A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa
Blackwell Companions to Anthropology
1. Edition January 2019
488 Pages, Hardcover
An essential collection of scholarly essays on the anthropology of Africa, offering a thorough introduction to the most important topics in this evolving and diverse field of study
The study of the cultures of Africa has been central to the methodological and theoretical development of anthropology as a discipline since the late 19th-century. As the anthropology of Africa has emerged as a distinct field of study, anthropologists working in this tradition have strived to build a disciplinary conversation that recognizes the diversity and complexity of modern and ancient African cultures while acknowledging the effects of historical anthropology on the present and future of the field of study.
A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa is a collection of insightful essays covering the key questions and subjects in the contemporary anthropology of Africa with a key focus on addressing the topics that define the contemporary discipline. Written and edited by a team of leading cultural anthropologists, it is an ideal introduction to the most important topics in the field, both those that have consistently been a part of the critical dialogue and those that have emerged as the central questions of the discipline's future.
Beginning with essays on the enduring topics in the study of African cultures, A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa provides a foundation in the contemporary critical approach to subjects of longstanding interest. With these subjects as a groundwork, later essays address decolonization, the postcolonial experience, and questions of modern identity and definition, providing representation of the diverse thinking and scholarship in the modern anthropology of Africa.
Roy Richard Grinker, Stephen C. Lubkemann, Christopher B. Steiner, and Euclides Gonçalves
Part I Enduring Themes 13
1 The Economic Anthropology of Africa 15
Jane I. Guyer
2 Revisiting the Social Bedrock of Kinship and Descent in the Anthropology of Africa 33
Pauline E. Peters
3 Witchcraft in Africa 63
James H. Smith
4 Law, Dispute Resolution, and Justice 81
5 Illness and Healing: Africanist Anthropology 97
Rebecca L. Upton
6 Power, Meaning, and Materiality in the Anthropology of African Religions South of the Sahara: A Dialogue with Religious Studies 119
Joseph Hellweg and Jesse C. Miller
Part II Critical and Decolonizing Themes 145
7 Who Are the New Natives? Ethnicity and Emerging Idioms of Belonging in Africa 147
George Paul Meiu
8 Culture by Other Means: An Africanist Anthropology of Political Violence and War 173
9 The Anthropology of Forced Migration in Africa 199
Stephen C. Lubkemann
10 Sex and Sexuality in Africa 229
Part III Post-colonial and Emerging Themes 249
11 Social Trauma and Recovery: Emergent Themes 251
Victor Igreja and Erin Baines
12 Questioning Humanitarian Exceptions 271
13 Rights, Inequality, and Social Justice 289
14 Anthropology and the Politics of Childhood in Africa 307
Kristen E. Cheney
15 Africa Has Moved!: New African Diasporas and the Anthropology of Transnationalizing Africa 323
Dianna Shandy and Stephen C. Lubkemann
16 Anthropological Approaches to Media in Africa 351
Katrien Pype and Alessandro Jedlowski
17 Environmental Anthropology in Africa: From Cattle Complex to Environmentality 375
Raquel Rodrigues Machaqueiro and Roy Richard Grinker
Part IV Reflexivity 397
18 Anthropology and Africanist Political Science 399
19 African Anthropological Practice in the "Era of Aid": Towards a Critique of Disciplinary Canons 415
20 African Participation in, and Perspectives on, the Politics of Knowledge Production in Africanist Anthropology 439
Stephen C. Lubkemann is a sociocultural anthropologist who has done extensive fieldwork in Mozambique, South Africa, Angola, and Liberia. He is Associate Professor of Anthropology and International Affairs at the George Washington University, USA. Past publications include Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War (2008), the co-edited volume Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation (Wiley Blackwell, 2010), and the co-authored United States Institute of Peace report Looking for Justice: Liberian Experiences with and Perceptions of Local Justice Options (2009).
Christopher B. Steiner is the Lucy C. McDannel '22 Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, USA, where he also serves as Director of Museum Studies. Past book publications include African Art in Transit (1994), the co-edited Perspectives on Africa: A Reader in Culture, History, and Representation (Wiley Blackwell, 2010) and Africa in the Market: Twentieth-Century Art from the Amrad African Art Collection (2016).
Euclides Gonçalves is a social anthropologist and Director at Kaleidoscopio - Research in Public Policy and Culture - in Maputo, Mozambique. He is also a research associate at the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (WISER) at the University of Witwatersrand, South Africa. Gonçalves has published on topics such as governance, bureaucratic processes, and political rituals in scholarly journals, including African Affairs, The Journal of Contemporary African Studies, and World Development.