Scott Ross

Areas of Expertise

 Conflict, intervention, humanitarianism, technology, Uganda, D.R. Congo, counter-insurgency, militias, media, sound, infrastructure


Anthropology Ph.D. Program 

Year of Entry: Fall 2015.

Advisor: Sarah E. Wagner

I have spent most of my time studying conflict and intervention in east and central Africa, with a particular focus on the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict originating in Uganda. I  previously studied the justice and media aspects of this conflict, both through the lens of intervention. My current focus is on how communities have changed over the course of the conflict’s many iterations, with a focus on the internationalization of the conflict and U.S. military interventions in the region. Much of this research builds on my own history as an activist working on LRA issues through several U.S.-based non-profits. Prior to joining GW, I was a high school social studies teacher in Arizona and Connecticut.

Current Research

My research focus is on humanitarian interventions and infrastructures in northeastern Congo in response to the Lord's Resistance Army (a Ugandan rebel group). My dissertation project centers on an early warning network of high-frequency radios, asking how different actors define (in)security and how notions of the political have changed in response to the conflict and ensuing interventions. This includes the actions of peacekeepers, self-defense groups, pastoralists, villagers, and other actors in the region, though most of my fieldwork is spent with humanitarian radio operators. I am also interested in how local, colonial, and missionary histories and the history and materiality of technology shape the radio intervention itself.


MA (Anthropology), 2018, George Washington University
MA (African Studies), 2014, Yale University
BA (Global Studies; Education; History), 2011, Arizona State University


2019  Ross, S. "Being Real on Fake Instagram: Likes, Images, and Media Ideologies of Value." Journal of Linguistic Anthropology 29 (3): 359-374.

2016  Ross, S. "Encouraging rebel demobilization by radio in Uganda and the D.R. Congo: The case of ‘come home’ messaging,” African Studies Review 59 (1): 33-55.