Africa Meets the (mid)West

By Laurian B. I left Indianapolis on November 23rd pumped to write my reflections on the African Studies Association Conference. Then the events in Ferguson and Cleveland peeled back more layers of US white supremacy and I was sidetracked. Or perhaps I got centered and focused. I'll have more thoughts on that later... It has been a decade since I’ve attended ASA. The African Studies Association conference is often concurrent with the American Anthropological Association meetings and usuall...

Dialogue with Paul Stoller

Dr. Paul Stoller with his Anders Retzius Gold Medal
We are pleased to launch our Dialogues initiative at the same time that Día de los Muertos celebrations sweep the Americas. Fittingly enough, our first conversation is with anthropologist of sorcery Paul Stoller.  Stoller is Professor of Anthropology at West Chester University and winner of the 2013 Anders Retzius Gold Medal in Anthropology from the King of Sweden. Stoller has published numerous articles and 11 books, including his most recent Yaya’s Story: The Quest for Well-Being ...

Accra Under Construction

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By Laurian B. As rural to urban migration continues to outpace housing in Accra, Ghana, I was unsurprised by the number of construction projects that took place during the summer of 2011. However, many of these building projects were not in the areas where they are needed most. Whenever I conduct research with migrants in Accra, there are recurrent conversations about the lack of affordable and sanitary housing. Rental fees can strip all earnings within a year for most tenants. Accra resident...

Laurian is in Ghana: Reflection on Tipping

By Laurian B. For tourists to Ghana’s capital, the Osu area is probably the most well known area of Accra. In Osu, foreigners easily find comfort foods from home and enjoy Internet access at expat owned coffee shops. A week ago, my friend Adua raved about a decadent chocolate dessert at Pinnacle Restaurant and invited some folks to join us there. The brightly tiled multistoried building sits off Osu’s main drag, Cantonments Road. The street is more colloquially known as Oxford Street, in d...