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2021-Present  Spelman College, Assistant Professor of International Studies  

2017-2021        Southern Oregon University, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

2016-2017       Drexel University, Visiting Assistant Professor of Anthropology

2016-Present University of Pennsylvania

                         Visiting Scholar, Anthropology

2014-2016       University of Pennsylvania                                                                        

                         Postdoctoral Fellow, Anthropology and Africana Studies          



2014               PhD, University of California-Los Angeles, Anthropology                                    

Dissertation: “Inkululeko: Youth, NGOs, and Discourses of Democracy in Post-Apartheid South Africa”

2010               MA, University of California-Los Angeles, Anthropology                                     

                       Thesis: “Creating New Leaders: Youth Involvement in Community Activism in South Africa”

2005               BA, Barnard College, Anthropology                                                                       

                       Graduated Magna cum Laude

Honors and Awards

2019-2020    SOU Professional Development Grant for “Suburbia, Consumption, and the Post-Racial”

2019              Carpenter I Grant for Summer Fieldwork in South Africa

2018              Carpenter II Grant for African Studies Association Annual Meeting

2016               African Studies Association Dakar Travel Award

2015               Franklin Research Grant, American Philosophical Society                                      

2014               UCLA Dissertation Year Fellowship (Declined)                                                      

2013               UCLA Anthropology Conference Travel Grant                                                      

2012               UCLA International Institute Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship                            

2012               UCLA Anthropology Research Travel Grant                                                          

2010/11         UCLA Graduate Research Mentorship Program                                                      

2009/10        UCLA Graduate Summer Research Mentorship Program                                         

2009              UCLA Anthropology Research Travel Grant                                                          

2009               National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program Honorable Mention

2008-2012     UCLA Graduate Fellowship                                                                                     





2020              Reed, Amber. Nostalgia of the Oppressed: Youth, Democracy, and Culture in Post-

                       Apartheid South Africa. Notre Dame Press.

Refereed Articles


2019               “Racialized Space: Children Map the Post-Apartheid Landscape.” Visual Anthropology Review. 35(2).

2016               Reed, Amber. “Nostalgia in the Post-Apartheid State.” Anthropology Southern Africa. 39(2).

2016               Reed, Amber. “Democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa.” In Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology. Ed. John Jackson. New                              York: Oxford University Press, forthcoming.

2011               Reed, Amber. “Creating New Leaders: Youth Activism in South Africa.” Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies. vol. 36,                             no. 2.

2010               Reed, Amber & Hill, Amy. “ ‘Don’t Keep it to Yourself!” Digital Storytelling with South African Youth. vol. 6,                           no. 2.

2009               Reed, Amber. “ ‘Don’t Keep it to Yourself:’ Young People in Mhlontlo (Eastern Cape) Tell Their Stories through the                                   Digital Stories Project.” Sonke Gender Justice Network website:

Invited Book Reviews

2019               Contradictions of Democracy: Vigilantism and Rights in Post-Apartheid South Africa. Nicholas Rush

                       Smith. American Ethnologist.

2017               Democracy’s Infrastructure: Techno-Politics and Protest after Apartheid. Anita Von Schnitzler.

                       American Ethnologist.


2017               Reed, Amber. “ Photos from the Field.” Neos 9(1).

2016               “Mapping Post-Apartheid: Rural South African Children and the Politics of Space.” Installation.

                       Screening Scholarship Media Festival, University of Pennsylvania, April.

Invited Presentations

2021               "Nostalgia, Human Rights, and Democracy in South Africa." International Studies, Spelman College.

2017                “Nostalgia, Democracy, and Race in South Africa.” Anthropology Department, Southern

                        Oregon University.

2016               “Identity Politics and NGOs: A Case Study in South Africa.” Health and Societies: Global Perspectives course, University                         of Pennsylvania, March.

2016               “Nostalgia and Pedagogy in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Indaba Series, Princeton Institute for International and                                   Regional Studies. February.

2015               “Girls’ Rights and Cultural Relativism in South Africa.” Seneca International, U.N. International Day of the Girl. October.

2015               “Nostalgia and Neoliberalism in the Post-Apartheid State.” African Studies Workshop, Harvard  University. October.

2015               “Nostalgia in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Anthropology Department Colloquium, University of Pennsylvania,                                         February.

2015               “Human Rights and Cultural Relativism in South Africa.” Penn International Affairs Association’s Model United Nations                            Conference. Philadelphia, January.

2015               “Teaching ‘Democracy’ through Digital Storytelling.” Programs in Education, Culture and Society, Graduate School of                              Education, University of Pennsylvania, January.

2014               “Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Mental Health and Behavior.” Psychology Course, Hunter College, CUNY, November.

2014               “Nostalgia and Neoliberalism in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” The Africa Center, University of Pennsylvania,                                             November.

2013               “Teaching Democracy: Socialization of Political Ideology in Rural South Africa.” Linguistic Anthropology Course, UCLA,                         May.



Conference Presentations

2019                 “Life Orientation as Democratic Project.” Southern Oregon Arts and Research, SOU, May.

2019                 “Thinking Outside the Box? NGO Practices to Shape Youth Identity in the Rural Eastern Cape.

                           University of Texas at Austin Africa Conference, March.

2018                  “Ambivalent Interventions: The Social Consequences of Medical Intervention in ‘The Field.’” African

                         Studies Association Annual Meetings, November.

2017                "Gender Transformation as Liberal Democratic Project: The Case of South Africa." African Studies Association Annual                            Meetings, November.

2017                “The Tyranny of Democracy: Producing Un-freedom in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Diverse Unfreedoms and Their                             Ghosts, Rutgers University, March.

 2016               “Internal Colonization and the Creation of Nostalgia in South Africa’s Former Transkei.” American Anthropological                                  Association Annual Conference, November.

2016               “Transforming Citizenship: Democracy, Education and Nostalgia in the Post-Apartheid State.” Innovation,                                                    Transformation and Sustainable Futures in Africa, American Anthropology Association/African Studies Association                                Conference, Dakar, Senegal, June.

2016               “Mapping Post-Apartheid: Rural South African Children and the Politics of Space.” Installation. Screening Scholarship                               Media Festival, University of Pennsylvania, April.

2015               “Nostalgia for Apartheid and Democratic Discontent.” American Anthropological Association Annual Conference,                                   Denver, CO, November.

2013               “Democracy Across Generations: Negotiations of and Resistance to New Values among Rural South African Youth and                          their Elders.” American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, November.

2011               “Conceptions of Childhood in Post-Apartheid South Africa.” Multiple Childhoods/Multidisciplinary Perspectives                                       Conference, Rutgers University, May.

2010               “ ‘Don’t Keep It To Yourself!’: Digital Storytelling Among South African Youth.” American Anthropological Association                              Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, November.

2010               “Gender Roles Among Youth Activists in South Africa.” Men, Masculinities and Family Planning in Africa, UCLA,                                        October.

2010               “Creating New Leaders: Youth Involvement in Community Activism in South Africa.” African Activist Association Annual                         Conference, UCLA, May.


Media Appearances

2016               “Democracy in Africa.” The Divided Line. WQHS Radio, University of Pennsylvania, March.


Teaching Experience

2021-Present    Spelman College, International Studies

2017-Present     Southern Oregon University, Anthropology Department

                            Cultural Anthropology: Perspectives on Humanity

                            Cultures in Comparison: Africa

                            Re-Imagining Africa

                            NGOs and Humanitarianism

                            Democracy in Africa

                            Ethnographic Methods

                            Ethnographic Film

                            Video Ethnography

2016-2017         Drexel University, Anthropology  Department

                           Introduction to Cultural Anthropology          

                           Ethnographic  Methods

                           NGOs and Humanitarianism

2014-2016        University of Pennsylvania, Anthropology and Africana Studies           

                           Youth and Democracy in Africa, an upper-level undergraduate course  

                           NGOs and Humanitarianism, a mixed undergraduate/graduate course    

                          The Anthropology of Nostalgia and Memory, a graduate course

2014                  John Jay College, CUNY, Anthropology Department

                          Introduction to Anthropology, an undergraduate course

2013-2014        Baruch College, CUNY, Anthropology & Sociology Department                                                                                      

                          Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, an undergraduate course

                          Anthropological Analysis, an undergraduate capstone course for the minor

2009-2013       University of California, Los Angeles, Anthropology Department                                                              

                         Culture and Society, Study of Culture, Culture and Communication, Language in Culture

                         Methods in Cultural Anthropology

2005-2008     The American Museum of Natural History, High School After School Program, Education Department                            

                         Taught: Introduction to Anthropology, Introduction to Ethnographic Film    

Professional Positions

2014-Present  The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY                                      

                          Course Scientist, Seminars on Science Online Courses

2014                 The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY                            

                          Human Bulletins Content Advisor, Science Bulletins                                                           

2005-2008      The American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY                            

                          High School After-School Program Coordinator, Education Department

Professional Workshops

2015               Johannesburg Workshop in Theory and Criticism

                       University of the Witswatersrand, South Africa, June/July

2013               Making Better Writers of Your Students

                       Schwartz Institute, Baruch College, CUNY, October

2013               Atlas.ti Training Workshop for Qualitative Research Analysis

                       AIDS Institute, UCLA, May

2012               MenEngage Africa Workshop with Sonke Gender Justice

                       Gender-based violence prevention and gender equality workshop, Rwanda, March

Professional Affiliations

2016-Present       African Studies Association

2014-Present       Africana Department’s Postdoctoral Scholars Workshop, University of Pennsylvania

2014-Present       CAMRA, University of Pennsylvania

2013-2014             City University of New York (CUNY) Childhood Scholars Group

2008-Present       Interest Group on NGOs and Nonprofits, AAA

2008-Present       Anthropology of Children and Childhood Interest Group, AAA

2008-2014             African Activists Association

2007-Present       American Anthropological Association


Professional Service

2018-2019            Member, Financial Aid Committee, Southern Oregon University

2018-2019            Member, Professional Learning Community/Upper Division Education, Southern Oregon


2017-Present       Member, International Studies Committee, Southern Oregon University

2015                      Volunteer Panel Co-Organizer and Discussant, “Strange Presents/Familiar Pasts: The Anthropology of Nostalgia.”                                  American Anthropological Association Annual Conference, November

2013-Present       Peer Reviewer, Cultural Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Social Problems, African Studies, Global Public                                   Health

2013                       Volunteer Panel Co-Organizer, “Nascent Democracies: Discontent, Negotiation, Resistance.” American                                                     Anthropological Association Annual Conference, November


English: Native Language

Xhosa: Intermediate Listener, Intermediate Speaker, Intermediate Reading and Writing

Afrikaans: Novice Listener, Novice Speaker, Novice Reading and Writing

Spanish: Intermediate Listener, Intermediate Speaker, Intermediate Reading and Writing


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