What role does ritual play in the everyday lives of modern
Africans? How are so-called "traditional" cultural
forms deployed by people seeking empowerment in a world where
"modernity" has failed to deliver on its promises?
Some of the essays in "Modernity and Its Malcontents"
address familiar anthropological issues--like witchcraft,
myth, and the politics of reproduction--but treat them in
fresh ways, situating them amidst the polyphonies of
contemporary Africa. Others explore distinctly
nontraditional subjects--among them the Nigerian popular
press and soul-eating in Niger--in such a way as to
confront the conceptual limits of Western social science.
Together they demonstrate how ritual may be powerfuly
mobilized in the making of history, present, and future.
Addressing challenges posed by contemporary African
realities, the authors subject such concepts as modernity,
ritual, power, and history to renewed critical scrutiny.
Writing about a variety of phenomena, they are united by a
wish to preserve the diversity and historical specificity of
local signs and practices, voices and perspectives. Their
work makes a substantial and original contribution toward the
historical anthropology of Africa.
The contributors, all from the Africanist circle at the
University of Chicago, are Adeline Masquelier, Deborah
Kaspin, J. Lorand Matory, Ralph A. Austen, Andrew Apter,
Misty L. Bastian, Mark Auslander, and Pamela G. Schmoll.
Series: Other Voice in Early Modern Europe Ser.
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 1st January 1993
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.0
Weight (kg): 0.37
Edition Number: 2