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Adam Philip Ashforth

Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

University of Michigan

4700 Haven Hall

505 S. State Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48109

March 4, 2013

734 615 4335

2010- University of Michigan, Professor of Afroamerican and African Studies (with tenure).

2012-13 University of Michigan, Helmut F. Stern Professor in the Institute for the Humanities.

1987 Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

1981 Master of Philosophy, University of Oxford

1979 Bachelor of Arts, University of Western Australia

1981 Sir Henry Strakosch Fellowship

1979 Rhodes Scholarship (Australia at Large)

2006 Association of Third World Studies, Toyin Falola Africa Book Award

2005 African Studies Association, Melville J. Herskovits Prize for the best book on Africa

1998-9 H.F. Guggenheim Foundation Research Award

1997-8 Visiting Member award, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study

1997-8 Professional Staff Congress of the City University of New York Research Award (also 1990-1)

1991-4 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, SSRC Fellowship

1991-2 Rockefeller Residency Fellowship, Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University

1990 American Council of Learned Societies and Social Science Research Council, Advanced Area Research Award


2009 Mellon Foundation, Sawyer Seminar award for University of Michigan Center for Afroamerican and African Studies entitled Ethnicity in Africa: Historical, Comparative and Contemporary Invesitgations, with Warren C. Whatley (CAAS and Economics) , Marlyse Baptista(CAAS and Linguistics), Howard Stein (CAAS), Rudolph Butch Ware (History), Derek Petersen (CAAS and History), Kelly Askew (CAAS and Anthropology).

2000 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation grant of $100,000; Ford Foundation grant of $100,000; Gladys Kreble Delmas Foundation grant of $100,000; and Rockefeller Foundation grant of $85,000 in support of Information Technology and Society program, Institute for Advanced Study.

2008-10 Visiting Associate Professor, University of Michigan, Center for Afroamerican and African Studies.

2006-8 Northwestern University, Visiting Professor of Anthropology, Political Science, and Sociology.

1989-98 City University of New York, Baruch College, Department of Political Science, Assistant Professor.

1990-98 City University of New York, the Graduate Center, Department of Political Science, Assistant Professor.

1988 (Spring) Bemidji State University, Minnesota, Political Science, Visiting Professor.

1984-8 Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), Department of Politics, Full-time Tutor (rank equivalent to that of ‘Instructor’ or ‘Lecturer’ in many U.S. universities).

1982 University of Oxford, Exeter College, Part-Time Tutor (Politics).

1978 University of Western Australia, St Thomas Moore College, Resident tutor in English and Politics.

1999-2006 Visiting Associate Professor of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

1997-8 Member, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study.

1995-6 Affiliated Researcher, Center for Studies of Social Change, Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science, New School for Social Research.

1992 Visiting Fellow, Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies and Department of Political Science, University of Western Australia.

1991/2 Visiting Scholar, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago.

1991/2 Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities, Northwestern University.

1990-4 University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Institute for Advanced Social Research (formerly African Studies Institute – currently the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research), Visiting Fellow.

1988/9 Research Associate, Center for Studies of Social Change, New School for Social Research, New York.

1983-8 Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, Oral History Interviewer (Part-Time), Bicentennial History of Parliament Project.
2012- Member, Board of Trustees, Association of Members of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

2006-7 Northwestern University, Associate Director of the Program of African Studies.

2006-7 Northwestern University, Director of Graduate Studies, Program of African Studies.
Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2005) [awarded the African Studies Association’s Herskovits Prize and the Association of Third World Studies Toyin Falola Africa Book Award].
Madumo, A Man Bewitched (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2000; also Cape Town: David Philip, 2000).
The Politics of Official Discourse in Twentieth-Century South Africa (Oxford: The Clarendon Press [Oxford Studies in African Affairs], 1990).

Articles and Research Monographs:

‘Love in the Time of AIDS,’ African Studies Review, Vol.55, No.3, December, 2012, pp.169-178.

‘Spiritual Insecurity and Religious Enthusiasm in Africa,’ Global Public Health Vol6; Supp2, pp S132-S147, 2011.
‘Serious Laughter, the Twisted Humor of Santu Mofokeng,’ in Santu Mofokeng: Chasing Shadows, 30 Years of Photographic Essays (Ed. Corinne Diserens), (Paris: Prestel, 2011).
‘Human Security and Spiritual Insecurity: Why the Fear of Evil Forces Needs to Be Taken Seriously,’ Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 9;1 (2010), 99-106.
‘Charles Tilly,’ Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society Vol.153, No.3 (2009), pp.372-80.
‘Ethnic Violence and the Prospects for Democracy in the Aftermath of the 2007 Kenyan Elections,’ Public Culture, 21;1 (2009), pp.9-20.

‘Spiritual Insecurity and HIV/AIDS in South Africa,’ in Hansjoerg Dilger and Ute Luig, Morality, Hope, and Grief: Anthropologies of AIDS in Africa (Oxford / New York: Berghahn Books, forthcoming May 2010).

‘Ambiguities of “Culture” and the Antiretroviral Rollout in South Africa,’ with Niccoli Nattrass. Social Dynamics, 31 (2), 2006, pp285-303.
Muthi, Medicine, and Witchcraft: Regulating “African Science” in Post-Apartheid South Africa?’ Social Dynamics, 31 (2), 2006 pp.211-243.
‘ Will Antiretrovirals Cure AIDS Stigma in South Africa?’ Ann Arbor, Michigan: Scholarly Publishing Office, University of Michigan University Library Passages June 2005, ns 2, June 2005.
‘AIDS and Witchcraft in Post-Apartheid South Africa,’ in Anthropology in the Margins of the State edited by Veena Das and Debbie Poole, Santa Fe: School of American Research Press (2004).
‘An Epidemic of Witchcraft? The Implications of AIDS for the Post-Apartheid State,’ African Studies 61;1 (2002), pp.121-142.
‘Quand le sida est sorcellerie. Un défi pour la démocratie sud africaine,’ Critique Internationale, 14 (2002) pp. 119-141.
AIDS, Witchcraft, and the Problem of Power in Post Apartheid South Africa,’ (Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science Occasional Paper No 10) (May, 2001).
‘On Living in a World With Witches: Everyday Epistemology and Spiritual Insecurity in a Modern African City (Soweto),’ in Magical Interpretations, Material Realities: Modernity, Witchcraft and the Occult in Postcolonial Africa, Edited by Henrietta L. Moore and Todd Sanders (London and New York: Routledge, 2001).
‘Réflections sur L’Insécurité Spirituelle dans une Ville Africaine Moderne (Soweto),’ Politique Africaine, 77 (2000), pp.143-170.
‘Soweto Witch Project,’ Transition [including 14 original photographs], 81/2 (2000), pp.22-51.
‘Weighing Manhood in Soweto,’ Codesria Bulletin 3/4 (1999), pp.51-58.
‘On the Governance of the State and the Governance of the Soul: An Approach to Questions of Personhood Through a Consideration of Images and Power,’ Afrika Zamani 7&8 (1997/8), pp.247-270.
‘Reflections on Spiritual Insecurity in a Modern African City (Soweto),’ African Studies Review 41;3 (1998), pp.39-67.
‘Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in the New South Africa,’ Cahiers d’Études Africaine, 150-152, XXXVIII-2-4 (1998), pp.505-532. (Anthologized in Readings in African Politics, edited by Tom Young, Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press; and Oxford: James Currey, in association with the International African Institute.)
‘Lineaments of the Political Geography of State Formation in Twentieth-Century South Africa,’ Journal of Historical Sociology, 10;2 (1997), pp.101-126.
‘Down the Old Potch Road to Lekoka Street: State Power and Social Space in Soweto,’ Review of Architectural Theory , 1;2 (1996), pp.60-78.
‘Of Secrecy and the Commonplace: Witchcraft and Power in Soweto,’ Social Research, 64;3 (1996), pp.1183-1234.
State Power, Violence, Everyday Life: Soweto, (Center for Studies of Social Change, Working Paper No. 210, 1995) [].
Imperial South Africa (Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies, Occasional Paper No. 29,1993)
‘A Letter from Soweto,’ Dissent (Fall,1993), pp.419-423.
‘South Africa: Reconstructing an Imperial State,’ Dissent (Summer, 1992), pp.370-377.
Images, Power, and the Politics of Representation: Notes from the south of Africa (Indian Ocean Centre for Peace Studies, Occasional Paper No.23,1992)
‘The Xhosa Cattle-Killing and the Politics of Memory,’ Sociological Forum, 6;3 (1991), pp.579-592 .
‘War Party: Buthelezi and Apartheid,’ Transition, No. 52 (Summer, 1991), pp.56-69.
‘Reckoning Schemes of Legitimation: On Commissions of Inquiry as Power/Knowledge Forms,’ Journal of Historical Sociology 3;1 (1990), pp.1-22.
Selected Reviews:
“Race in South Africa Revisited,” Review of Michael MacDonald, Why Race Matters in South Africa (Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 2006), Journal of Southern African Studies, 34;4 (2008), pp.987-8.
‘Robbery with Violence,’ review of Kevin Bates’s Understanding Global Slavery. Times Literary Supplement, No. 5370, March 3, 2006, p.28.
Review of Hungochani: The History of a Dissident Sexuality in Southern Africa. Times Literary Supplement No. 5358, December 9, 2005, p.28.

Review of The Broken String: The Last Words of an Extinct People. Times Literary Supplement, No.5333, June 17, 2005, p.26.

‘Bubblegum Struggles,’ review of Gwen Answell’s Soweto Blues: Jazz, Popular Music, and Politics in South Africa. Times Literary Supplement, No. 5319 (March 12, 2005), p.32.
‘Over the Rainbow,’ review of R.W. Johnson’s, South Africa: The First Man, the Last Nation. Times Literary Supplement, No.5311 (January 14, 2005), p.8-9.
‘Myths of Soweto.’ Review of Linda Schuster’s A Burning Hunger: One Family’s Struggle Against Apartheid. Times Literary Supplement, No. 5293 (September 10, 2004), p.22.
“Truth Be in the Field: Social Science Research in Southern Africa,” Ed. by Pierre Hugo, American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 94, No. 3 (Sep., 1992), pp. 717-718

“Anti-anti-witchcraft: Why Humanitarian Concerns About Witchcraft in Africa are misplaced,” Distinguished Africanist Lecture, University of Chicago, January 22, 2013.
“Anti-witchcraft violence and human rights,” presented to the Michigan State University Eye on Africa series, November 15, 2012.
“1948. South Africa. Apartheid in the Twilight of Empire” (paper presented to the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar: Around 1948: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Global Transformation. University of Chicago, April 25-27, 2012.)
“AIDS, Religious Enthusiasm, and Spiritual Insecurity in Africa,” public lecture University of Texas at San Antonio, February 19, 2012; also Lafayette College, Pennsylvania, November 29, 2011.
“Spiritual Insecurity in the Democratic State: A Relational Realist Approach,” lecture presented to Sawyer Seminar series Sensing the Unseen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, December 3, 2010.
"The Invisible Politics of Africa's AIDS Crisis," paper presented to Politics Department Seminar, New School for Social Research, November 9, 2010.
“AIDS and Religious Enthusiasm in Africa,” Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, July 13, 2010.
“Spiritual Insecurity and Neighbourly Violence: Resisting Satanic Bloodsuckers in Malawi,” (Paper presented to the Sawyer Seminar on Neighbourly Violence, School of Advanced Study, University of London, March 26th, 2010.)
“Human Security, Spiritual Insecurity, and Satanic Bloodsuckers,” (Paper presented to the New York Law School, February 26th, 2010.)
“Narratives of Death in a Time of AIDS in Malawi,” (Paper presented to the University of Michigan Anthropology and History Symposium Disrupting Disciplines, Breaking Boundaries, November 13th, 2009).
“Bloodsuckers in Balaka: Aspects of Spiritual Insecurity in Contemporary Malawi,” (Paper presented to the African History and Anthropology Workshop, University of Michigan, November 5th, 2009).
“‘Catching Stories’ in the time of AIDS: The Malawi Journals Project,” University of Michigan Humanities Institute, September 29, 2009.
“Reflections on Bloodsuckers, Spiritual Insecurity, “Human Security,” and Development in Rural Malawi,” (paper presented to the University of Chicago Comparative Politics/African Studies Workshop), February 26, 2009.
“Enigmas of AIDS,” (paper presented to Center for Afroamerican and African Studies, Africa Workshop, February 11, 2009).
“What do the talk about when they talk about Death, in Malawi, in the time of AIDS?” (paper presented to the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race, Columbia University, October 16, 2008).
“Running Relational Sociology Off the Rails, or: How Charles Tilly Helped me Understand Spiritual Insecurity in Soweto,” (paper presented to the Social Science Research Council Conference in honor of the late Charles Tilly, October 4, 2008) []
“Of Owning and Belonging: Land, Law, and Violence in Kenya’s Rift Valley,” (paper presented to the Workshop on Voice, Violence, and Democracy, Northwestern University, Center for Global Culture and Communication, June 6, 2008).
“Witchcraft, Sorcery, and AIDS in Africa,” Public Lecture, Williams College, October 17, 2007.
“HIV/AIDS and Spiritual Insecurity in South Africa,’ Center for Afro-American and African Studies, University of Michigan, April 3, 2007.
“Contemporary South Africa: Confronting the Legacy of Apartheid; Prospects for the Future,” invited lecture, Global Initiatives in Marketing Program, Kellog School of Business, Northwestern University, January 24, 2007.
“HIV in South Africa: the state of the epidemic and the shortcomings of social science research,’ Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, Monday Night Lecture, October 9, 2006.
"Spiritual Insecurity and the Cultural Dynamics of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic in Southern Africa," paper presented to the international symposium Aids and the Moral Order, Free University of Berlin, March 2-5, 2005.
"Evil Forces and Viral Agents: HIV/AIDS and Spiritual Insecurity in Southern Africa," presented to Reframing Infectious Disease conference, Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan, December 2-4, 2004.

“ART and Culture: Preliminary Notes of the rollout of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) in Zululand.” Keynote Address to African Studies Workshop Conference, University of Chicago, 2004.

"Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa," lecture to The Schell Center for International Human Rights at Yale Law School, 2003.
"AIDS and Witchcraft," address to International Scientific Advisory Board Meeting, Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, Somkhele, Zululand, 2003.
"Law, Liquor, and African Urban Life: Reflections on Governance in Twentieth Century South Africa," paper presented to conference on "Law and Disorder in the Post-Colony" at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, 2003.
"Reflections on Law and Disorder in Post-Apartheid South Africa," talk to Institute for Advanced Study School of Social Science Luncheon Seminar, 2003.
"State Power, Ancestral Authority, and Efforts to Regulate Traditional Healing in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Program on African Studies, Princeton University, 2002.
"AIDS, Witchcraft, and the Problem of Public Power in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Centre d’Études et de Researches Internationales, Sciences Po, Paris, 2002.
"Writing of Witchcraft in a Time of AIDS," International Visitors Series, Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of the Witwatersrand, 2002 .

"When AIDS is Witchcraft: (More) Challenges for Democracy in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Development Economics Seminar, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, 2001.

"The Problem of Witchcraft in Post-Apartheid South Africa," Friends Forum, Institute for Advanced Study, 2000.
"Reflections on Spiritual Insecurity and Political Power in Post-Apartheid Soweto," Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, 1999.


Ethnic Conflict and Cooperation in Africa, Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Conference, University of Michigan, November 11, 2011 (with Howard Stein and Martin Murray).
Africa Workshop, seminar series sponsored by the Center for Afroamerican and African Studies and the African Studies Center, University of Michigan featuring leading Africanists from the United States and Europe, Fall and Winter, 1009-2010.
HIV/AIDS in Africa Seminar Series, Program of African Studies, Northwestern University, Fall and Winter, 2006-7.
Information Technology and the Social Sciences, Members’ Seminar, School of Social Science, Institute for Advanced Study, 2000-1.
Information Technology and Society, Institute for Advanced Study Public Lecture Series, held from October 2000 to March 2001.
Digital Arts, performance, exhibition, and seminar series held at the Institute for Advanced Study from October 2000 to June 2001.
Ethics and Information Technology: Philosophical Perspectives, Symposium held at the Institute for Advanced Study, Dec.7-8, 2000.
Cybercapitalism, Symposium, Institute for Advanced Study, March 29-30
Information Technologies and the Social Sciences, International Conference held at the Institute for Advanced Study, June 8-10, 2001.
Public Violence, Public Space, and the Public Sphere, Social Science Research Council Workshop organized in collaboration with Michael Watts, Institute for International Studies, University of California (Berkeley), April 24-27, 1997.

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