Philosophy, Paris. He has been an African Doctoral Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington D.C., an Instructor at Columbia University, a UNDP research assistant and Consultant for the issue of proliferation of small arms and light weapons in the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda. His last stop was at Emory University as visiting lecturer in the Department of Anthropology.

Patience was a recipient of many grants including one from the most prestigious Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, New York. His recent publications are “Ethnic alternative to post-colonial State” in the Canadian Journal of African Studies, “Heart of Darkness: Image of RDC and its Theoretical underpinning” in Anthropological Theory, His manuscript “New Forms Life from the Debris of the Congolese State” is forthcoming with CODESRIA Publishers.

Chris Krupa

Christopher Krupa, a former post doctoral fellow with the States at Regional Risk project. is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto.

Krupa is a political anthropologist broadly interested in struggles over the production and circulation of political matter—the processes by which objects and categories ghost the relations of their making and take on political and social force. He has pursued this interest through his 15-plus years of ethnographic research in Andean Ecuador, focusing on issues of state formation, violence, and labour relations in agro-export enclaves encroaching upon indigenous territories. His work on the state is rooted in political phenomenology. It asks how the state comes to appear as a tangible, material, and consequential force among the governed and about the emergence of para-state complexes in places where the state’s monopoly on rule is not guaranteed. He has also sought to understand the role of emotion in generating bonds between citizen and state, the material technologies of state credibility, and the genres by which the state represents itself and is narrated into being. His studies of violence have focused on its political-semiotic aspects, particularly the ways that meaning is produced around the victim or the corpse. This approach directed his work on lynching in Latin America and undergirds his studies of Ecuador’s recent truth commission. He is also writing an intimate biography of guerrilla activity in 1980s Ecuador and its place in current reimaginings of this country’s cold war history. His work on labour reflects his long-term interest in the expansion of agrarian export production zones in the Global South and the social and political lives of populations laboring in them. Krupa's ongoing analysis of Ecuador’s cut-flower sector examines labour as a speculative technology of managing both a potentially antagonistic indigenous workforce and the wild fluctuations of an uncertain global commodity market. He is an editorial committee member on Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology, and serves on the American Ethnological Society board.

RESEARCH INTERESTS Violence; state, para-state, state effects; commodities and labour; race politics; speculation; value; historical anthropology; Latin America; Ecuador.

Krupa has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and received his PhD from the University of California, Davis.

Representative publications