Amy S. Patterson

Amy Patterson


Amy S. Patterson is Professor of Politics at University of the South (Sewanee). Before her appointment at Sewanee, she taught for eleven years at Calvin College in the Department of Political Science. While at Calvin, she led the semester in Ghana program and the Washington, DC program, as well as initiating and leading the Model UN program. Patterson received her Ph.D. in political science and African studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. Before graduate school, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, working on agroforestry projects. Her research has examined the role of civil society in Africa, including how local organizations promote democracy and address issues such as AIDS and non-communicable diseases. She has conducted fieldwork in Senegal, Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia. She is editor of The African State and the AIDS Crisis, and author of The Politics of AIDS in Africa, The Church and AIDS in Africa, Africa in Global Health Governance (forthcoming), and Dependent Agency in the Global Health Regime (forthcoming). She has published articles on AIDS, civil society, and gender in Africa in Africa Today, Journal of Modern African Studies, Canadian Journal of African Studies, African Journal of AIDS Research, Global Public Health, Contemporary Politics, African Affairs, and African Studies Review. She also serves on the governing boards of the International Research Network on AIDS and Religion in Africa and the Global Health Section at the International Studies Association.

Her hobbies include running, reading, ballroom dancing (with her husband, Neil; another returned Peace Corps volunteer), and cooking with her two daughters (both of whom have lived in Ghana and Zambia). She also is a student, struggling to remember vocabulary and grammar rules in her third semester of Swahili language study! 

Academic interests

She teaches courses on international relations, African politics, global health and development, the politics of AIDS, and democratization.


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