Serah Shani, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
(805) 565-6844

Office Location

Deane Hall 208

Office Available

Only by appointment. 


Cultural anthropology, anthropology of education, transnational parenting and childhood
globalization, immigration and transnationalism, elite formation, and urban ethnography

Research interests: Urban migration, transnational movements, education, identities, sociocultural economic adaptation, influence of market economies on parenting strategies among marginalized and indigenous groups, and elite formation among indigenous groups in East Africa.


Dr. Shani completed her doctorate at Columbia University and earned three master's degrees: in the sociology of health and medicine from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, in international and transcultural studies from Columbia, and in anthropology and education, also from Columbia. She joined the Westmont faculty in 2016. She has lectured and taught at Yale, Southern Connecticut State, Cornell, and Columbia. She studies Islam, parenting, the African Diaspora, and water, sanitation and health concerns. A native of Kenya, she graduated from Daystar University and 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 book, published 2018, is titled: "African Immigrant Families in the United States: Transnational Lives and Schooling."