Serah Shani

Dr. Serah Shani

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Phone: (805) 565-6844
Email: sshani@westmont.edu
Office Location: Deane Hall 208

Office Hours
Tuesday & Thursday 3:15- 5:00 pm

Specialization
Anthropology


Serah Shani

Serah Shani, assistant professor of anthropology, joined the Westmont faculty in 2016. She completed her doctorate at Columbia University and holds three master's degrees: one in the sociology of health and medicine from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, another in international and transcultural studies from Columbia, and a third in anthropology and education, also from Columbia. Serah has lectured and taught at Yale, Southern Connecticut State, Cornell, and Columbia. Her presentations have explored many topics, including Islam, parenting, the African Diaspora, and water, sanitation and health concerns.  A native of Kenya, she graduated from Daystar University, concentrating on community development and music. She speaks five languages: English, Swahili, Maasai, Kisii, and Kikuyu. She conducts research on African immigrant parenting and schooling in the United States, focusing on Ghanaians in New York City, the subject of her forthcoming book from Lexington Books. She studies urban migration, transnational movements, education, identities, and sociocultural economic adaptation. Her research in Africa seeks to examine how market economies influence parenting strategies among marginalized and indigenous groups and how these strategies inform children’s future economic trajectories. Dr. Shani is also conducting research on elite formation among indigenous groups in East Africa.

Education

Ph.D., Cultural Anthropology and Education, Columbia University

M.Phil., Cultural Anthropology and Education, Columbia University

Ed.M., International and Transcultural Studies, Columbia University

M.A., Sociology of Health and Medicine, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

B.A., Community Development and a minor in Music, Daystar University

Professor Shani Teaches

Introduction to Anthropology

Peoples and Cultures of Africa

Culture Theory

Applied Anthropology

Anthropology of Education

Specialization

Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology of education

Transnational parenting and childhoods

Globalization, immigration and transnationalism

Elite formation

Urban ethnography/ethnography

Region of focus

Africa, the African Diaspora and the United States

Recent conference presentations

"Islam as a Mechansim for Socioeconomic Mobility: African parenting practices in New York City" American Anthropological Association conference, Washington, DC, 2017 (Paper Accepted)

"Leadership and the Issue of Immigration: Becoming American While Preserving Your Past." Leadership Conference at Westmont College, CA, 2017

"You are only a pen less from them”: Maasai parents’ hope in educating their children for future economicautonomy” African Studies Conference, Chicago Illinois, 2017 (Paper Accepted)

“The role of religious institutions, community and country of origin resources as mechanisms for education success: Ghanaian transnational migrants” Childhoods in Motion: Children, Youth, Migration, and Education Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, 2017

“Coming of age in the 21st century: the case of contemporary parenting practices among indigenous Maasai of Kenya” Society for Applied Anthropology in Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2017

“Coming of age in the 21st century: the case of contemporary parenting practices among indigenous Maasai of Kenya” Childhoods in Motion: Children, Youth, Migration, and Education Conference, University of California, Los Angeles, 2017

“Exhibiting Culture: The new lens of virtual reality” Margaret Mead Film Festival, American museum of natural history, New York City, 2016

Publications and works in progress

Shani, S. (2018) “I will not lose my children”:  African Immigrant Parents, Transnational Lives And Schooling in the United States: The Case of Ghanaians in New York City (Signed Book Contract, Lexington Books, Forth Coming, Spring 2018)

Shani, S. (2017) “Education and human capital among geographically isolated regions and marginalized Groups in Kenya” in Education and the Development of Human Capital: Outcomes for Equality and Governance in Africa (Cambridge Scholars Press, Forth Coming, Fall 2017)

Serah S. (2017) Doing Development in West Africa: A Reader by and for Undergraduates by Charles Piot, 2016. Research Africa Review, June, 2017 (Book Review)

Shani, S. (2017) West African non-migrant youth in the wake of migration and transnationalism. “Bush Bound: Young men and rural permanence in Migrants in West Africa” by Paolo Gaibazzi, 2015. Anthropology Book Forum, June (Book Review) 

Shani, S. (2017). Engaging the Diaspora: Migration and African Families by Pauline Ada Uwakweh, Jerono P. Rotich, and Comfort O. Okpala (eds.). 2014. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. 192 pp. African Studies Quarterly, March., 150-152. (Book Review)

Shani, S. & Coe, C. (2015): Cultural Capital and Transnational Parenting: The Case of Ghanaian Migrants in the United States. Harvard Educational Review: Winter 2015, Vol. 85, No. 4, pp. 562-586.

  • Boahen-Wilks Outstanding Scholarly Article Prize in Ghana Studies (Honorable Mention), Ghana Studies Association, 2016

Shani, S. (2006): Regional Economic Stratification and its Impact on Women’s Educational Access and HIV/AIDS Prevalence in Kenya: A Comparison between the Nyanza and Central Provinces. Society for International Education (4) 8-13

Shani, S. “West Africa Muslim youth and mosques teachers’ experiences in an urban setting."  (Manuscript in preparation)

Shani, S. “Coming of age in the 21st century: the case of contemporary parenting practices among indigenous Maasai of Kenya” (Manuscript in preparation)

Shani, S. “Elite formation trajectories among the Maasai of Kenya” (Manuscript in preparation)