Charles C. Tillinghast, Jr. Professor of International Studies


Daniel Jordan Smith joined the Department of Anthropology at Brown University in 2001. He received an AB in Sociology from Harvard University (1983), an MPH from Johns Hopkins University (1989), and a PhD in Anthropology from Emory University (1999). Smith conducts research in Nigeria focusing on a range of issues, including population processes, political culture, kinship, infrastructure, and health. He won the 2008 Margaret Mead Award for his book, A Culture of Corruption: Everyday Deception and Popular Discontent in Nigeria (Princeton University Press, 2007). Professor Smith’s second single-authored book, AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face: Inequality, Morality, and Social Change in Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, 2014) won the 2015 Elliott P. Skinner Award from the Association for Africanist Anthropology. He is also the author of To Be a Man Is Not a One-Day Job: Masculinity, Money, and Intimacy in Nigeria (University of Chicago Press, 2017), which received Special Commendation for the Amaury Talbot Prize for African Anthropology from the Royal Anthropological Institute. Smith's most recent project, for which he received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2020, investigated how Nigerians cope with widespread failures of fundamental infrastructure and basic services, with particular attention to how the resulting entrepreneurial activities and informal economic enterprises are, paradoxically, central to the consolidation of state power and the substance of citizenship. His book based on this research, Every Household Its Own Government: Improvised Infrastructure, Entrepreneurial Citizens, and the State in Nigeria, was published in March 2022 by Princeton University Press.  

He was the recipient of the 2007-9 William C. McGloughlin Award for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences and from 2015 until 2018 he was appointed a Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence. From 2006-2011 he was Associate Director of the Population Studies and Training Center and from 2012-2019 he was Chair of the Department of Anthropology. In 2017, Smith was the keynote speaker at Brown's Convocation. He is currently Director of the Watson Institute's Africa Initiative and Director of Graduate Training in the Department of Anthropology.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas