Laura L. Cochrane

Anspach Hall 127



  • Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis, August 2007
  • A.M., Washington University in St. Louis, May 2004
  • B. S., James Madison University, May 1998

Areas of Teaching Expertise

  • Cultural and Linguistic Anthropology
  • African Cultures
  • Anthropology of Religion
  • Anthropology and Art
  • Ethnographic Methods

Research Interests

  • Ongoing research in Senegal concerning religious beliefs, visual arts, and environmental and economic concerns. Within those broad ideas, exploration of everyday​ practices of Sufism in artisanal communities, and faith-based motivations for community-scale economic development work. 


  • 2013. Weaving through Islam in Senegal. Durham: Carolina University Press.
  • 2013. Land Degradation, Faith-Based Organizations, and Sustainability in Senegal. CAFE: Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment 35(2):112-125.
  • 2012. Religious motivations for local economic development in Senegal. Africa Today. 58(4).
  • 2011. Exchange Without Brokers: Weaver-Client Relationships in Senegal. Textile Economies: Power and Value from the Local to the Transnational, ed. Walter E. Little and Patricia A. McAnany, 3-20.
  • 2011. The Growth of Artistic Nationalism in Senegal. Nations and Nationalism: Journal of the Association of Ethnicity and Nationalism. 17(2): 377-395.
  • 2009. Senegalese Weavers’ Ethnic Identities, in Discourse and in Craft. African Identities: Journal of Economics, Culture and Society. 7(1): 3-15.
  • 2009. Religious Expression in Senegalese Weavers’ Work. Material Religion: The Journal of Art, Objects, and Belief 5(2-): 205-233.