I am a cultural anthropologist studying humanitarian intervention, armed conflict, and technology in east and central Africa. I’m interested in how humanitarianism and security are understood in practice, and how technology mediates or shapes interventions.
I am currently a Peace Scholar Fellow at the United State Institute of Peace and a PhD candidate in Anthropology at George Washington University in the U.S, where my dissertation research centers on communications infrastructure and humanitarian intervention in response to conflict, specifically an early warning two-way radio network in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo. My dissertation explores how humanitarians repackaged local modes of communication to connect and protect rural communities, asking what it means to be remote or connected, what constitutes a threat or protection, and according to whom. You can read more about it on my research page.
In addition to my dissertation project, I have conducted research in Uganda and DR Congo on FM broadcast radio, demobilization efforts during rebellion, counterinsurgency, and rumors. I also completed research in the US on social media use and media ideologies and currently serve as a co-section editor and contributing editor at the Society for Cultural Anthropology on its Social Media Team. I use he/him pronouns.
My research has been supported by the Social Science Research Council, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, and National Science Foundation. Prior to coming to GW and DC, I earned a MA in African Studies at Yale University, where I was also a managing editor at the Yale Journal of International Affairs, and BAs in Global Studies, History, and Education at Arizona State University; I also briefly taught high school social studies. In DC, I have been involved in several labor and community organizing efforts, including migrant solidarity mutual aid work.
You can find more about my writing and research on this website, as well as a blog where I used to write infrequently about anthropology, African politics, and humanitarian interventions as well as left politics, conflict, history, and writing. You can contact me at scottandrewross [at] gmail [dot] com. I’m on twitter at @scott_a_ross.