Holly Okonkwo

Holly Okonkwo

Assistant Professor // Anthropology

Affiliated Faculty // SIS // Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

Office and Contact

Room: STON 219D

Office hours: Spring 2019 Wednesday 1:30-3:30

Email: hokonkwo@purdue.edu

Holly Okonkwo received her Ph.D. from the University of California Riverside in 2015 and is completing a postdoctoral fellowship in the Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the Study of (In)Equality (IRISE) at the University of Denver. She will be joining the Purdue University faculty in Winter 2019.


Specialization: Anthropology of Science, Postcolonial and Feminist Science and Technology Studies, Anthropology of Education, Applied Anthropology, Human-Centered Design, Black Feminist Theory, Intersectionality, Gender

Holly Okonkwo is an applied anthropologist and critical science and technology scholar. Her research explores the situated knowledge production of women of the African diaspora and the material and cultural practices of scientific knowledge production, learning and innovation, with special interests in computing and engineering. Drawing on Black feminism and postcolonial feminist science and technology studies, her research focuses on the politics of race, gender and the dimensions of place and how they function as interlocking systems, to reconceptualize and preserve racialized, gendered and colonial divisions of labor. Her current project explores the experiences of women scientists and technologists engaged in local and transnational science and innovation communities in Ghana and Nigeria. Dr. Okonkwo’s work has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advance Institutional Grant at the University of California Riverside, the NSF Science of science policy and innovation program and the NSF SBE Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Dr. Okonkwo has conducted research and worked as a civic innovation researcher in local government. She has lead team research projects towards the development of interventions concerning poverty, unemployment and public safety in the City of Long Beach, CA. Dr. Okonkwo holds an B.S. in Anthropology and an M.A in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of California Riverside.

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