African Anthropological Practice in the "Era of Aid": Towards a Critique of Disciplinary Canons

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa, John Wiley & Sons, p.415–438 (2019)




Social Science / Anthropology / Cultural & Social, Social Science / Ethnic Studies / General


An essential collection of scholarly essays on the anthropology of Africa, offering a thorough introduction to the most important topics in this evolving and diverse field of study The study of the cultures of Africa has been central to the methodological and theoretical development of anthropology as a discipline since the late 19th-century. As the anthropology of Africa has emerged as a distinct field of study, anthropologists working in this tradition have strived to build a disciplinary conversation that recognizes the diversity and complexity of modern and ancient African cultures while acknowledging the effects of historical anthropology on the present and future of the field of study. A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa is a collection of insightful essays covering the key questions and subjects in the contemporary anthropology of Africa with a key focus on addressing the topics that define the contemporary discipline. Written and edited by a team of leading cultural anthropologists, it is an ideal introduction to the most important topics in the field, both those that have consistently been a part of the critical dialogue and those that have emerged as the central questions of the discipline’s future. Beginning with essays on the enduring topics in the study of African cultures, A Companion to the Anthropology of Africa provides a foundation in the contemporary critical approach to subjects of longstanding interest. With these subjects as a groundwork, later essays address decolonization, the postcolonial experience, and questions of modern identity and definition, providing representation of the diverse thinking and scholarship in the modern anthropology of Africa.


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