Distinguished Professor, Author to Speak

John Comaroff
Photo courtesy of anthrotheory.wikia.com
John Comaroff

Oct. 23, 2013               

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— On Thursday, October 31, Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar John Comaroff will address the Illinois Wesleyan community. Comaroff will present “How Europe and America Are Evolving Towards Africa” at 4 p.m. and “Ethnicity, Inc.,” at 7 p.m. Both lectures will be held at Beckman Auditorium in The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington).

In his first lecture, Comaroff will discuss Africa’s role as a course of theory and explanation for world historical events. From 5:30 to 6:45 p.m., a reception with faculty and students will be held in the Beckman Foyer. During “Ethnicity, Inc.,” Comaroff will address the politics of cultural identity along with the subtle shift in the nature of ethnicity that has ethnic groups acting like corporations who own a natural copyright to their cultural products.

The Hugh K. Foster Professor currently teaches African and African-American Studies and Anthropology at Harvard University, where he is also an Oppenheimer Research Scholar. Comaroff’s current research in South Africa focuses on crime, policing and the workings of the state. He also studies democracy and difference as well a postcolonial politics.

Comaroff has authored and edited several books, including Ethnicity, Inc., Theory from the South: Or, How Euro-America Is Evolving Toward Africa and Civil Society and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives, all with Jean Comaroff, John’s wife and fellow professor.

For additional information regarding the event, contact Rebecca Gearhart, associate professor of anthropology, at rgearhar@iwu.edu or (309) 556-3921.

Contact: Tia Patsavas ’16 (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu