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

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Overview

This volume sets out recent thinking on witchcraft in Africa, paying particular attention to variations in meanings and practices. Using recent ethnographic materials from across the continent, the volume explores how witchcraft articulates with particular modern settings. Examples discussed in the text include 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 longstanding anthropological debate about African witchcraft, while simultaneously raising broader concerns about the theories of the western social sciences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415258678
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Henrietta L. Moore is Professor of Anthropology and Todd Sanders is a Research Fellow. Both are in the Department of Anthropology at the London School of Economics.

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Table of Contents

List of figures
List of contributors
1 Magical interpretations and material realities: an introduction 1
2 Delusions of development and the enrichment of witchcraft discourses in Cameroon 28
3 Cannibal transformations: colonialism and commodification in the Sierra Leone hinterland 50
4 Vulture men, campus cultists and teenaged witches: modern magics in Nigerian popular media 71
5 Witchcraft and scepticism by proxy: Pentecostalism and laughter in urban Malawi 97
6 Black market, free market: anti-witchcraft shrines and fetishes among the Akan 118
7 Betrayal or affirmation? Transformations in witchcraft technologies of power, danger and agency among the Tuareg of Niger 136
8 Save our skins: structural adjustment, morality and the occult in Tanzania 160
9 Witchcraft in the new South Africa: from colonial superstition to postcolonial reality? 184
10 On living in a world with witches: everyday epistemology and spiritual insecurity in a modern African city (Soweto) 206
11 Witchcraft, development and paranoia in Cameroon: interactions between popular, academic and state discourse 226
Index 247
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