Christian Joseph Doll

Postdoctoral Teaching Scholar

Picture of Christian Joseph Doll


I am a cultural anthropologist focused on political and urban dynamics in Africa. My work explores how the idea of the state is imagined and made real in the context of South Sudan, where I have been doing ethnographic research since 2012, one year after it became the world’s newest nation-state. My research explores the way ethnic identity, humanitarian governance, conflict, sovereignty, and ideas of the future manifest in everyday urban life in Africa. I explore the persistence of the idea of the state in postcolonial contexts and in a neoliberal moment that in many ways has become "post-state."

At NC State, I teach Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Political Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Urban Anthropology, and Research Methods in Cultural Anthropology. I have previously taught at the University of California, Davis and the University of Juba in South Sudan.

Teaching and Research Interests

  • Anthropology of Africa
  • Political Anthropology, the State, and State-Making
  • Urban Space and Place-Making
  • Ethnographic Methodology
  • Futurity and Temporality
  • Migration and Mobilities
  • Revolution and Post-Liberation Politics
  • Visual Anthropology


I am currently revising a book manuscript, The Post-State State: Soverignty, Futurity, and Urban Life in South Sudan, and conducting two collaborative research projects. One project is a study of a small-scale money-transfer network with centers throughout northern and eastern Africa. The network is run by South Sudanese humanitarian professionals who aim to disrupt aid dependency by offering an alternative financial infrastructure to South Sudanese displaced by the ongoing political conflict in South Sudan. I use the network as a vantage point to understand the ongoing creation of communities of displaced South Sudanese and ways people generate new forms of work and exchange outside of state-driven directives and humanitarian governance. I am also continuing to collaborate with a Ugandan artist and art therapist I met while working with the Peace Corps in Uganda. I am documenting his visual representations of South Sudan and northern Uganda as well as his long-term use of art therapy among youth impacted by the Lord’s Resistance Army conflict.

Funded Research

Dissertation Research Fellowship, Wenner-Gren Foundation; Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation


Christian J. Doll (under revision) “Sovereignty from ‘Ground Zero’: Power through Performance in Independent South Sudan,” Cultural Anthropology

Christian J. Doll (under revision) “How Thöŋ Piny Became Juba Na Bari: Placemaking and Social Memory in Urban South Sudan”

Naseem Badiey and Christian Doll (2020) “Returning, Remaining, and Remaking: Urban Space in Post-conflict Transition,” SLUM Lab No. 11 (Forced) Migration Issue

Christian Doll (2020) “Improvising Juba: Productive Precarity, ‘Companies,’ and Making the Present at the Edge of the Indian Ocean World,” in Reimagining Indian Ocean Worlds, Edited by Smriti Srinivas, Bettina Ng’weno, and Neelima Jeychandran, Routledge

Naseem Badiey and Christian Doll (2018) “Planning Amidst Precarity: Utopian Imaginings in South Sudan,” The Journal of Eastern African Studies, 12(2): 367-385. [] also in Urban Africa and Violent Conflict Edited by Karen Büscher, Routledge (2019)

Graduate Advising

As an Affiliate Graduate Faculty Member, I teach courses that carry graduate credit and advise students in the M.A. program in Anthropology.


  • PhD in Anthropology from University of California, Davis, 2019
  • MA in Social Sciences from University of Chicago, 2007
  • BA in Sociology from University of Sociology, 2006