About Sam Shuman

Beginning Fall 2022, I will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. 

From 2021-2022, I served as the Rabin-Shvidler post-doctoral fellow in Jewish Studies at Fordham University & Columbia University (teaching courses in Jewish Studies & Anthropology at Fordham). 

I graduated with a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology and a graduate certificate student in Judaic Studies from the University of Michigan in 2021.

My research has been supported through grants by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), the Fulbright Commission, and the National Science Foundation (NSF). My dissertation, Cutting Out the Middleman: The Diamond Industry and the Politics of Displacement in a European Port City, was recently awarded the Michael S. Bernstein Dissertation Prize in Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan. 

Sam Shuman's face

As an anthropologist of race, religion, and political economy, my research explores the reorganization of modern political economies and the boundaries of inclusion and exclusion within contemporary supply chains from the vantage point of trading diasporas. These trading networks have long circulated goods, people, and ideas across vast distances of land and sea, often relying upon both networks of kin strewn across the diaspora and strangers from foreign religious and ethnic backgrounds to conduct transactions. My work examines how regulation and technological transformations within the diamond supply chain are disrupting and reshaping the livelihoods of merchant communities, which historically organized their transnational kinship structures and moral economies around the diamond industry.

Public Scholarship & Collaboration


The Haredi Research Group

I am involved with the Haredi Research Group (HRD). The interdisciplinary initiative assembles experts across the humanities and social sciences to produce public scholarship about global Ultra-Orthodox Jewry in this current political moment.

Indian diamond polishers; Surat

Transparency Working Group

I am invovled with a transnational working group connected to a Swiss National Science Foundation grant, “Transparency: Qualities and Technologies of Global Gemstone Trading” (hosted by the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding in collaboration with the Albert Hirschman Centre on Democracy at the Graduate Institute for International Studies in Geneva). Texts were pre-circulated and edited by participants during a writing workshop in Geneva, Switzerland. Final texts will be published in a forthcoming volume on the Anthropology of Transparency.