Faculty & Staff

Casey Golomski, PhD, Brandeis University

Lecturer in Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts


photo of Casey Golomski

Areas of Expertise

Cultural anthropology, medical Anthropology, economic anthropology, religious studies: life course, kinship, gender, aging and death; body, healing, healthcare; ritual, indigenous religions, Christianity; insurance, work, value, consumption, material culture; Southern and West Africa, United States


PhD, Brandeis University
BA, St. Norbert College, summa cum laude

Professional Publications & Contributions

Additional Information

Casey Golomski is a Lecturer at the University of Massachusetts Boston, a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa in the Department of Social Anthropology’s “Life Course, Obligation, and Dependency” research unit, and public speaker and author. His research interrogates social reproduction at the crossroads of religion and medicine, asking how religiously-informed ideas and social relations inform the ways people understand and experience their bodies, health, illness and dying, and the ways they access medical technologies. In the past, he completed independent studies in African languages (isiZulu, siSwati) at Boston University and the University of KwaZulu-Natal, religion at Harvard Divinity School, and landscape architecture and folklore at the University of Wisconsin. Recently, he completed six years of ethnographic and archival research on a “new culture of funerals” and their material forms like cremation, tombstones, and insurance policies in at the turn of the Millenium in the Kingdom of Swaziland, Africa’s last absolute monarchy with the world’s highest HIV prevalence. This research was funded by three Fulbright grants and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Currently, he is conducting research with funding from the Wenner Gren Foundation on race, insurance and social assistance, and frail-care for older persons in the province of Mpumalanga in post-Apartheid South Africa. He is also an avid classical musician performing in the Boston area. Casey teaches courses on: Africa in global, ethnographic and historical perspective; medicine and healing; aging, dying and the life course; religion and ritual; material and visual culture; and social theory; and he invites students to contact him for informal advising and independent study opportunities.


Additional Publications:


“Compassion Technology: Life Insurance and the Remaking of Kinship in Swaziland’s Age of HIV.” American Ethnologist 42(1): 81-96, 2015

“Border-situations: Historical Memories of Apartheid-era Swaziland.” Johannesburg Salon 8: 13-22, 2015

“Ecumenical Predicaments and Religious Pluralism in Southern Africa.” Association for Africanist Anthropology, Anthropology News 55(7-8), 2015

“Polygamy, Polygyny, and Polyandry.” Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality, Nancy Naples, et al., eds. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

“Purity and Pollution.” Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality, Nancy Naples, et al., eds. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015

Review of McKinnon, Susan and Fennell Cannell, eds. (2013) Vital Relations: Modernity and the Persistent Life of Kinship. School for Advanced           Research Press. Anthropology and Aging 36(1): 103-105, 2015

“Generational Inversions: ‘Working’ for Social Reproduction amid HIV in Swaziland.” African Journal of AIDS Research 13(4): 351-359, 2014

Review of Hoffman, Danny (2011) The War Machines: Young Men and Violence in Sierra Leone and Liberia. Duke University Press. Anthropology of Work Review 35(1): 45-46, 2014

Review of Hovland, Ingie (2013) Mission Station Christianity: Norwegian Missionaries in Colonial Natal and Zululand, Southern Africa 1850-1890. Brill. AnthroCy: Anthropology of Christianity (June 6), 2014

Review of Decoteau, Claire Laurier (2013) Ancestors and Antiretrovirals: The Biopolitics of AIDS in South Africa. University of Chicago Press. Somatosphere (February 13), 2014

“Crisis, Risk, Control: Anthropology of Insurance.” In Focus, Anthropology News 54(9-10): 10-11, 2013

“Rites of Passage: 1900 to the Present: Africa.” Cultural Sociology of the Middle East, Asia and Africa, vol. 3, Andrea Stanton, et al., eds. Pp. 365-367. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 2012