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Writing the biography of an unknown African: an ‘engaging’ form of anthropology?

Professor Pat Caplan, Goldsmiths, University of London

Wednesday 14 January at 5.30 pm

This paper addresses a series of questions about ‘engaged’ anthropology, including how anthropologists may ‘give back’ to the people whom they have studied and how they may write in an ‘engaging’ way for non-anthropologists. It focuses on my recent biography of a man from Mafia Island in Tanzania, where I have worked since the 1960s. The life of the main protagonist, Mikidadi Juma, enables an exploration of the history of Tanzania over five decades, from just before the end of colonial rule until the beginning of the new millennium. This period of monumental socio-economic change forms the backdrop to an exploration of a number of important topics emerging from the life of Mikidadi and his family members:  notions of morality and duty in terms of family and community, politics and the growth of civil society in the form of NGOs, and the changing nature of Islam on the East Coast of Africa.

This event is free, but tickets must be booked. To book tickets please go to http://patcaplan.eventbrite.co.uk