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Book Forum: Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life After NGOs

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Saida Hodžić’s The Twilight of Cutting: African Activism and Life after NGOs (University of California Press, 2017) illuminates the myriad state and non-state actors collaborating on campaigns against “Female Genital Mutilation” (FGM) in Ghana, where genital cutting was already on the decline. From a uniquely multi-scalar perspective, Hodžić reveals how cutting emerged as a problem to be shared by African …

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Integration

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In one of several letters he wrote to me during my fieldwork, Serge addressed what he considered to be the problems of integration for disabled people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Writing this letter in November 2013, he reflected on the upcoming International Day of Persons with Disabilities on the 3rdof December. “Across the world,” he wrote, …

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Ebola Afterlives

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Image by Eva Vernooij

Adiatu[1], a young Sierra Leonean laboratory scientist, turns on the light in the high risk room of the molecular unit of the recently renovated laboratory in Sierra Leone’s largest governmental hospital. The sterile, all-white laboratory space is filled with high-end equipment for the detection of Ebola virus. The biosafety cabinets, -80°C freezers, hotplates and …

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Competence for Citizenship

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White ants are a delicacy in the subregion Acholi in northern Uganda. Since fresh ones are available only once a year when they become flying roamers, one 100-kg sack of ants can bring in as much money as a teacher in a public school earns within two months. Patrick was thrilled to be able

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Vampires, Cannibals, and Sorcerers on the Loose

On February 8, 2019, a symposium organized by Nancy Rose Hunt on the scholarship and career of Luise White was held at the University of Florida. In the nearly twenty years since the publication of White’s Speaking with Vampires: Rumor and History in Colonial Africa (University of California, 2000), her thinking at the intersection of anthropology and history continues to

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Care in the middle voice

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When thinking about care, it is easy to assume an asymmetrical structure with two fixed two roles: the care-giver and the cared-for. It is likewise easy to assume that the former is active while the latter is passive (cf. Borneman 1997). In attending to the lives and worlds of Ugandans with cognitive disabilities, however, I learned that there is more …