Casey Golomski

ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Program Coordinator of Africana and African American Studies
Visiting Researcher
Phone: (603) 862-1864
Office: Anthropology, Huddleston Hall, Durham, NH 03824
Pronouns: He/him/his
headshot

Casey Golomski is an award-winning writer and cultural and medical anthropologist of Southern Africa who works with communities in eSwatini (Swaziland) and South Africa. His research centers perennial questions about life, death, and their thresholds.

His current research explores aging and racism, in the effects of racist policies and practices on elder care in South Africa. He is writing two books: one on the history of senior housing in South Africa from 1870-2020, and the other a work of creative non-fiction that features a unique crew of individuals in one small-town old age home--black and white residents of the apartheid generation and black nurses of the born-free generation, widows young and old, nurses who are also traditional healers, former colonists and anti-colonial freedom fighters, and Nelson Mandela's Robben Island prison nurse--whose lives can show us what it means to age in multiracial, postcolonial countries globally and reconcile legacies of racial violence at the end of life.

Based on years of field research, his first book, 'Funeral Culture - AIDS, Work, and Cultural Change in an African Kingdom' (Indiana University Press), is the first and still only comprehensive account of the AIDS epidemic in eSwatini, Africa's last absolute monarchy and the country with the world's highest HIV prevalence for more than 15 years. Through the voices of people in rural and urban communities, churches, businesses, and NGOs, Funeral Culture documents how grassroots responses to the epidemic drove innovations in everyday care practices that counteract the state's conservative cultural projects. The book shows how disease epidemics, whether AIDS or COVID-19, become grounds for citizens to engage in political reforms around aspirations for work. This quest for dignity through work--to make livelihoods--also galvanizes ongoing pro-democracy movements in the Kingdom.

Funded by three Fulbright Fellowships, the Wenner Gren, Reed, Mellon, and Teagle Foundations, and institutional grants, his research and creative writing has been published in a range of anthropology, African studies, and literary journals as well as several edited volumes. He was also awarded the Society for Humanistic Anthropology First Prize in Poetry. As an invited speaker on his research and approaches to writing, he has given talks at Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin, and Michigan State, Oslo, and the Universities of Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Witwatersrand in South Africa where he is an ongoing Visiting Researcher. Currently, he is a board member for the journal Anthropology and Humanism, the Northeastern Workshops on Southern Africa (NEWSA) and Seacoast African American Cultural Center (SAACC) in Portsmouth, NH where he supervises internships and public cultural education through curation of their collections. For SAACC, he also received a state-wide Spirit of NH Volunteer Service Award. He is also a classical musician as a long-term member of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra in Cambridge, MA.

He is always happy to meet with and advise interested students and consult for community, public, and private organizations.

Education

  • Ph.D., Anthropology, Brandeis University
  • B.A., Sociology, Saint Norbert College

Research Interests

  • African Languages/Literature
  • Aging and life course
  • Death and Dying, Behavioral/Social
  • Gender studies
  • Global Health
  • Medical humanities
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociocultural anthropology

Courses Taught

  • 500: Peoples&Cultures/Sub-Sahar Afr
  • 525: The Body: Fat, Fitness & Form
  • 680: Africana Religions
  • 685: Gendr, Sex, HIV Sub-Sahara Afr
  • ANTH 411: Global Perspectives:Intro Anth
  • ANTH 500: Peoples&Cultures/Sub-Saharan
  • ANTH 525: The Body: Fat, Fitness & Form
  • ANTH 610: Medical Anth:Illness & Healing
  • ANTH 680: Africana Religions
  • ANTH 685: Gendr, Sex, HIV Sub-Sahara Afr
  • ANTH 695: Global Population & Health
  • ANTH 699H: Honors Senior Thesis
  • ANTH 700: Internship
  • ANTH 796: Reading and Research

Selected Publications

Golomski, C. (2022). Visiting Hours: Spacetimes of Human-Animal Interaction in South African Elder Care. MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY QUARTERLY, 36(2), 217-236. doi:10.1111/maq.12702

Golomski, C. (2022). Deathnography: Writing, Reading, and Radical Mourning. In S. Dawdy, & T. Kneese (Eds.), The New Death: Mortality and Death Care in the Twenty-First Century (pp. 105-124). Santa Fe: University of New Mexico Press. Retrieved from https://www.unmpress.com/books/new-death/9780826363459

Golomski, C., Corvini, M., Kim, B., Wilcox, J., & Valcourt, S. (2022). Aspects of ICT connectivity among older adults living in rural subsidized housing: reassessing the digital divide. JOURNAL OF ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES, 16(1), 17-27. doi:10.1108/JET-12-2020-0052

Reed, A. R., & Golomski, C. (2022). Ambiguous interventions: The social consequences of assistance in the field. ETHNOGRAPHY. doi:10.1177/14661381211067449

Golomski, C. (2021). Dark Matter: Formations of Death Pollution in Southern African Funerals. In Y. Covington-Ward, & J. Jouili (Eds.), Embodying Black Religions in Africa and Its Diasporas (pp. 297-316). Durham: Duke University Press. Retrieved from https://www.dukeupress.edu/embodying-black-religions-in-africa-and-its-diasporas

Golomski, C. (2020). Countermythologies: Queering Lives in a Southern African Gay and Lesbian Pentecostal Church. TRANSFORMING ANTHROPOLOGY, 28(2), 155-168. doi:10.1111/traa.12180

Golomski, C. (2020). Society for Humanistic Anthropology 2019 Writing Awards. Anthropology and Humanism, 45(1), 139-141. doi:10.1111/anhu.12277

Golomski, C., & Dlamini, G. S. (2020). Beautiful Blessings: LGBTIQA Christians’ Reproductive and Parenting Aspirations.. In N. Mkhwanazi, & L. Manderson (Eds.), Connected Lives: Households, Families, Health, and Care in Contemporary South Africa. (pp. 38-44). Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press. Retrieved from https://www.hsrcpress.ac.za/books/connected-lives

Golomski, C. (2020). Greying mutuality: race and joking relations in a South African nursing home. AFRICA, 90(2), 273-292. doi:10.1017/S0001972019001049

Golomski, C. (2020). "Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery": Dying in South African Frail Care. ANTHROPOLOGY & AGING, 41(2), 9-23. doi:10.5195/aa.2020.243

Golomski, C. (2019). Interrogating traditionalism: gender and Swazi Culture in HIV/AIDS policy. “50 Years of Swazi Independence” issue, V. Laterza, N.C. Dlamini, and N. Mkhwanazi, eds. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 1-16. doi:10.1080/02589001.2019.1701184

Golomski, C. (2019). Thumb War. Anthropology and Humanism 44(2): 194-197. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/anhu.12249

Golomski, C. (2018). Funeral Culture: AIDS, Work, and Cultural Change in an African Kingdom. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Retrieved from https://iupress.org/9780253036452/funeral-culture/

Golomski, C. (2018). Elder Care and Private Health Insurance in South Africa: The Pathos of Race-Class. MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 37(4), 311-326. doi:10.1080/01459740.2017.1417279

Golomski, C. (2018). Work of a Nation: Christian Funerary Ecumenism and Institutional Disruption in Swaziland. JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN STUDIES, 44(2), 299-314. doi:10.1080/03057070.2018.1421443

Golomski, C. (2017). Authority. MEDICAL HUMANITIES, 43(3), 206. doi:10.1136/medhum-2017-011194

Golomski, C. (2017). “My Mother Got Annoyed”i. Annals of Global Health, 83(2), 405. doi:10.1016/j.aogh.2017.03.002

Golomski, C., & Nyawo, S. (2017). Christians' cut: popular religion and the global health campaign for medical male circumcision in Swaziland. CULTURE HEALTH & SEXUALITY, 19(8), 844-858. doi:10.1080/13691058.2016.1267409

Golomski, C. (2016). Game Walk at Pilanesberg. Anthropology and Humanism, 41(2), 216-217. doi:10.1111/anhu.12131

Golomski, C. (2016). Religion and Migration: Cases for a Global Material Ethics. AFRICAN STUDIES, 75(3), 449-462. doi:10.1080/00020184.2016.1193379

Golomski, C. (2016). Outliving love: marital estrangement in an African insurance market. SOCIAL DYNAMICS-A JOURNAL OF AFRICAN STUDIES, 42(2), 304-320. doi:10.1080/02533952.2016.1197510

Golomski, C. (2016). Polygamy, Polygyny, and Polyandry. In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (pp. 1-3). doi:10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss106

Golomski, C. (2016). Purity versus Pollution. In The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Gender and Sexuality Studies (pp. 1-2). doi:10.1002/9781118663219.wbegss115

Golomski, C. (2016). Risk, Mistake, and Generational Contest in Bodily Rituals of Swazi Jerikho Zionism. JOURNAL OF CONTEMPORARY RELIGION, 31(3), 351-364. doi:10.1080/13537903.2016.1206247

Golomski, C. (2015). Urban cemeteries in Swaziland: materialising dignity. ANTHROPOLOGY SOUTHERN AFRICA, 38(3-4), 360-371. doi:10.1080/23323256.2015.1087322

Golomski, C. (2015). wearing memories: clothing and the global lives of mourning in swaziland. MATERIAL RELIGION, 11(3), 303-327. doi:10.1080/17432200.2015.1082719

Golomski, C. (2015). Compassion technology: Life insurance and the remaking of kinship in Swaziland's age of HIV. AMERICAN ETHNOLOGIST, 42(1), 81-96. doi:10.1111/amet.12117

Golomski, C. (2014). Generational inversions: 'working' for social reproduction amid HIV in Swaziland. AJAR-AFRICAN JOURNAL OF AIDS RESEARCH, 13(4), 351-359. doi:10.2989/16085906.2014.961942