Joanna Davidson

Associate Director

  • Title Associate Director
  • Office 91 Bay State Road, Suite 115
  • Phone 617-358-5900
  • Education BA, Stanford University
    MA, Emory University
    PhD, Emory University

Joanna Davidson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. As a cultural anthropologist, Dr. Davidson has conducted long-term ethnographic research in Guinea-Bissau focused on rural West Africans’ responses to environmental and economic change, as well as transformations in marriage and gender relations. She is the author of Sacred Rice: Identity, Environment, and Development in Rural West Africa (Oxford University Press, 2016) and the co-editor of Narrating Illness: Prospects and Constraints (Oxford Interdisciplinary Press, 2016), and she has published numerous articles in leading anthropology and African Studies journals. Her current book project focuses on widowhood, women’s songs, and naming practices among rural Jola in Guinea-Bissau. Dr. Davidson teaches courses on cultural anthropology, Africanist anthropology, storytelling, ethnographic writing, among other topics. She is a recipient of the Neu Family Award for Excellence in Teaching, as well as a wide range of research grants and fellowships in the social sciences and humanities. Prior to becoming an academic anthropologist, Dr. Davidson worked for several years with international development organizations in Africa and Latin America on issues such as refugee resettlement, indigenous rights, women’s and rural development, and social entrepreneurship.

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