Category Archives: Event

2017 African Critical Inquiry Workshop: Secret Affinities

The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2017 ACIP workshop will be Secret Affinities: A workshop in critical reading and an interrogation of the city in Africa via Walter Benjamin’s “Passagen-Werk.” The project was proposed and will be organized by colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand, Noëleen Murray (Director, Wits City Institute and Andrew W. Mellon Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism) and Brett Pyper (Head of the Wits School of Arts). Working groups formed in the initial Secret Affinities workshop will develop collaborative projects over the following year, presenting their outcomes in seminars and public forums in 2018. Activities will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Secret Affinities

Das Passagen-Werk, Walter Benjamin’s unfinished refection on modernity and history, is the starting point for a two-day workshop in which sections of Benjamin’s text (known in English as The Arcades Project) will be discussed with the aim of facilitating cross-disciplinary discussion in relation to heritage, architecture and public history practices associated with cities and the African present. As with Benjamin’s positioning in Paris, his ‘capital of the nineteenth Century’, we work from our vantage point in Johannesburg, city of an African (but also hybrid) modernity, arguably the ‘African capital of the twenty-first century.’ We follow Benjamin’s endeavour in Arcades to construct ‘a world of secret affinities’ in which his assemblage of notes, reflections and citations on a host of topics, could begin to inform each other in unpredictable ways.

The very site of the workshop illustrates the layered urban histories, experiences, transformations and architectural imaginations that the workshop will seek to examine through particular sites. It will take place at what is now known as Satyagraha House, built as a residence in 1907 by German-born Lithuanian architect Hermann Kallenbach with a rondavel-inspired design. Mohandas Gandhi lived there with his friend Kallenbach and others for two years. Today the buildings have been renovated as a heritage site, museum about Gandhi’s time in South Africa, and guest house. It is a place steeped in history that we cannot recover outside of imaginary recreation involving rhetorics of display and heritage curation; a place that cannot now be divorced from re-invention or politics, but that nevertheless has been re-invented in austere opulence by a French tourism company working with an historian, curator and heritage architect.

The Secret Affinities workshop will form small discussion and working groups made up of established scholars, artists, architects and postgraduate students. Groups will define projects located at the intersections of architecture, public history, spatial planning, heritage and urban studies to develop through regular meetings during the following year. Their outcomes will be presented in 2018 and could include exhibitions, performances, public lectures or seminars, publications, digital and on-line platforms, or special editions of journals.

Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa through an annual ACIP workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.

Information about applying to organize the 2018 ACIP workshop and for the 2017 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards will be available in November 2016. The expected deadline for both workshop applications and student applications is 1 May 2017.

For further information, see and

AfAA Awards for 2016!

Please consider nominating yourself, a colleague and/or student for an AfAA award. Contributions from all sub-fields of anthropology are welcome. The AfAA offers three annual awards:

  • the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award to honor a recent contribution that furthers the global community of Africanist scholars and the wider interests of the African continent, as exemplified in the work of Elliott P. Skinner.
  • the Bennetta Jules-Rosette Graduate Student Essay Award for outstanding graduate student essay in Africanist anthropology.
  • the Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Paper Award for outstanding undergraduate paper in Africanist anthropology.

For more information about these awards, please visit the AfAA Awards page.

AfAA @ AAA 2015: Business Meeting, Reception, and Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet

Join us on Thursday evening from 7:45-10 pm at CCC-401 in the Convention Center for the annual AfAA Reception, featuring a Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet.  The lecture is titled “Ethnography in the Age of Total Bureaucratization: Consent, Ethics, and the Familiar/Strange of Government Oversight.  Burnet is the 2013 winner of the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award for Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda. Before the lecture and reception, join us for the Business Meeting in CCC-401 from 6:45-7:45.

See the attached flyer for more details: Jennie Burnet Distinguished Lecture 2015

AfAA at AAA 2015: Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet and AfAA Reception with Business Meeting

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It’s almost time for the AAA Annual Meeting again, and we are looking forward to seeing you at some of the AfAA events we have planned!

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the AfAA Reception will be taking place from 7:45-10 p.m. In addition to food and dancing, the reception will include a Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet, one of the 2013 winners of the Elliot Skinner Book Award for her book Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012).  Dr. Burnet will be speaking on “Ethnography in the Age of Total Bureaucratization.”  Dr. Burnet’s lecture and the reception will be held in CCC-401 of the Colorado Convention Center.

Prior to the reception, the annual AfAA Business Meeting will take place in CCC-401 at 6:30 p.m.  The AfAA Board Meeting/Breakfast will be held Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

A complete list of AfAA panels and events taking place at this year’s AAA meeting is coming soon!

AAA 2015 Annual Meeting Information

The 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held from November 18-22 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. The 2015 annual meeting theme is “Familiar/Strange.”

Online abstract submission began February 18 for all session, poster, and individual paper proposals, and will continue until the submission deadline of April 15. You can register and submit proposals here:

Decisions on proposals will be e-mailed to applicants between July 1 and 15.

A complete schedule and more information can be found here:

We hope to see you in Denver!

2014 AfAA Reception and Distinguished Lecture


Come celebrate with us! The Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA) of the American Anthropological Association cordially invites you to a reception and awards presentation on Thursday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian Institution.  Through the gracious offer by Director Dr. Johnnetta Cole, the AfAA is fortunate to hold its annual reception at the Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The museum exhibits are open for your enjoyment!  In connection with the anniversary celebration, the museum will be featuring a new exhibition, “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” reviewed by the New York Times here. (Please note that food and drinks are not allowed in the exhibit halls.)

Reception and Distinguished Lecture Schedule:

Food and drink in the Reception area 7:30-8:00 PM and 9:30-10 PM
Awards Presentations
Keynote speaker: Distinguished Professor Emeritus Steven Feld, Departments of Anthropology & Music, University of New Mexico
“The Audible Entanglements of Africanist Anthropology and Jazz Studies”
Dance party until 10:30PM

There is no separate business meeting. Please disregard the information in the AAA Program and attend the reception 7:30-10:30PM at the Museum of African Art.

Getting There:

ADDRESS: The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 950 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC 20560

TRANSPORT FROM THE HOTEL: AfAA has hired a Bus that is available at the 24th Street Entrance of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at 7:00PM (best for viewing exhibits) and 7:30PM. There will also be two return times.
The nearest Metro stop to the Museum is “Smithsonian” on the blue/orange/silver line. From the Marriott Wardman Park, take the Red Line from Woodley Park Station (one block from the hotel) in the direction of Silver Spring/Glenmont. Switch at Metro Center to the blue/orange/silver line in the direction of Largo or New Carrlon. Smithsonian is two stops after Metro Center. A map of the metro system can be found here.

AAA 2013: Meet the Authors!

Bloomsbury Anthropology will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” event featuring several books of interest to Africanist anthropologists and others.  Join us in Stevens Salon C at the Chicago Hilton on Friday, Nov. 22 from 10-11 a.m. at Booth 510!

Featured books include:

  • African Dress: Fashion, Agency, and Performance, edited by D. Soyini Madison and Karen Tranberg Hansen
  • Visual Research: A Concise Introduction to Thinking Visually, by Jonathan S. Marion and Jerome W. Crowder
  • Food and Identity in the Caribbean, edited by Hanna Garth

Hope to see you there!

AfAA Events at the AAA Annual Meetings 2013

The 2013 AAA Annual Meetings in Chicago are fast approaching.  AfAA and its members have organized and sponsored a number of exciting panels and other events this year, which are listed below.  We look forward to seeing you there!

AfAA Panels and Events at the AAA Meetings 2013

Wednesday, November 20



Conference Room 5F, Chicago Hilton

Chair:  Gayatri Reddy (University of Illinois at Chicago)

4:00 PM: “African Dance Tourisms: Power, Sexuality and the Labor of Hospitality,” Jasmine E Johnson (Northwestern University)

4:15 PM: “Contrasting Paths of Slave Emancipation in Northern Mali, West Africa,” Aurelien Mauxion (Columbia College)

4:30 PM: “Examining Networks of the Afropolitan: Ghana’s Digital Elites,” Reginold A. Royston (University of California, Berkeley)

4:45 PM:  “The “African” Diaspora in India: Explorations of Race, Masculinity and Caste Politics in Contemporary Hyderabad,” Gayatri Reddy (University of Illinois at Chicago)

5:00 PM: “The Feminist Movement in the Operation of the South Sudanese Justice System,” MaryBeth Lucina Chrostowsky (University of Kentucky)

5:15 PM: “The Production of Matonge As An ‘African’ Neighbourhood in Brussels (Belgium): Performances  & Mediations,” Karel Arnaut (Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity)

5:30 PM: Discussion


Thursday, November 21


Conference Room 5D, Chicago Hilton

Organizer: Anita Spring (University of Florida)



PDR 5, Chicago Hilton

Chair:  Sibel Kusimba (Northern Illinois University)

8:00 AM: “’All I Need Is Help to Do Well’: Obstacles to Elder Health Treatment in Agate, Ghana, “Joyce Avotri wuaku (Nova Southeastern University) and Eileen M Smith-Cavros (Nova Southeastern University)

8:15 AM: “’You Should Have Left Me in Exile to Fend for myself’: Exploring the Challenges of Refugee Return in Post-Conflict Burundi,” Barbra Lukunka (American University)

8:30 AM: “African Science and White People’s Witchcraft: Morality and Identity in Occult Discourses of Southern Benin,” Douglas J Falen (Agnes Scott College)

8:45 AM: ‘Compassionate Aid: American Humanitarianism and the Ethic of Accountability in Ugandan AIDS Prevention Programs,” Lydia C Boyd (UNC-Chapel Hill and UNC Chapel Hill)

9:00 AM: “Forever Creative! Equitable Access and Tanzania,” Shawn Smith (Northern Illinois University)

9:15 AM: “Social Networks of Mobile Money in Kenya,” Sibel Kusimba (Northern Illinois University)

9:30 AM: Discussion



Lake Michigan Room, Chicago Hilton

Organizer and Chair: Gwendolyn Mikell (Georgetown University)

10:15 AM: “Public and Private Business Environments and Transnational Migration of the Chinese in Ghana,” Anita Spring (University of Florida)

10:30 AM: “Operating Off the International Development Grid:  China’s Strategy As An Aid Donor, Investor, and Resource Extractor in Africa,” Betty J Harris (University of Oklahoma, Norman)

10:45 AM: “Kofi Annan and Africa: The Will To Transform,” Gwendolyn Mikell (Georgetown University)

11:00 AM: “Systems Thinking for ‘Sustainable Pastoralism’ Among Maasai in Southern Kenya: Case Studies in Using a Board Game Simulator,” Jennifer E Coffman (James Madison University)

11:15 AM: Discussion



Chicago/Alton, Renaissance Blackstone Hotel

Organizer: Yolanda D Covington-Ward (University of Pittsburgh)

Chairs: Ruti Talmor (PItzer College) and Edward C. Davis IV (City Colleges of Chicago)

Discussants:  JoAnn D’Alisera (University of Arkansas) and Cati M Coe (Rutgers University, Camden)

1:45 PM: “’I Get Money, Now I Get Trouble:’ Tanzanian Migrant Women Making a Living in South Africa,” Emily J Margaretten (Ripon College)

2:00 PM: “Eating Fufu in the Steel City: The Social Integration of Liberian Immigrants in Pittsburgh,” Yolanda D Covington-Ward (University of Pittsburgh)

2:15 PM: “The Role of Home Town Associations (HTAS) and Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAS) in the Formation of Identities of Cameroonian Women in Berlin,” Elizabeth Iyase Beloe (Free University Berlin, Germany)

2:30 PM: “Changing Acts of Self-Inscription: Ghanaian Artists in Europe,” Ruti Talmor (Pitzer College)

2:45 PM: “African Transnational Communities: Experiences From Southern Africa,” Rubin Patterson (University of Toledo)

3:00 PM: Discussant, JoAnn D’Alisera (University of Arkansas)

3:15 PM: Discussion

3:30 PM: Break

3:45 PM: “From African Warzone to Cuban ‘Revolution’:  The Lives of Northern Ugandan Scholarship Students in Cuba,” Ayesha Nibbe (Hawaii Pacific University)

4:00 PM: “Être Bana-Kin Na Poto Mpé Na Améliki: Navigating Congolese Transnational Space in Europe and North America,” Edward C. Davis IV (City Colleges of Chicago)

4:15 PM: “Giving Them What They Want:  Immigrant Adjudication and the Marketing of Self Among Chicago’s New Africans,” Lisa M Simeone (University of Chicago)

4:30 PM: “Leaving Zimbabwe: Zimbabweans in the Rural Areas of Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia,” William Derman (Norwegian University of the Life Sciences)

4:45 PM: “’Black Chinese’: Racial Frontiers and the Problems of Mixed African(Nigerian)-Chinese Offspring in the Politics of Identity,” Yu Qiu (University of Cambridge)

5:00 PM: Discussant, Cati M Coe (Rutgers University, Camden)

5:15 PM: Discussion



PDR 7, Chicago Hilton

Chair: Wendi A Haugh (St. Lawrence University)

4:00 PM: “’We Are Not Africans, We Are Only Ruled By them’:  The Politics of Belonging and the Struggle for Defining Civilization in Contemporary Zanzibar,” Akbar A Keshodkar (Zayed University)

4:15 PM: “Citizen-Owners, Not Culture-Bearers: Namibian Nationalist Discourse in Comparative Perspective,” Wendi A Haugh (St. Lawrence University)

4:30 PM: “Joining the Networks: The Implications of Tanzanian Urban Professionals’ Uses of Electronic Communications,” Anne S Lewinson (Berry College)

4:45 PM: “Led Into Temptation: The Limits of Pentecostalism Among Zimbabwean Migrant Farm Workers in South Africa,” Lincoln Addison (Rutgers University)

5:00 PM: “The Anthropologist Wedding Planner: Researching Notions of Love, Success and Change in An Emerging African Metropolis,” Ana Sofia Tillo (Oxford university)

5:15 PM: Discussion



Boulevard C, Chicago Hilton

Organizer:  Anita Spring (University of Florida)

2013 Distinguished Lecture: Mwenda Ntarangwi, “Swimming Against the Tide: Hip Hop Youth Culture and Anthropology”

Friday, November 22


Joliet Room, Chicago Hilton

Invited Session

Co-sponsored with Society for Economic Anthropology

Organizers: Erin V Moore (University of Chicago) and Brooke S Bocast (Northwestern University and Temple University)

Chair: Brooke S Bocast (Temple University)

8:00 AM: “The Potential of Culture: Social Technologies of Branding and the Guises of Corporate Social Responsibility in Ghana,” Lauren N Adrover (Northwestern University)

8:15 AM: “Towards a ‘bright Future’: Pathologies of Potential in a Ugandan Village,” Brooke S Bocast (Temple University)

8:30 AM: “Having AIDS in An AIDS-Free Generation: Negotiating HIV-Positive Children’s Futures Amidst Successful Prevention Programs in Botswana,” Bianca Dahl (University of Toronto)

8:45 AM: “Sponsoring the Future: Marketizing Children’s Potential in Senegalese Preschools,” Kathryn E. McHarry (University of Chicago)

9:00 AM: “Nubility and Indolence: The Tropes of ‘Harnessing Girls’ Potential’ in Urban Uganda,” Erin V Moore (University of Chicago)

9:15 AM: “Potentiality Contested:  Futures of Prosperity and Health in Mozambican Pentecostal Movements,” Christy K Schuetze (Swarthmore College)



Chicago/Alton, Renaissance Blackstone Hotel

Organizers:  Mara A Leichtman (Michigan State University) and Joseph B Hill (University of Alberta)

Chairs:  Mara A Leichtman (Michigan State University) and Joseph B Hill (University of Alberta)

Discussants:  Birgit Meyer (University of Utrecht) and Julia Elyachar (University of California at Irvine)

8:00 AM: “Beyond Gift and Market: The NGO-Ization of Religious Groups in Côte d’Ivoire,” Marie Nathalie LeBlanc (Université du Québec à Montréal)

8:15 AM: “Venture Discipleship: NGO-Izing Sufi Religious Associations in Dakar,” Joseph B Hill (University of Alberta)

8:30 AM: “The Cooperative Gospel: The Religious Dynamics of Burial Assurance in Swaziland,” Casey Golomski (University of Massachusetts Boston)

8:45 AM: “Conflicts in the Sexual Realm? Secularity Meets Religiosity in Sex Education of Postcolonial Nigeria,” Victor Ogbonnaya Okorie (University of Wisconsin-Madison)

9:00 AM: Discussant, Birgit Meyer (University of Utrecht)

9:15 AM: Discussion

9:45 AM: Break

10:00 AM: “From Militancy to Economic Development: Islamic Youth Associations in Neoliberal Burkina Faso,” Louis Audet Gosselin (Université du Québec à Montréal)

10:15 AM: “(Re)Making Religious Community: Islamic Moral Renewal and Changing Patterns of Sociability and Economic Enterprise in Urban Mali,” Dorothea Schulz (University of Cologne)

10:30 AM: “Christian Businesses and Confucius Insitutes: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit Is Reconfigured Between Rwandans and Chinese,” Amy Stambach (University of Oxford)

10:45 AM: “NGO-Ization As Legitimization: Shi‘I Islamic Organizations In Senegal,” Mara A Leichtman (Michigan State University)

11:00 AM: Discussant, Julia Elyachar (University of California at Irvine)

11:15 AM: Discussion



Boulevard B, Chicago Hilton

Organizers:  Kristin D Phillips (Emory University), Amy B. Nichols-Belo (Randolph-Macon College) and Omolade Adunbi (The University of Michigan)

Chair: Omolade Adunbi (The University of Michigan)

Discussant: James H Smith (University of California – Davis)

10:15 AM: “Contested Spaces, Conflicting Nation: Violence, Oil and the ‘City of Sin,’” Omolade Adunbi (The University of Michigan)

10:30 AM: “Contested Knowledge in the Post-Socialist Nation: Traditional Healing As Resource and Threat in Northwestern Tanzania,” Amy B. Nichols-Belo (Randolph-Macon College)

10:45 AM: “’Before the Young Ones Throw It Out’: Intellectual Property, Indigenous Knowledge Systems, and the Power of Place in Venda,” Clare M Terni (University of Virginia)

11:00 AM: “Competing Spaces of Extraction: Protected Areas, Pastoralism and Capital Accumulation By Dispossession in Dryland Regions of East Africa,” Bilal Butt (University of Michigan)

11:15 AM: “Natural Resources in the Making of Nation-Space: Oil, Citizenship, and the New Regionalism in Tanzania,” Kristin D Phillips (Emory University)

11:30 AM: Discussant, James H Smith (University of California – Davis)

11:45 AM: Discussion


10:15 AM-12:00 PM: 4-0465 SCENES OF SOVEREIGNTY

Conference Room 4G, Chicago Hilton

Organizer and Chair: Stacey L Vanderhurst (Brown University)

Discussants: Niklas Hultin (Cambridge University) and Joseph Hellweg (Florida State University)

10:15 AM: “Negotiating State Sovereignty At Mombasa’s Old Port,” Nidhi Mahajan (Cornell University)

10:30 AM: “The Tractor and the Plow: Commercial Agriculture and Ethiopian Sovereignty in the 21st Century,” Sarah Stefanos (University of Wisconsin – Madison and University of Wisconsin – Madison)

10:45 AM: “Religious Freedom and Government Intervention in Ethiopia,” Teferi A Adem (HRAF at Yale University)

11:00 AM: “God Rescued You: Divine Intervention and Sovereign Power in Nigeria’s Counter-Trafficking Programs,” Stacey L Vanderhurst (Brown University)

11:15 AM: “When Is a State?  The Case of Somaliland,” Diane O’Rourke (Victoria University of Wellington + University of Hargeisa)

11:30 AM: Discussant, Niklas Hultin (Cambridge University)

11:45 AM: Discussant, Joseph Hellweg (Florida State University)



Conference Room 4L, Chicago Hilton

Chair:  Melina Taylor (CSU Chico)

1:45 PM: “The Politics and Development of the Mungiki Movement in Kenya,” Declan Galvin (New York University)

2:00 PM: “’Because We Young People Drink Beer, and they Drink Jabulani:’ Examining An Alcohol Ban in a Rural Xhosa Community Through the Lens of Intergenerational Conflict,” Kate Rice (University of Toronto)

2:15 PM: “Test-Tube Transnationalism: Fertility Migrants and Reproductive Refugees in Southern Africa,” Rebecca L Upton (DePauw University)

2:30 PM: “Black Female Bed and Breakfast Entrepreneurs in the Cape Town, South Africa Townships: Opportunity, Intersections, and Change,” Katrina T Greene (Biola University)

2:45 PM: “Female Genital Mutilation Education and Outreach Strategies in The Gambia, West Africa: An Analysis of a Non-Governmental Organization’s Influence in Changing Public Policy,” Melina Taylor (CSU Chico)

3:00 PM: Discussion



Conference Room 4C, Chicago Hilton

Invited Session

Organizers and Chairs: Jeanette L Dickerson-Putman (Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis) and Maria G Cattell (The Field Museum of Natural History)

Discussant: Maria G Cattell (The Field Museum of Natural History)

4:00 PM: “Men’s Intergenerational Reflections On Sexuality, Marriage and Fatherhood in Patrilineal Malawi,” Fiona R Parrott (University of Amsterdam)

4:15 PM: “What Do African (Cameroonian) University Professors, Parents and University Students Have to Say About the Value of Higher Education in Human Development?” Rachel R Reynolds (Drexel University)

4:30 PM: “Doing Kinship in Critical Health Moments: Case Studies From Coastal Tanzania,” Brigit Obrist van Eeuwijk (University of Basel)

4:45 PM: “Transgressing Norms of Care: Older Persons Providing Elder Care in Tanzania,” Peter M Van Eeuwijk (University of Basel)

5:00 PM: “When There Is No Next Generation: Old Age and Childless Women in a Southern Nigerian Community,” Marida Hollos (Brown University)

5:15 PM: “Building Bridges Across Generations: Revitalizing Elder and Youth Communication and Knowledge Transmissiom Among the Nandi of Western Kenya,” Jeanette L Dickerson-Putman (Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis) and Emily Choge (Moi University)

5:30 PM: Discussant, Maria G Cattell (The Field Museum of Natural History)


Saturday, November 23


Conference Room 4E, Chicago Hilton

Chair: Lesley N Braun (Université de Montréal)

8:00 AM: “Conjuring a New Public: Mystic Arts and National Culture in Postwar Sierra Leone,” Samuel M. Anderson (University of California Los Angeles)

8:15 AM: “Cyber Siren: What Mami Wata Reveals About Popular Culture and the Chinese Presence in Kinshasa, DRC,” Lesley N Braun (Université de Montréal)

8:30 AM: “Mimesis, Syncretism, and Visual Representation in Ewe Vodu,” Eric J Montgomery (Wayne State University)

8:45 AM: “Re-Circulating Giriama Traditional Heroines:  Mekatilili and Mepoho,” Linda L Giles (Illinois Wesleyan University), Celia Nyamweru (St. Lawrence University) and John Mitsanze (Malindi District Cultural Association)

9:00 AM: “The Ballet and Its Other: The Theatre and Social Change in Contemporary South Africa,” Meryl Lauer Lodge (University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota)

9:15 AM: “The Gift of Dundunba: Dance and Social Cohesion in Urban Guinea,” Adrienne Jordan Cohen (Yale University)

9:30 AM: Discussion



Grand Tradition, Chicago Hilton

Invited Session

Co-sponsored with Society for Economic Anthropology

Organizer and Chair: Laura L Cochrane (Central Michigan University)

Discussant: Carolyn K Lesorogol (Washington University)

1:45 PM: Discussant, Carolyn K Lesorogol (Washington University)

2:00 PM: “Women’s Groups and the Topography of Money and Exchange Between Maasai Women: Mitigating the Landscape of Gender Inequality,” Julia Klara Bryson Bailey (McGill University)

2:15 PM: “Addressing Global Economic Inequalities Through Community Participation in Senegal’s Artisanal Workshops,” Laura L Cochrane (Central Michigan University)

2:30 PM: “Inequality and Migration: The Political Economy of Difference Among Transnational Movers,” Jeffrey H Cohen (The Ohio State University) and Ibrahim Sirkeci (Regent’s College London)

2:45 PM: “Farmers and Farmworkers: Negotiating Unequal Identities in a Rural Appalachian Community,” Susie Donaldson (University of Iowa)

3:00 PM: “’Not What It Used to be’: Schemas of Class and Contradiction in the Great Recession,” Anna Jefferson (Abt Associates)

3:15 PM: “The Political Economy of Community and Cooperation: Artisans, Business Associations, and Economic Development in Rural Peru,” Jennifer A Vogt (Vanderbilt University)



Conference Room 4G, Chicago Hilton

Organizer and Chair: Anna M West (Stanford University)

Discussants: Jason Price (UC Berkeley) and Claudia Gastrow (University of Chicago)

1:45 PM: “The Biometric Imaginary: The Technopolitics of Securing the Market and State in Contemporary South African Social Protection,” Kevin Donovan (University of Cape Town & University of Michigan)

2:00 PM: “The Story of the Purple House: Aesthetics and Security of Gated Communities in South Africa,” Liezemarie Johannes (Universty of the Witswatersrand)

2:15 PM: “White Weddings,” Danai Samantha Mupotsa (University of the Witwatersrand)

2:30 PM: “Food Security and the Semiotics of Maize in Malawi,” Anna M West (Stanford University)

2:45 PM: Discussant, Jason Price (UC Berkeley)

3:00 PM: Discussant, Claudia Gastrow (University of Chicago)

3:15 PM: Discussion


Sunday, November 24


Conference Room 4D, Chicago Hilton

Invited Session

Organizers: Bennetta Jules-Rosette (University of California, San Diego) and Erica L Fontana (University of California, San Diego)

Chair: Bennetta Jules-Rosette (University of California, San Diego)

Discussant: Christopher B Steiner (Connecticut College)

8:00 AM: “Museums From Private to Public: Trajectories of Transformation in Comparative Perspective,” Bennetta Jules-Rosette (University of California, San Diego)

8:15 AM: “Private Memories and Public Histories: Transformations of Historical Museums in Poland,” Erica L Fontana (University of California, San Diego)

8:30 AM: “Afro-Dubai: Alternative Modernities and Dubai’s Contemporary Art Scene,” Wayne H Osborn Jr (Georgetown University)

8:45 AM: “Statues, Murals and the National Museum: Mediating the Presence and Absence of Women in Zimbabwean Political Struggles,” Lorna Lueker-Zukas (National University)

9:00 AM: Discussant, Christopher B Steiner (Connecticut College)

9:15 AM: Discussion



Conference Room 4J, Chicago Hilton

Organizer: David O’Kane (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Chair: William P Murphy (Northwestern University)

10:15 AM: “Krio Ideologies of Descent in Current Public Discourse and Performance,” Jacqueline Knörr (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

10:30 AM: “Performances and Discourses Related to Secret Societies in the Freetown Peninsula, Sierra Leone,” Anaïs Menard (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

10:45 AM: “Performances and Discourses On Peace Building in the Casamance,” Markus Rudolf (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Markus Rudolf)

11:00 AM: “Performances and Discourses Related to Security in Guinea-Bissau: Bottom-Up Versus Top-Down Discourses,” Christoph Kohl (Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF))

11:15 AM: “Performances and Discourses in Public Spectacle At the University of Makeni,” David O’Kane (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

11:30 AM: “Promoting Freedom of Expression Through Civic Education – Opportunities and Challenges in Post War Sierra Leone,” Sylvanus Spencer (Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone)

11:45 AM: “Witchcraft Confessions As a Public Performance: The Complexity of Emerging Orders in Post-War Liberia,” Maarten Bedert (Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology)

Possible AfAA Panel Sessions for Annual Meeting

We have developed a tentative list of possible AfAA panel sessions related to this year’s meeting theme, “Future Publics, Current Engagements,” for the upcoming AAA Annual Meeting in Chicago (please feel free to submit your own!)  If you are interested in chairing one of these sessions or submitting a panel of your own, please contact David Turkon at [email protected].

  • African Art Markets and Museums: Spaces to Engage the Public
  • Media Publics in Africa
  • Concepts of the Public: Citizenry and Current Political Engagement
  • Developing an African State-Level Public
  • Human Rights and NGOs: Does the African Public Care?
  • Public Rituals and Private Spaces in Africa
  • Chinese and African Textiles in Africa: What is the Public’s Perception?
  • African Land Grabs: Grabbing Public and Private Lands
  • African Sports Events: The New Public Rituals