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Assistant Professor

Email: aalyia(@)

Phone: (919) 962-1243

Office: Alumni 401B

Areas of Interest

Aging; Care; Disability; Demographic Transitions; Violence; Contemporary Social Theory; Paraethnography; Africa, with a special focus on Rwanda.


Ph.D., Anthropology, Yale University, 2020

M.A., Sociology of Health & Medicine, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 2011

B.A., Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science, University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), 2010

Research and Activities

I am a cultural and medical anthropologist who writes and teaches on issues related to aging, care, and political culture in postconflict societies. Over the last decade, I have carried out ethnographic research in Rwanda with elderly women and men who witnessed multiple episodes of political and ethnic conflict between the late 1950s and early 1990s. Specifically, I trace how members of this generation navigate fundamental aspects of everyday life—such as dealing with the passage of time, providing bodily care, and preparing for death—in order to think through the complex meanings of the ordinary.

Prior to joining the Department of Anthropology at UNC Chapel Hill, I was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Watson Institute of International & Public Affairs at Brown University.

Selected Publications

2020       Sadruddin, Aalyia and Marcia C. Inhorn. “Aging, Vulnerability and Questions of Care in the Time of COVID-19.” Anthropology Now 12 (1): 17-23.

2019      “The Care of ‘Small Things’: Aging and Dignity in Rwanda.” Medical Anthropology: Cross-Cultural Studies in Health and Illness 39 (1): 83-95. Special Issue on “Aging, Care, and Chronicity,” edited by Narelle Warren and Dikaios Sakellariou.

2019       Sadruddin, Aalyia, Liliana A. Pontuga, Anna L. Zonderman, Kyle S. Wiley, and Catherine Panter-Brick. “How do Grandparents Influence Child Health and Development? A Systematic Review.” Social Science & Medicine 239: 1-33.


ANTH 390           Anthropology of Care
ANTH 464           Life and Violence
ANTH 898           Aging in the Contemporary World