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'These essays bear eloquent testimony to the ongoing presence and power of the occult ...
'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.
|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|