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 Elliot Skinner Book Award

After careful consideration of many exciting contributions, AfAA is pleased to announce the winner and honorable mention for this year’s Elliot Skinner Book Award!

The winner of this year’s book award is Jemima Pierre’s The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race (2013, University of Chicago Press).

This year’s honorable mention goes to Wyatt MacGaffey’s book Chiefs, Priests, and Praise Singers (2013, University of Virginia Press).

Congratulations to Dr. Pierre and Dr. MacGaffey!

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.

2014 Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards and Honorable Mentions

After careful review of many great submissions, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 AfAA Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards.

The winner of this year’s Bennetta Jules-Rosette Graduate Essay Award is Uwa Oduwa of Georgetown University.  Uwa’s master’s thesis, “Rethinking Study Abroad: Academic Exchange in Developing Nations and the Case for Nigeria,” is an insightful examination of study-abroad programs and their assessment by educational professionals. The thesis focuses on programs hosted in Nigeria and draws upon a wide range of scholarship: from Africanist and diasporic studies to network theory, cosmopolitanism, and education research. Uwa synthesized survey data with a contextual study of Nigerian higher education to conclude that raising the prominence of Africa-based faculty also increases student and educational exchanges. The study offers great promise for expanding the role of African centers of higher education within academic and global networks.

The winner of this year’s Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Essay Award is Alexis Coopersmith of the University of California, San Diego, for her honors thesis “Pathways to Power: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Wangari Maathai, and the African Woman’s Pursuit of Political Power.”  Alexis’ thesis is an impressive work of anthropological, sociological, and political analysis. She develops an innovative grounded-theory approach for the study of women’s political power and methodically applies her theory to the life stories of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Wangari Maathai. The thesis offers new models of social change applicable to Africanist anthropology, feminist and gender studies, political sociology, and beyond. The strength of the thesis resulted in Alexis being offered an internship with a UN task force. She is currently working with a the UN in Malawi, collecting ethnographic data, and putting her theories to practice. Alexis’s thesis also won awards from the African and African American Studies Research Center (AAASRC) and the Department of Sociology at UCSD.

Sarah Rayzl Lansky of Macalester College is the recipient of this year’s undergraduate paper honorable mention for her paper ” My Brother Before Me: The Role and Experience of Local Humanitarian Aid Workers In Eastern Cameroon.”  Sarah Lansky’s piece contains a strong and extensive fieldwork component, including interviews and participant observation of humanitarian workers in Cameroon. The thesis shines an ethnographic lens upon humanitarian work, and the ways in which aid workers shape global flows, international relations, refugee cultures, and migration. Sarah also explores how local agents of humanitarian organizations contribute to building the African middle class.

Congratulations to all our awardees on their great work!

Submit your nominees for the AfAA 2014 Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards!

The Association for Africanist Anthropology requests submissions of outstanding graduate and undergraduate papers for our annual awards, to be presented during the 2014 AfAA reception at the annual meetings of the American Anthropological Association, Dec. 3-7, 2014 in Washington, D.C.  This year’s deadline for submissions is June 30.

Details about each award and how to submit can be found here.

We look forward to reading your (and your students’) submissions!

Job openings in African Studies at the University of Florida

Search committees in African Studies at the University of Florida are looking to hire senior faculty for three positions, one in comparative politics/Africa and two in Public Health and Social Change in Africa.  See full posting below from Leonardo Villalón and Michael Bernhard.


Dear Colleagues:

We are jointly writing to you as the chairs of two search committees looking to hire senior faculty in African Studies at the University of Florida.  The first of these positions is a comparative politics/Africa position in the UF Department of Political Science.   The second committee seeks to fill two positions in the thematic area of “Public Health and Social Change in Africa,” as part of a package of preeminence hires at the university.   We seek to hire two senior scholars in Political Science, History, Anthropology, Sociology, or Geography.

We are looking to hire associate or full professors with active and highly visible research agendas, a history of fieldwork in Africa, and the ability to direct PhD dissertations.  With regard to the general position we are open to candidates with a broad range of interests in African Politics and a variety of research methods.  For the two positions in Public Health and Social Change we seek senior scholars who work on the impact of social change on public health, or vice versa.  Among the potential areas of interest could be the impact of disease, climate change, war or other forms of conflict, migration, natural disasters, globalization, state-building, or regime change on public health.  Similarly scholars looking at public health policy and how that has affected African development are also welcome.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is home to one of the nation’s leading Centers for African Studies, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center program.  The Center has over 100 affiliated teaching and research faculty in a wide variety of fields, across several colleges and departments spanning the width and breath of the sciences, professional schools, the social sciences and the humanities.  The hiring of three senior scholars in the field of African Studies represents a significant commitment by the University of Florida to maintain a position of leadership in the study of Africa globally and in the United States.

If you are interested in learning more about the jobs please feel free to contact us for further information.  Additionally, if you would please circulate our letter and the attached ads to colleagues whom you think might be interested, we would be appreciative.

Comparative Politics/Africa (rank open):

Public Health and Social Change in Africa (Aso/Full Prof):



Leonardo Villalón

Dean of the International Center and Professor of Political Science


Michael Bernhard

Ehrlich Professor of Political Science



Department of Political Science University of Florida

PO Box 117325 Anderson Hall

Gainesville, FL 32611

tel: 352.273.2387 fax: 352.392.8127

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!

2013 Elliot Skinner Book Award

After careful consideration of many exciting contributions, AfAA is pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Elliot Skinner Book Award!  We received so many great submissions this year that we have decided to award two prizes.
Steven Feld’s book Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra: Five Musical Years in Ghana (2012, Duke University Press), is an ethnography documenting the importance of Ghanian musicians in relationship to the world jazz scene. The $1,000 award money will go to the musicians in Accra with whom Dr. Feld works.
Jennie Burnet’s book Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda (2012, University of Wisconsin Press) traces the roles of women in the processes of memory, silence, and justice involved in the reconciliation processes following the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
Congratulations to Dr. Feld and Dr. Burnet!

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)

Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Award Winners and Honorable Mentions

After careful review of many great submissions, we are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 AfAA Graduate and Undergraduate Paper Awards.

The winner of the Bennetta Jules-Rosette AfAA Graduate Essay Award is Metasebia Yoseph of Georgetown University.  Metasebia’s master’s thesis, “A Culture of Coffee: Transmediating the Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony,” is an outstanding piece. The thesis, which draws upon Metasebia’s extensive field research and work experience in Ethiopia, addresses coffee culture from the micro level of the Ethiopian coffee ceremony to the macro level of the international coffee trade. The work also incorporates rich photographic detail of the objects involved in Ethiopian coffee practice. The majority of the included photographs were collected by Metasebia herself as part of her field research. The overall message highlights the landscape of coffee from an in-depth anthropological perspective.  The thesis demonstrates how the culture of coffee circulates both locally and globally as an important cultural and economic signifier for Ethiopia. As part of the award, Metasebia will receive $500 and a travel stipend for this year’s AAA Annual Meetings in Chicago.

Yang Jiao of the University of Florida, Gainesville, will receive this year’s graduate honorable mention.   His submission, “The Rise of Chinese Transnational Elites in Africa” covers a highly pertinent area of economic anthropology.   He demonstrates the impact of the globalization of Chinese transnational elites, in particular as they participate in Ghana’s growing economy and state investments.  This paper is extremely important and furthers the analysis of globalization and economic development on the African continent.

The winner of the Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Essay Award is Rachel Mueller of Macalester College, for her paper “The Spirits are My Neighbors: Women and the Rab Cult in Dakar, Senegal.”  As part of the award, Rachel will receive $100 and a travel stipend to attend this year’s AAA Annual meetings in Chicago.

Stephen Reynders of the University of California, San Diego, is the recipient of this year’s undergraduate paper honorable mention for his paper “Ritual as Therapy: A Semiotic Theory of Modern and Pre-Modern Ritual Form.”

Congratulations to all our awardees on their great work!