About me

I was born in Jackson, Michigan, USA and grew up with a love of the outdoors, astronomy and natural history. When I was a teenager, my family moved to the Detroit suburbs and I moved to the city to complete my undergraduate work. I drove a truck for FedEx, played guitar for a reggae band, worked handyman jobs and managed an apartment building in Detroit to pay for school. I moved to Chicago in 1997 for graduate school. My wife and I have spent a lot of time in Kenya, including a 1-year stay in 2001 and many return trips.

My wife, Kristina, is a museum curator and professor who did her graduate research in Lamu. I have an 12-year old daughter, Nadya, and a 8-year old son, Thor. We live in Seoul, South Korea.

Do you want to contact me?

msafiri_at_snu.ac.kr *

*Replace _at_ with @

A full listing of my academic papers can be found on Academia.edu and ORCID. I am more than happy to email papers to individuals who cannot access them through their own academic institutions. Don’t let the paywall discourage you–contact me!

My full Curriculum Vitae: DKWright_CV


Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude)
Wayne State University (Germanistics and English)

Master of Arts
University of Illinois at Chicago/Field Museum (Anthropology)

University of Illinois at Chicago/Field Museum (Anthropology)


2005 – 2008: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Public Service Archaeology Program)

2008 – 2010: Gila River Indian Community (Cultural Resource Management Program)

2010 –  present: Seoul National University (Department of Archaeology and Art History)


University of Illinois at Chicago

  • Geography
  • Physical Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences

Indiana University Northwest

  • Cultural Anthropology

Arizona State University

  • Advised graduate students

Seoul National University

Other Affiliations

  • National Museums of Kenya
  • University of York, Department of Archaeology
  • Gila River Indian Community, Cultural Resource Management Program