The Modernity of Witchcraft: Politics and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa

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University of Virginia Press, 1997 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 311 pages
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To many Westerners, the disappearance of African traditions of witchcraft might seem inevitable wuth continued modernization. In The Modernity of Witchcraft, Peter Geschieres uses his own experiences among the Maka and in other parts of eastern and southern Cameroon, as well as other anthropological research, to argue that contemporary ideas and practices of witchcraft are more a response to modern exigencies than a lingering cultural custom. The prevalence of witchcraft, especially in African politics and entrepreneurship, demonstrates the unlikely balance it has achieved with the forces of modernity. Geshiere explores why modern techniques and commodities, usually of Western Provenance, have become central in rumors of the occult.

 

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Contents

TWO
15
COMPARATIVE INTERSTICE I
61
FOUR
97
COMPARATIVE INTERSTKE 2
111
The Temptations of Power
131
FIVE 117
162
SIX
169
SEVEN
198
1 5
215
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About the author (1997)

Peter Geschiere is Professor of African Anthropology at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands. He is the author of Pathways to Accumulation in Cameroon, Old Modes of Production and Capitalist Encroachment, and Village Communties and the State.

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