Magical Interpretations, Material Reality: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa / Edition 1

Magical Interpretations, Material Reality: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa / Edition 1

by Henrietta L. Moore
     
 

ISBN-10: 0415258669

ISBN-13: 9780415258661

Pub. Date: 01/02/2002

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

'Magical Interpretations, Material Realities brings together many of today's best scholars of contemporary Africa. The theme of "witchcraft" has long been associated with exoticizing portraits of a "traditional" Africa, but this volume takes the question of occult as a point of entry into the moral politics of some very modern African realities.' …  See more details below

Overview

'Magical Interpretations, Material Realities brings together many of today's best scholars of contemporary Africa. The theme of "witchcraft" has long been associated with exoticizing portraits of a "traditional" Africa, but this volume takes the question of occult as a point of entry into the moral politics of some very modern African realities.' - James Ferguson, University of California,
USA

'These essays bear eloquent testimony to the ongoing presence and power of the occult imaginary, and of the intimate connection between global capitalism and local cosmology, in postcolonial Africa. A major contribution to scholarship that aims to rework the divide between modernity and tradition.' - Charles Piot, Duke University, USA

This volume sets out recent thinking on witchcraft in Africa, paying particular attention to variations in meanings and practices. It examines the way different people in different contexts are making sense of what 'witchcraft' is and what it might mean.
Using recent ethnographic materials from across the continent, the volume explores how witchcraft articulates with particular modern settings for example: the State in Cameroon; Pentecostalism in
Malawi; the university system in Nigeria and the IMF in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The editors provide a timely overview and reconsideration of long-standing anthropological debates about 'African witchcraft', while simultaneously raising broader concerns about the theories of the western social sciences.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415258661
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
01/02/2002
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of figures
List of contributors
1Magical interpretations and material realities: an introduction1
2Delusions of development and the enrichment of witchcraft discourses in Cameroon28
3Cannibal transformations: colonialism and commodification in the Sierra Leone hinterland50
4Vulture men, campus cultists and teenaged witches: modern magics in Nigerian popular media71
5Witchcraft and scepticism by proxy: Pentecostalism and laughter in urban Malawi97
6Black market, free market: anti-witchcraft shrines and fetishes among the Akan118
7Betrayal or affirmation? Transformations in witchcraft technologies of power, danger and agency among the Tuareg of Niger136
8Save our skins: structural adjustment, morality and the occult in Tanzania160
9Witchcraft in the new South Africa: from colonial superstition to postcolonial reality?184
10On living in a world with witches: everyday epistemology and spiritual insecurity in a modern African city (Soweto)206
11Witchcraft, development and paranoia in Cameroon: interactions between popular, academic and state discourse226
Index247

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