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John Comaroff

John Comaroff headshot

Affiliated Research Professor

  • Department of African and African American Studies
  • 12 Quincy Street
  • Cambridge, MA 02138
  • Phone: (617) 496-2658

Joint appointment

Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies, Harvard University

Education

Ph.D., Anthropology, University of London

Bio

John Comaroff is an ABF Affiliated Research Professor and Professor of African and African-American Studies and Anthropology at Harvard University. Before joining the Department of African and…

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Research focus

Legal and political anthropology with a current focus on the tensions between the governance of the new South Africa and the rising incidence of informal justice and cultural policing. Democracy and difference in post-revolutionary societies, and postcolonial political economy in the global south.


Projects

Popular Justice, Communal Violence, and Alternative Policing in the New South Africa (2004-2008)
Latest finding: Jan 22, 2008, with Jean Comaroff
South Africa is currently beset by so-called “vigilantism,” a term that covers a range of different kinds of “alternative” policing, retributive violence, and popular justice,…

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Publications

“Foreword, in W. Garriott, ed., Policing and Contemporary Governance: The Anthropology of Police in Practice"
Palgrave Macmillian
"Teoría desde el sur: O cómo los países centrales evolucion hacia África" (with J. Comaroff)
Paradigm Publishers
“Theory from the South: or, How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa”
Anthropological Forum

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Commentary

John & Jean Comaroff discuss the phenomenon of "Ethnicity, Inc."

Apr 30, 2010

Listen to the podcast from BBC 4's "Thinking Allowed" program, broadcast Februay 8, 2010. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qcjwn (Comaroff segment begins at 12.40) Ethno-theme parks, Native…

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Presentations

The Return of Khulekani Khumalo, Zombie Captive: Imposture, Personhood, and the Law in South Africa
Apr 2013
Reflections on Theory from the South
Feb 2013
Divine Detection: Crime and the Metaphysics of Disorder
Feb 2013

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Professional Service & Recognition

  • Mellon Learning Associate, Bates College
  • Awarded the Anders Retzius Gold Medal from the Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography, presented by the King of Sweden, April 2007
  • Member, Standing Committee on African Studies and Standing Committee on Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights, Harvard University
  • Member, Editorial Group, Journal of Anthropological Research
  • Member, Editorial Group, Annual Review of Law and Social Science
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Hagar:International Social Science Review
  • Member, Editorial Board, Afrika Spectrum
  • Member, International Review Committee, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle, Germany
  • Member, International Advisory Board, Social Dynamics
  • Member, International External Panel of Reviewers, Kuwait University
  • Member, College of Reviewers, Canada Research Chairs Program, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
  • Awarded Harry J. Kalven, Jr. Prize, Law and Society Association
  • Associated Scholar, Center on Law and Globalization, American Bar Foundation and the University of Illinois College of Law
  • Patron, Organisation of Intra-Cultural Development
  • Phi Beta Kappa Scholar, 2013-14
  • Member, Board of Directors, Human Rights Program, University of Chicago
  • Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town, 2010-2015

Links

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