Tyler Zoanni is a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at New York University. His dissertation explores the lives and worlds of people with cognitive disabilities in Uganda, where Christian institutions are central to disability care and advocacy. In such settings, around such lives and worlds, a non-secular, non-liberal politics of disability arises. More generally Tyler’s research interests include religion and politics, kinship, personhood, aesthetics, visual anthropology, and medical anthropology, in African and other contexts.
Born and raised in rural Montana, Tyler received a BA from the University of Chicago and an MDiv from Harvard Divinity School. Tyler is a filmmaker and holds NYU’s Certificate in Culture and Media. His first film is The Ladies (13 min; Ukrainian with English subtitles; distributed by DER), an observational short evoking the routines of Ukrainian women who for 50 years have gathered to make dumplings for their church. Tyler’s research and writing has been generously supported by the Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation/Society for Psychological Anthropology, and NYU.