Professor; Department ChairLaura Cochrane
Anthropology Advisor
‚ÄčAnspach Hall 140


  • 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‚Äč practices of Sufism in artisanal communities, and faith-based motivations for community-scale economic development work. 


  • Cochrane, Laura L. 2020. Religious Networks and Small Businesses in Senegal. Economic Anthropology.
  • Cochrane, Laura L. 2020. Addressing Drought through Religious Community in Mbakke Kajoor, Senegal. Africa 90(2): 339-356. 
  • Cochrane, Laura L. 2020. "Transforming the Environment: Two Daaras Addressing Environmental Degradation". Murid Islamic Community in America Magazine, vol, 2, p. 21-23. 
  • 2019. Adventure as Education: John W. Bennett and Anthropology in the Early Twentieth Century. Durham: Carolina Academic Press.
  • 2017. "Collective and Community Work in Senegal: Resisting Colonial and Neoliberal Models of Economic Development." Oppression and Resistance: Structure, Agency, Transformation. Gil Richard Musolf, ed. Bingley, UK: Emerald Publishing, p. 117-135.
  • 2017. Everday Faith in Sufi Senegal. London, New York: Routledge Press.
  • 2016. Rebuilding Agriculture and the Environment in Senegal. Anthropology Now 8(1).
  • 2015. Bamba Merci: The Intersections of Political and Spiritual Graffiti in Senegal. African Identities: Journal of Economics, Culture and Society 14(1): 3-18.
  • 2015. Addressing Global Economic Inequalities in Local Ways in Senegal's Artisanal Workshops. Economic Anthropology 2:250-263.
  • 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.