Faculty Name

Amber Reed, Ph.D.


Assistant Professor


International Studies



Office Location

Camille Olivia Hanks Cosby, Ed.D. Academic Center 401


Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
M.A., Anthropology, University of California, Los Angeles
B.A., Anthropology, Barnard College


Dr. Amber Reed is a cultural anthropologist with a focus on South Africa. She holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles and a B.A. from Barnard College. Her work has examined postapartheid democratic education and the politics of culture in rural South Africa; this is the focus of her 2020 book, "Nostalgia After Apartheid: Disillusionment, Youth, and Democracy in South Africa" (University of Notre Dame Press).
She is currently working on two new research projects: the first examines rural to suburban movement of Black South African families into formerly white-only suburbs around the metropolitan area of East London in the Eastern Cape Province. This project combines ethnographic work with residents and real estate agents with a close examination of African visual media to understand how space is experienced in a society that is simultaneously structured around race and ostensibly committed to equality and multiculturalism.

The second will examine how the African continent is taught in Atlanta-area middle schools. In 2020, she and a South African colleague also completed a research project examining how former apartheid activists and survivors in East London are navigating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Dr. Reed teaches the program’s Introduction to International Studies course, Interdisciplinary Research Methods, and courses on Africa.


Courses Taught

Introduction to International Studies
Interdisciplinary Research Methods
Democracy in Africa

Research Interests

South Africa, democracy, political education, human rights, politics of culture, race, internal movement, suburbia, ethnographic film, visual media, apartheid, nostalgia and memory, NGOs, youth and youth activism, Xhosa culture, contemporary and historical representations of the African continent


Reed, A.R. Nostalgia as Pedagogical Practice: Democratic Education in Rural South Africa. JAYS 4, 1–14 (2021). DOI

Reed, A.R. (2019), Racialized Space: Children Map the Post-Apartheid Landscape. Vis Anthropol Rev, 35: 162-175. DOI

Amber R. Reed (2016) Nostalgia in the post-apartheid state, Anthropology Southern Africa, 39:2, 97-109, DOI: 10.1080/23323256.2016.1172492  

Amber R. Reed, Casey Golomski. Ambiguous interventions: The social consequences of assistance in the field. (2022). DOI