Program: Anthropology Ph.D
Year of Entry: Fall 2015.
Advisor: Sarah E. Wagner
I am a cultural anthropologist working at the intersection of African studies, conflict and intervention, and media and technology. I am interested in recent innovations and developments in humanitarianism and peacebuilding, especially around technological interventions that occur amid ongoing conflict in central Africa. I have conducted research in northern Uganda and northeastern D.R. Congo on these themes, in addition to research experience in Belgium and the US on other aspects of communications technology.
Funding from the Social Science Research Council
Funding from the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research
Funding from the National Science Foundation.
Conflict, intervention, humanitarianism, technology, Uganda, D.R. Congo, counter-insurgency, militias, media, sound, infrastructure
My current research centers on a two-way radio network in northern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where civil society actors proposed an existing church communications network as a model for a humanitarian conflict early warning system. My dissertation is an ethnography of the network, the humanitarians that operate it, and the security context in which it is situated. Moving along the network using ethnographic and archival methods, I study the work of humanitarian innovation and the role of media technology in conflict intervention. I investigate what it means to be (dis)connected, which actors are viewed as threats vs. protectors, and to whom.
In press. Ross, S."Remoteness and Connection on a Congolese Humanitarian Radio Network." Anthropological Quarterly
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.
MA (Anthropology), 2018, George Washington University
MA (African Studies), 2014, Yale University
BA (Global Studies; Education; History), 2011, Arizona State University