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A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa. Wiley Blackwell Companions to Anthropology

  • ID: 4535285
  • Book
  • Region: Africa
  • 488 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Anthropology conducted in Africa has been central to the methodological and theoretical development of the discipline since it was first institutionalized in the late 19th century.  Written and edited by a team of leading cultural anthropologists on the subject, A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa compiles a collection of insightful essays that address all aspects of life on the continent of Africa. Chapters within explore the extent to which anthropological thinking on this topic has been, or remains, influenced by the theoretical traditions, whilst others consider the extent to which anthropological thinking has been transformed by growing interest in using anthropological knowledge to critically address practical concerns and public problems such as war, poverty, and public health.

This Companion is presented in four parts. The first part looks at enduring themes tracing the development of anthropological thinking and the current debates about themes such as witchcraft, kinship, law and justice that have demonstrated remarkable staying power in the anthropology of Africa. The second section considers topics that began to garner attention during decolonization and in its immediate aftermath. Such topics include mobility and displacement, urbanism, and political violence. The third part comprises topics such as trauma, social justice, sex and sexuality that have become the central concern of anthropologists of Africa since its many nations gained their independence. It also looks at hot topics like social media, humanitarianism, and environmentality. The final section considers the role that Africanist anthropology has played in informing other Africanist disciplines, and reflects on the politics of representation within the discipline as well.

Filled with a wide variety of expert opinions and observations across chapters which are highly sophisticated in their coverage, A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa is an essential reference resource for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researching anthropologists.

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Notes on Contributors


IntroductionRoy Richard Grinker, Stephen C. Lubkemann, Christopher B. Steiner, and Euclides Gonçalves

Part I Enduring Themes

Chapter 1 The Economic Anthropology of AfricaJane I. Guyer

Chapter 2 Revisiting the Social Bedrock of Kinship and Descent in the Anthropology of AfricaPauline Peters

Chapter 3 Witchcraft in AfricaJames Smith

Chapter 4 Law, Dispute Resolution and Justice
Jessica Johnson

Chapter 5 Illness and Healing:  Africanist AnthropologyRebecca L. Upton

Chapter 6 Power, Meaning, and Materiality in the Anthropology of African Religions South of the Sahara: A Dialogue with Religious StudiesJoseph Hellweg and Jesse C. Miller

Part II Critical and Decolonizing Themes

Chapter 7 Who are the New Natives? Ethnicity and Emerging Idioms of Belonging in AfricaGeorge Paul Meiu

Chapter 8 Culture by Other Means: An Africanist Anthropology of Political Violence and WarDanny Hoffman

Chapter 9 The Anthropology of Forced Migration in AfricaStephen C. Lubkemann

Chapter 10 Sex and Sexuality in AfricaSuzanne Leclerc–Madlala

Part III Postcolonial and Emerging Themes

Chapter 11 Social Trauma and Recovery: Emergent ThemesVictor Igreja and Erin Baines

Chapter 12 Questioning Humanitarian ExceptionsLouisa Lombard

Chapter 13 Rights, Inequality, and Social JusticeCarolyn Rouse

Chapter 14 Anthropology and the Politics of Childhood in AfricaKristen E. Cheney

Chapter 15 Africa Has Moved!! New African Diasporas and the Anthropology of Transnationalizing AfricaDianna Shandy and Stephen C. Lubkemann

Chapter 16 Anthropological Approaches to Media in AfricaKatrien Pype and Alessandro Jedlowski

Chapter 17 Environmental Anthropology in Africa: from Cattle complex to EnvironmentalityRaquel Rodrigues Machaqueiro and Roy Richard Grinker

Part IV Reflexivity

Chapter 18 Anthropology and Africanist Political ScienceEric Kramon

Chapter 19 African Anthropological Practice in the Era of Aid :  Towards a Critique of Disciplinary CanonsEuclides Gonçalves

Chapter 20 African Participation in, and Perspectives on, the Politics of Knowledge Production in Africanist AnthropologyMwenda Ntarangwi


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Roy Richard Grinker
Stephen C. Lubkemann
Christopher Steiner
Euclides Gonçalves
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