Casey Golomski is a cultural and medical anthropologist of Southern Africa who works mainly with communities in eSwatini (Swaziland) and South Africa. His humanistic and field-based research focuses on religion, health, and gender across the life course, surrounding perennial questions of life, death, and their thresholds.
Based on years of field research, his first book, 'Funeral Culture - AIDS, Work, and Cultural Change in an African Kingdom' (Indiana University Press, 2018), is the first and yet only comprehensive account of the AIDS epidemic in Africa's last absolute monarchy, the Kingdom of eSwatini, also 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, the book documents how citizens' grassroots responses to the epidemic drove changes and innovations in cultural and care practices that counteract what the state deems to be authentically 'traditional.' These findings show comparatively how disease epidemics, whether AIDS or COVID-19, are grounds for people to engage in cultural and political reform through ideologies of 'work.'
His recent and ongoing research explores the effects of racist policies and practices on long term care for older adults in South Africa. By way of an old age home housing older white and black residents born at the start of apartheid being cared for by younger black staff of the 'born-free' post-apartheid generation, this project considers how people behold the legacies of racist violence and historical atrocities at the end of life. In addition to articles on aspects and histories of elder care, he is currently writing a biographically driven, creative non-fiction book that introduces readers to a diverse set of individuals living and working there--widows both young and old, vernacular healers and biomedical practitioners, former colonialists and anti-colonialist freedom fighters, and Nelson Mandela's Robben Island prison nurse--whose lives illuminate what it means to age in the 'new' South Africa and other multiracial, postcolonial countries globally.
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. As an invited speaker, he has given talks at Emory, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Wisconsin, and Michigan State and the Universities of Johannesburg, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Witwatersrand in South Africa where he is an ongoing Visiting Researcher. Previously, he consulted for UNICEF and was an associate editor for the African Journal of AIDS Research. Currently, he is a board member for the Northeastern Workshops on Southern Africa (NEWSA) and Seacoast African American Cultural Center (SAACC) where he supervises the student internship program and public cultural education through curation of their material culture collection. He is also a classical musician as a long-term member of the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra and a published poet, being recently awarded the Society for Humanistic Anthropology First Prize in Poetry.
He is always happy to meet with and advise interested students and consult for community, public, and private organizations.
Ph.D., Anthropology, Brandeis University
B.A., Sociology, Saint Norbert College
Aging and life course
Death and Dying, Behavioral/Social
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
Golomski, C., Corvini, M., Kim, B., Wilcox, J., & Valcourt, S. (2021). Aspects of ICT connectivity among older adults living in rural subsidized housing: reassessing the digital divide. JOURNAL OF ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES. doi:10.1108/JET-12-2020-0052
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. (2020). Greying mutuality: race and joking relations in a South African nursing home. AFRICA, 90(2), 273-292. doi:10.1017/S0001972019001049
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). "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., & 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). 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