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Anthropology professor named 2022 Carnegie Fellow

Amanda Logan looks for a long-term view of food security in Africa to help reframe our approach to sustainable development today

The Carnegie Corporation of New York announced today (April 26) that Northwestern University associate professor of anthropology Amanda Logan in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences has been named to the 2022 Class of Andrew Carnegie Fellows.

The 28 recipients of the so-called “Brainy Award” will receive a grant of up to $200,000, making it possible for them to devote significant time to research, writing and publishing in the humanities and social sciences. Selection criteria prioritize the originality and promise of the research, its potential impact on the field and the scholar’s plans for communicating the findings to a broad audience.

Amanda Logan
Amanda Logan

Logan is a faculty affiliate of Weinberg’s African studies program and environmental policy and culture program, as well as the Buffett Institute for Global Studies at Northwestern. Her current research focuses on building an archaeology of food security that traces how, where and when chronic hunger emerged across the African continent. 

She is the author of “The Scarcity Slot: Excavating Histories of Food Security in Ghana,” published in 2020 by University of California Press, Berkeley, which was awarded the 2021 First Book Award from the Association for the Study of Food and Society. She has also written numerous journal articles on African foodways and food security.

Among Logan’s previous honors are the 2017 Gordon R. Willey Prize from the Archaeology Division of the American Anthropological Association and the 2013 Society of American Archaeology Dissertation Award.

“The Carnegie award will allow me to expand my research on the environmental history of food security to multiple sites across the African continent spanning the last millennium,” Logan said. “This is important, because so much of what we know about food security is rooted in just the last few decades — a long-term view makes visible the strategies African farmers and cooks used to weather some of the most significant climatic, economic and political shifts the world has ever seen. By expanding our database of ancient African food and farming through archaeology, we hope to write empirically rich histories that help us reframe how we approach sustainable development today.”

“In recent years, as we have looked to respond to our world's most complex problems, the Carnegie Fellows have provided important contributions through their exceptional research, pursuit of knowledge and creative approaches,” said John J. DeGioia, chair of the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program jury and president of Georgetown University. “Our panel of jurors were gratified and inspired by the caliber of the research proposals. We believe that this year’s fellows show extraordinary potential for lasting impact.”

Since its founding in 2015, the Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program has named 244 fellows, representing a philanthropic investment of $48.8 million. The program is a continuation of the mission of Carnegie Corporation, as founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1911, to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.

Prior Northwestern faculty recipients include Sally Nuamah, School of Education and Social Policy (2019); Sera Young, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (2019); Daniel Immerwahr, Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences (2017); Kirabo Jackson, School of Education and Social Policy (2016); Marwan Kraidy, Northwestern in Qatar (2016); and Kevin Boyle, Weinberg College of Arts and Social Sciences (2015).