Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa

By Todd Sanders

This quantity units out contemporary considering on witchcraft in Africa, paying specific awareness to diversifications in meanings and practices. It examines the best way varied humans in several contexts are making feel of what 'witchcraft' is and what it could mean. Using contemporary ethnographic fabrics from around the continent, the amount explores how witchcraft articulates with specific glossy settings for instance: the nation in Cameroon; Pentecostalism in Malawi; the college method in Nigeria and the IMF in Ghana, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The editors offer a well timed evaluation and reconsideration of long-standing anthropological debates approximately 'African witchcraft', whereas concurrently elevating broader issues concerning the theories of the western social sciences.

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Professor Kalu has written an unpublished file on campus violence and cultism for the Nigerian Social technological know-how examine Council. See Ogundipe-Leslie (1994), Okeke (2001) and Bastian (forthcoming b) for extra on women’s difficulties in Nigerian schooling. See, for example, the higher Lover journal tale (Anonymous 1998a). during this narrative, a tender lady of a decrease type historical past is seduced via a fashionable and elite member of a campus cult. even if she believes that she has chanced on romance and upward mobility, she is absolutely being specified for a gang rape throughout the cult’s upcoming initiation. Her go back to a ‘proper’ category orientation after the brutal attack is signalled within the subtitle of the piece: ‘I’m via with UNILAG [University of Lagos] scholars and their cults Wahala, Oshodi investors right here I come. ’ whereas we don't have any skill for comparing the truthfulness of sensationalistic periodical tales like this one (which is couched as a ‘problem web page’ tale, soliciting for reader recommendation, i'm confident that the themes of such narratives are vital for gauging indigenous renowned cognizance. definitely such subject matters promote newspapers and magazines, and so they find their means into the Nigerian digital media with nice frequency. I make no declare for the veracity of this actual tale, yet am the following extra regularly within the pervasiveness of campus cultism and gang rape inside of present Nigerian renowned discourse. See Gumpert 1987, fowl 1992, Turner 1993, Dégh 1994, and Bordo 1997 for extra on folkloric and well known narratives within the Euro-American sensationalist press. I reflect on such tales to have an identical carry over western renowned realization. in a single of the worst incidents documented of cult violence lately, six scholars at Obafemi Awolowo college have been murdered, a couple of others injured and the spouse of the Vice Chancellor was once abducted in early July, 1999. See Ndiribe 1999 and Nwandu 1999 for extra at the OAU killings. For a extra optimistic standpoint on Nigerian peacekeeping in Sierra Leone, see Richards 1996: 20–21. For numerous examples of this Africanist stereotypy, see Marwick 1970 (particularly the chapters by means of Schapera, Krige and Wilson). In a extra modern Africa, see Comaroff and Comaroff 1993 (especially Apter, Auslander and Austen). All ogbaanje confessions quoted during this part are from nameless 1998b. This dichotomous marital discourse maintains to the current day in Nigeria; see Bastian approaching b and Okeke 2001. ‘Walk-about’ girls or the femmes libres of the African towns of the Fifties onwards 92 Misty L. Bastian 17 18 19 20 are recognized figures in anthropological literature. See, for instance, Little 1973, l. a. Fontaine 1974, Schuster 1979, Obbo 1980, Dinan 1983 and Gondola 1997. White (1990) has additionally written a telling background of intercourse investors’ contribution to city male family convenience in Nairobi in the course of the colonial interval. Yoruba-speaking humans discuss with those very important witches respectfully as awon iya wa (‘our mothers’; Drewal 1992: 178).

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