Amber R. Reed, Ph.D: Cultural Anthropologist

Amber R. Reed, Ph.D | Apr-04-2022

My name is Amber Reed, and I’m trained as a cultural anthropologist with a focus on South Africa, education, democracy, and the politics of culture. My 2020 book, Nostalgia after Apartheid: Disillusionment, Youth, and Democracy in South Africa was the winner of the Society for Applied Anthropology/American Anthropological Association 2021 Margaret Mead Award. The book is the product of my engagement with a rural community in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa over the past decade, and asks questions about how people who suffered most under apartheid remember that time period and how it impacts their interactions with youth in educational spaces.

I have also long been interested in visual media, which started when I interned at the Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival at the American Museum of Natural History after college. I have taught courses relating to visual anthropology and ethnographic film, and in 2019 I published an article about a participatory mapping project with rural South African youth in Visual Anthropology Review that asks how children’s maps can demonstrate the way space and place are racialized in the wake of oppressive regimes like apartheid.

As a passionate teacher of African Studies, I have long been interested in how and what young people learn about Africa outside of the continent. To that end, I am in the early stages of a new research project alongside colleague Bailey Brown in Sociology & Anthropology that asks how Atlanta Public School students learn about the African continent in different types of educational spaces. Atlanta is an especially exciting place to do this work and I am so happy to be here! I welcome conversations with other faculty about any or all of these research interests, and look forward to meeting all of you in the future.

Amber R. Reed, Ph.D
Assistant Professor of International Studies