Interim Director of Program

Nathan Suhr-Sytsma

Assistant Professor, English Department
Callaway N313
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
Telephone: 404-727-6512


Rose library

Dr. Nathan Suhr-Sytsma, Assistant Professor of English, is the Interim Director of the Institute of African Studies for the 2017-2018 academic year. His profile from the Department of English can be found here.

Director of Program

Clifton Crais

Professor, History Department
Bowden 326
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 30322
Telephone: 404-727-8396


Clifton CraisClifton Crais, Professor (B.A., University of Maryland, 1982; M.A., Johns Hopkins, 1984; Ph.D., 1988). His research interests are in African history, especially Southern Africa, state formation and political culture, inequality, comparative empire and world history, biography and heterography, the histories and anthropologies of violence, and the organization of knowledge across the humanities and interpretative social sciences. He is author, with Pamela Scully (African Studies and Women's Studies) of Sara Baartman and the Hottentot Venus: A Ghost Story and a Biography (Princeton, 2008) on the woman more famously known as the "Hottentot Venus," and about whom a feature film is now being made; The Politics of Evil: Magic, Power and the Political Imagination in South Africa (Cambridge, 2002), White Supremacy and Black Resistance in Pre-Industrial South Africa: The Making of the Colonial Order in the Eastern Cape, 1770-1865 (Cambridge, 1992), editor of The Culture of Power in Southern Africa: Essays on State Formation and the Political Imagination (Portsmouth, 2003), co-editor of Breaking the Chains: Slavery and its Legacy in Nineteenth-Century South Africa (Johannesburg and Bloomington, 1995), Area Editor of Encyclopedia of World History, 8 vol. (Oxford University Press, 2008), in addition to other works. With Pamela Scully, Crais is completing a documentary history of South Africa. He recently completed his first novel, The Memory Box, and is currently writing a memoir, History Lessons. In addition, he has begun work on a world history of violence, provisionally entitled Terror, Suffering, and the Fate of Humankind.

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Kristin Phillips

Department of Anthropology
305 Anthropology
Emory University
Atlanta, GA  30322
Telephone: 404-727-9551


Kristin PhillipsProfessor Phillips is a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In her research, Professor Phillips studies citizenship, development, and social change in East Africa. She is specifically interested in how people in contemporary African contexts organize politically, engage policy structures, and vie for voice and economic resources amidst other everyday pursuits of livelihood, human connection, and meaning. In pursuing these questions, she has conducted ethnographic and historical research in the drought-prone Singida region of central Tanzania since 2002. She has published and presented on themes of participatory development, electoral politics, postcolonial policymaking, the politics of knowledge, gender and generation, schooling and childhood, initiation and ritual, and food, farming, and hunger. She is currently working on a book manuscript, titled Landscapes of Development: Policy, Citizenship, and the Politics of Place in Tanzania. At Emory, she teaches courses such as "Foundations in Development Studies," "Political Culture and Citizenship," "Development and the Politics of Knowledge," "City and Village in Africa," "Introduction to African Studies," and "Research Methods for Development Practice."

Assistant to the Director

Ashley Parcells

Department of History

Ms. Parcells is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Emory, a Mellon Graduate Teaching Fellow at Agnes Scott College, and the Assistant to the Director of the Institute of African Studies. Her research explores the territorialzation of ethnic identity in apartheid South Africa.  Her research has received funding from the Laney Graduate School, the Department of History, and the Social Science Research Council.