Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto.

“I am human: nothing human is alien to me.”

– Publius Terentius Afer (185–159 B.C.)

“We may aspire to change the world rather than merely to observe it. But we need to understand how it works in order to change it in socially effective ways.”

– Sidney Mintz

I am a cultural anthropologist with interests in migration, development, marriage, demography, Islam and sub-Saharan Africa. Since the early 1990s I have spent more than five years in Africa, working in or traveling to a dozen sub-Saharan countries. Most of my fieldwork concerns populations living in or emanating from the western Sahel region, particularly the country of Mali. This part of the world offers fascinating perspectives not only on the diversity of human societies but on global processes of economic and cultural transformation. In my research I have sought to illuminate some of the ways Africans carve out spaces for themselves in the contemporary globalized world. My current focus examines marriage dynamics in Mali’s capital city, Bamako.

My first book, published by Indiana University Press, was listed among the “Best (overlooked) books of 2012”:

My second book project, an ethnography of polygamy, gender, and society in Bamako, Mali, is currently a manuscript undergoing peer review.

As a teacher, I try to integrate anthropological perspectives with a focus on current events and important issues. Specific subjects I teach about include globalization, development, African societies, Islam, medical anthropology, migration, development, and economic anthropology. To learn more about my teaching philosophy and experience, my research, or to view sample course syllabi, click on the links below.

Sample course syllabi (PDF documents):

Follow me on Twitter: @BridgesFromBKO

Contact me by e-mail at:


or by phone at (610) 758-4821.