Jean Comaroff

Social Sciences (Anthropology)

J Y Pillay Visiting Professor

Email: ynccj@nus.edu.sg
Email: Jeancomaroff@fas.harvard.edu

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Professor Jean Comaroff is the Alfred North Whitehead Professor of African and African American Studies and Anthropology at Harvard University, and Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town. She was educated at the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. Until 2012, she was the Bernard E and Ellen C Sunny Distinguished Service Professor of Anthropology, and Director of the Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory. Her research, primarily conducted in southern Africa, has focused on the interplay of capitalism, modernity, and colonialism, the politics of knowledge and the nature of sovereignty, and theorising the contemporary world from beyond its centres. Her writing has covered a range of more specific topics: religion and ritual, medicine and magic, law, and crime, democracy and difference. Publications include Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance: the Culture and History of a South African People (1985), ‘Beyond the Politics of Bare Life: AIDS and the Global Order’ (2007); and, with John L Comaroff, Of Revelation and Revolution (vols. l [1991] and ll [1997]); Ethnography and the Historical Imagination (1992); Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism (2000), Law and Disorder in the Postcolony (2006), Ethnicity, Inc. (2009), Theory from the South, or How Euro-America is Evolving Toward Africa (2011), The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order (2016) and The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Contemporary Africa (2018).

Anthropology of Colonialism, and Postcoloniality; Medicine, Culture, and Modernity; Religion and Ritual; the Politics of the Body and Personhood; Crime, Sovereignty, and Transgression; Capitalism and Social Theory.

Books:
1985 Body of Power, Spirit of Resistance: The Culture and History of a South African People. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1991 [with John L. Comaroff] Of Revelation and Revolution: Christianity, Colonialism, and Consciousness in South Africa, Volume I. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1992 [with John L. Comaroff] Ethnography and the Historical Imagination. Boulder: Westview Press.
1993 [ed., with John L. Comaroff] Modernity and its Malcontents: Ritual and Power in Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1997 [with John L. Comaroff] Of Revelation and Revolution: The Dialectics of Modernity on a South African Frontier, Volume II. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
1999 [ed., with John l. Comaroff] Civil Society, and the Political Imagination in Africa: Critical Perspectives, Problems, Paradoxes. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2001 [ed., with John L. Comaroff] Millennial Capitalism and the Culture of Neoliberalism. Raleigh, N.C: Duke University Press. [Book version of Comaroff and Comaroff, 2000, below.]
2006 [ed., with John L. Comaroff] Law and Disorder in the Postcolony. University of Chicago Press.
2007a [ed., with John L. Comaroff and D.A. James] Picturing a Colonial Past: the African Photographs of Isaac Schapera. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2007 [with John L. Comaroff] La Violència I La Llei A La Postcolònia. Centre de Cultura Contemporánia de Barcelona (Pamphlet).
2009 [with John L. Comaroff] Ethnicity Inc. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Translated into Spanish (2011) and Polish (2012)
2010 [with John L. Comaroff] Zombies et Frontières A l’Ere Néolibérale. Le Cas de l’Afrique du Sud Postcoloniale [Zombies and Frontiers in the Age of Neoliberalism: The Case of Postcolonial South Africa]. Paris: Les Prairies Ordinaires.
2011 Theory from the South: How Euro-America is evolving toward Africa. Boulder, CO.: Paradigm Publishers.
2011b [with J.L. Comaroff] Etnicidad S.A. Spanish edition of Ethnicity, Inc. Buenos Aires¬: Katz Editores.
2012b [with J.L. Comaroff] Etniczność sp. z o.o. Polish edition of Ethnicity, Inc. (University of Chicago Press, 2009). Kraków: Jagiellonian University Press.
2013 [with J.L. Comaroff] Toerίa desde el sur: O cόmo los paίses centrales evolucion hacia Africa,translated by Alejandro Grimson. Spanish edition of Theory from the South (paradigm Press, 2011). Buenos Aires: Siglo veintiuno editors.
2016 The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
2017 The Truth About Crime: Sovereignty, Knowledge, Social Order. Johannesburg: University of Witwatersrand Press.
2018 (ed. with John Comaroff) The Politics of Custom: Chiefship, Capital, and the State in Cotemporary Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
[In Press] (ed. with George Paul Meiu and John L. Comaroff) Ethnicity, Commodity, In/Corporation. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Medicine, Science, and Society
Ethnography as Theory and Practice