Ampson Hagan

  • Dean's Research Associate Postdoctoral Fellow


Research Interests

    Care and Humanitarianism
    Politics of Rescue
    Humanism and Blackness
    Idioms of Blackness in West Africa
    Humanitarian Technology and Surveillance
    Trans-Saharan Migration
    Sahelian and Saharan Niger

Biographical Info

Ampson Hagan (PhD, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2022) is a medical anthropologist and a Dean's Research Associate Postdoctoral Fellow the Department of Anthropology at Michigan State University. Ampson's research focuses on the concept and practice of rescue in humanitarian emergencies in Africa. Ampson's research is concerned with how the humanitarian project of saving/recovering human life from calamity reconciles this objective with its production of idioms of deservingness that decide who deserves rescue and who does not. While refugees are the quintessential object of humanitarian intervention, unauthorized Black African migrants (often called "economic migrants") are not. This research engages and questions the assumption that the rescue of Black African migrants is possible under globalized anti-Blackness and systems of economic (dis)value that produce the very emergencies that Black peoples face.

Ampson was most recently the 2021–2022 African & African Diaspora Studies Dissertation Fellow at Boston College, and was the 2020–2021 American Anthropological Association Minority Dissertation Fellow. Ampson's dissertation research was supported by the Fulbright-Hays DDRA Fellowship, as well as the Off-Campus Dissertation Fellowship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Ampson has presented portions of this project at conferences in both North America and Africa, including the African Studies Association of Africa, the African Studies Association (US), the Association for the Worldwide Study of the African Diaspora, the American Association of Geography, and the American Anthropological Association. Ampson has also written critical book reviews that have been published in the Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies and the International Journal of African Historical Studies. Ampson has also written essays that have appeared in several online publications, including Africa is a Country, Somatosphere, and the Fieldsites section of the Society for Cultural Anthropology.

Dept. of Anthropology