Krystal Strong

Assistant Professor

Literacy, Culture, and International Education Division

Graduate School of Education
University of Pennsylvania

215-746-8415

kstrong@gse.upenn.edu

Professional Biography

Dr. Strong is an assistant professor in the Education, Culture, and Society program, a member of the graduate group in Anthropology, and a faculty affiliate of Africana Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was named a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, a Spencer Dissertation Fellow, a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellow, and a University of California Dissertation Fellow. In 2017, she was awarded the Council on Anthropology and Education’s Presidential Early Career Fellowship. Her work has been published in the Journal of African Cultural Studies and Urban Education.

Research Interests and Current Projects

Dr. Strong’s research and teaching combine anthropological approaches to formal and non-institutional educational processes, politics and activism, youth, new media technologies, and popular culture in Africa and the African Diaspora. Topically, she focuses on the politicization and cultural practices of youth, the ambivalent role of educational institutions in the social reproduction of power and privilege and as critical sites of political struggle, and the intersections of these processes across transnationally and digitally networked spaces. Dr. Strong’s primary objectives in this work are to elevate questions related to education and the experiences of young people in the disciplines of anthropology and Africana studies, to bring to the foreground more explicitly political questions within the field of education, and to integrate insights from African studies more fully into U.S. scholarship.   

Dr. Strong is working on multiple projects. She is revising her dissertation research into a book manuscript entitled Political Training Grounds: Students and the Future of Post-Military Nigeria, which is an ethnography of university student politics and activism after the transition to constitutional democracy in southwestern Nigeria. She recently initiated a new line of research, “Tracking A New Generation of Leaders,” which is a multinational qualitative project that explores the resurgent role of educational development in the production of a new political leadership class in Africa. Other research examines the roles of new and social medias in the cultural and political practices of youth in Africa and the African Diaspora. Finally, the “Mapping Student Protests” project is an early-stage data collection project that tracks the incidence and causes of protests and other forms of activism in African educational institutions.

Selected Publications

Strong, K. (Forthcoming). Do African lives matter to Black Lives Matter? On youth uprisings and the borders of solidarity. Urban Education. [Special Issue, Urban Education in the Era of Black Lives Matter, Camika Royal & Marc Lamont Hill (Eds)].

Royston, R. & Strong, K. (Forthcoming). Re-territorializing Twitter: African moments 2010-2015. In A. De Kosnick, & K. Feldman (Eds.), #Identity: Hashtagging, Race, Gender, Sex, and Nation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Strong, K. (2016). Practice for the future: The aspirational politics of Nigerian students. In A. Stambach, & K. Hall (Eds.), Student Futures, Aspirations, and Political Participation: Comparative Anthropological Perspectives. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Strong, K., & Ossei-Owusu, S. (2014). Naija boy remix: Afroexploitation and the new media creative economies of cosmopolitan African youth. Journal of African Cultural Studies, 26(2), 189–205. doi: 10.1080/13696815.2013.861343.