Witchcraft and Contemporary Africa

March 29, 2004 (Monday) / 8:30 am4:30 pm

First Floor, Stitler Hall, University of Pennsylvania

Witchcraft and Contemporary Africa

Peter Geschiere

Professor of Anthropology
Amsterdam School for Social Research

Grounded in historical and anthropological methodology, Peter Geschiere's work often combines European and African theoretical understandings of the modern African situation while it also illuminates his commitment to the intellectual concerns of the underprivileged.

His groundbreaking work, The Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa, demonstrates the effectiveness of combined disciplinary approaches in the study of modern African politics and society.

Elected both to the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences (1998) and the Cameroonian Academy of Sciences (2002), Prof. Geschiere recently retired as chair of African Anthropology at Leiden University. He continues to research and write from the Amsterdam School for Social Research. He was also awarded the 2002 Distinguished Africanist Award.

8:30-8:50a | Welcome and breakfast

8:50-9:00a | Opening remarks by Dr. Lee Cassanelli

9:00-10:30a | Panel 1

    Reconciling Modernity and Witchcraft
    Chair: Steven Feierman, History

        Kristina Wirtz, Anthropology
        Jason Blum, Religious Studies
        Linda Lee, Folklore and Folklife

10:30-10:45a | Coffee break

10:45a-12:15p | Panel 2

    Excavating a Career: Research Themes, Methodologies, and Publics
    Chair: Sandra Barnes, Anthropology

        Noel Salazar, Anthropology
        Marie Jorritsma, Music
        Andi Johnson, History and Sociology of Science

12:15-1:30p | Lunch break

1:30-3:00p | Panel 3

    State and Society in Africa
    Chair: Thomas Callaghy, Political Science

        Genevra Murray, Anthropology
        Jane Gordon, Political Science
        Adam Mohr, Anthropology

3:00-3:15p | Coffee break

3:15-4:30p | Presentation by Peter Geschiere

    The Fascination of the Forest: Cannibals, Biodiversity and Other Visions

4:30p | Reception

Note: Readings are available at the Rosengarten Reserves in the Van Pelt Library.