Anneke Newman
Associate Tutor
T: +44 (0)1273 872735


My broad research interests are the anthropology of development, education, youth, migration and Islam. I mainly use ethnographic and participatory methods. My regional expertise is West Africa.

My PhD research at Sussex focused on the ways in which families and young people negotiated between secular state schools and Islamic schools in northern Senegal. I sought to find out how families made decisions around young people’s schooling, and particularly adolescents’ own views and agency in this process. I investigated how constructions of ethnic, 'caste', religious and gendered identities intersected with people’s definitions of valuable knowledge, which in turn informed their choices of schooling. I contrasted how people’s narratives and decisions appropriated, rejected, or challenged the powerful discourses advanced by government and international development personnel and policy regarding the value of the various forms of education of available. My supervisors were Dr Elizabeth Harrison and Dr Filippo Osella (Department of Anthropology). 

My current postdoctoral research at the Laboratoire d’anthropologie des mondes contemporains at the Free University of Brussels builds on observations during my PhD that communities and Islamic schools in northern Senegal are embedded in networks of national and international migration. In this project I work with the graduates of Qur'anic schools currently living in France and Belgium, to understand how they influence education demand back home in Senegal through advice and remittances to their families, and education supply through funding of the Qur'anic schools.