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Anna Jaysane-DarrDr. Anna Jaysane-Darr

Assistant Professor, Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work


About Me

As an educator, I am particularly interested in cultural awareness, engaged education, and global citizenship. Thus, I encourage modes of learning that connect the classroom with our broader society, and invite students to lead the educational process. I regard the classroom as a space for generating and workshopping ideas and projects, and hope to galvanize students to use their education to make the world a better place.

Research/Creative Interests

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist specializing in reproduction, medicalization, neurodiversity, and refugee studies. My past research centered on the experience of refugee resettlement in the United States, refugee assistance organizations, and medical and familial management of reproduction. Newer projects are concerned with the lived experience of autism in the United States and South Africa, global public health interventions in behavioral health, and on autism spectrum disorder etiologies and treatment.

My current research, supported by a Spencer Foundation grant, focuses on the therapeutic labor of educators and therapists working in autism schools and programs in Cape Town, South Africa and evaluates the impact of structural inequalities on disabled communities in South Africa.


  1. "Ethnic Refuge." Anthropology NewsSpecial Issue "Maintaining Refuge."
  2. “‘Birth Is a Miracle Only to God’: Reconfiguring Kinship through Reproductive Suffering in the South Sudanese Diaspora.” Social Dynamics42 (2): 321–34.
  3. “Nurturing Sudanese, Producing Americans: Refugee Parents and Personhood.” In Parenting in Global Perspective: Negotiating Ideologies of Kinship, Self, and Politics, edited by Charlotte Faircloth, Diane Hoffman, and Linda L. Layne, 101–15. London: Routledge.
  4. “Galaxies of Meaning: Semiotics in Media Theory.” Semiotica182: 229–46.


“Enabling and Disabling Emotional Diversity: Negotiating Autism Spectrum Disorder in Therapeutic Encounters,” American Anthropological Association, 2018

“The matrix of milk and kisra: making people and survival in resettlement” in panel “Matters of Resettlement”. American Anthropological Association, 2017.

 “Emotional Regimes: Maternalism, Power, and Affect in a Refugee-Serving Nonprofit Organization," American Anthropological Association, 2015

“Producing Reproductive Bodies: Intersectionality and Biopolitics in a South Sudanese (Former) Refugee Community," American Anthropological Association, 2014

Contact Information

Office: Murdock Hall 325

(413) 662-5112


Office Hours

Fall  2019

Tuesday 1:00- 2:00 pm, Wednesday 12:00 - 2:00 pm and by appointment



Ph.D., Brandeis University, 2013

M.A., School of Oriental and African Studies, 2003

B.A., New York University


Courses Taught

ANTH 140: Peoples of the World

ANTH 305: Anthropology of Refugees and Displacement

ANTH 310: Global Health

ANTH 315: Community Health

ANTH 323: Culture and Conflict in Africa

ANTH 345: Culture, Health, and Illness

ANTH 365: Gender Roles and Culture

ANTH 495: Culture and the Brain