Robert Wyrod is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Women and Gender Studies and the International Affairs Program at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is a sociologist interested in gender, sexuality, and social change in the developing world.
His first book, AIDS and Masculinity in the African City: Privilege, Inequality, and Modern Manhood (University of California Press 2016), examines how the AIDS epidemic has shaped gender and sexuality in Africa, especially African masculinities. Robert’s current research focuses on the rise of China as a new force in African development, especially the effect Chinese development is having on gender relations and the lives of African women. He spent a month in 2015 in a Ugandan village, the site of a huge, new Chinese-funded development project, doing ethnographic fieldwork to learn how the village is being affected by the project, and how villagers feel about China’s new role in Uganda. “I’m especially interested in the effects on women because there is almost no research focused on how Chinese development impacts African women. From my initial fieldwork, it appears that the villagers are quite unhappy with the Chinese presence to date, with women in the village particularly critical. My findings are disconcerting and mirror much of the research on Chinese development elsewhere on the continent.”
Robert received his PhD in Sociology from the University of Chicago in 2007. Prior to joining the CU faculty, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco and an Assistant Professor in the Women’s Studies Department at the University of Michigan. Robert also has a long-standing interest in independent film. He has produced documentary, experimental, and activist films, and he worked for many years as a television news producer.
Personal website: www.robertwyrod.com