Professor of Politics (Sabbatical-Advent and Easter Semester 2019-2020)
B.A., Trinity University (Political Science and International Relations); PhD, Indiana University, Bloomington (Political Science and African Studies)
Amy S. Patterson received her B.A. in political science and international affairs from Trinity University and her Ph.D. in political science and African studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. She teaches courses on international relations, African politics, global health and development, and democratization. Before obtaining her Ph.D., Patterson was a Peace Corps volunteer in rural Senegal, where she worked on agroforestry programs.
Patterson’s research has examined the role of civil society in Africa, including how local organizations promote democracy and address issues such as AIDS. She has also investigated African state reactions to AIDS, Ebola, and non-communicable diseases. She is editor of The African State and the AIDS Crisis (Ashgate, 2005) and author of The Politics of AIDS in Africa (Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2006) and The Church and AIDS in Africa: The Politics of Ambiguity (FirstForum Press, 2011). She co-authored Dependent Agency in the Global Health Regime: Local African Responses to Donor AIDS Efforts (Palgrave, 2017), and Africa and Global Health Governance: Domestic Politics and International Structures (Johns Hopkins, 2018). She has published articles on HIV and AIDS, civil society, gender, and religion in Africa Today, Journal of Modern African Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, African Journal of AIDS Research, Contemporary Politics, African Affairs, International Affairs, Journal of International Development, Global Public Health, and African Studies Review. She has conducted fieldwork in Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, Tanzania, and Zambia. As a Fulbright Scholar in 2011, examined political empowerment and social capital among members of secular and religious support groups for people living with HIV and AIDS in Zambia. In 2016, she completed research in Liberia on local responses to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak. Most recently, she received two grants to examine religion and youth citizenship in five African countries with five other US and African scholars. She serves on the Executive Committee for the Global Health Section at the International Studies Association.
At Sewanee, Patterson has helped to develop internships and research opportunities for faculty and students in East Africa. Additionally, in spring 2017, she led a semester program in Ghana. Before coming to Sewanee, Patterson taught at Calvin College for eleven years. She has been fortunate to live, teach, and conduct research in Africa with her daughters and husband. In her free time, Patterson likes to run, read, ballroom dance with her husband, and cook.
A. Patterson June 2018 CV