John Comaroff

#201,553
Most Influential Person

South African anthropologist

Why Is John Comaroff Influential?

John Comaroff is the Hugh K. Foster Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. Comaroff also serves as a research professor at the American Bar Foundation. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town and his doctorate from the London School of Economics.

Comaroff has held numerous influential teaching positions, includng the Harold H. Swift Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at the University of Chicago as well as positions at Duke University, Tel Aviv University, and University of Wales. He has been recognized an Honorary Professor of Anthropology at the University of Cape Town since 2004. He has also held fellowships at the University of Manchester in the International Centre for Contemporary Cultural Research and for the Center for Modern Oriental Studies in Berlin.

His research interests have included occult rituals, religious practices, culture, society, and law throughout Botswana and South Africa, where he was born and raised. Most recently, his research in South Africa focuses on crime and policing in the North West Province, the commodification of ethnic identity and cultural property among Tswana and San peoples, and the case of Khulekani Khumalo which examines the effects of imposture and personhood as a result of postcolonial social conditions.

He, in collaboration with his wife, anthropologist Jean Comaroff, have explored the impacts of hegemony, witchcraft, and global capitalism in Africa, yielding numerous written works, such as:

Academic Website

Featured in Top Influential Anthropologists Today

According to Wikipedia, John L. Comaroff is Professor of African and African American Studies and of Anthropology, Oppenheimer Fellow in African Studies at Harvard University. He is also Research Professor at the American Bar Foundation. He is recognised for his study of African and African-American society. Comaroff and his wife, anthropologist Jean Comaroff, have collaborated on publications examining post-colonialism and the Tswana people of South Africa. He has written several texts describing his research, and has presented peer-reviewed anthropological theories of African cultures that have relevance to understanding global society. Comaroff was placed on leave from his position at Harvard in August 2020 following allegations of sexual harassment.

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What Schools Are Affiliated With John Comaroff?

John Comaroff is affiliated with the following schools:

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