Professor of Social Anthropology
Director of Undergraduate Education and Chair of the Undergraduate Education Committee for the Division of Social Anthropology
Director, Centre of African Studies
Fellow, Churchill College
Harri Englund is accepting applications for PhD students.
South-Central Africa; Finland; radio; liberalism and human rights; political and moral economy; voice and language.
I began my research in the early 1990s when a wave of democratisation swept across Africa. This formative period sparked my enduring interest in topics such as liberalism, democracy, human rights, moral obligation, freedom and equality. Studying the socio-cultural aspects of these topics has involved long-term ethnographic fieldwork in South-Central Africa (Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia) as well as more recently in Finland.
My current research interests include free speech and the quality of public deliberation in the context of mass and social media. To this end, I have worked with radio journalists and listeners in Malawi, Zambia and Finland. Developing an anthropological approach to radio studies also entails attention to the ways in which ’voice’ might be understood and experienced as well as to the wider audio and media environment in which radio broadcasting is embedded. My previous projects have included work with human rights activists, refugees and Pentecostal Christians, among others.
I am a co-editor of the International African Library, a major monograph series published by Cambridge University Press for the International African Institute.
SAN6: Political Economy and Social Transformations: Political and Moral Economy
SAN11: Anthropology of Media and Visual Culture: Radio Worlds
2011 Human Rights and African Airwaves: Mediating Equality on the Chichewa Radio. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
2006 Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor. Berkeley: University of California Press.
2002 From War to Peace on the Mozambique-Malawi Borderland. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press for the International African Institute.
2011 Christianity and Public Culture in Africa. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
2004 Rights and the Politics of Recognition in Africa (with Francis B. Nyamnjoh). London: Zed Books.
2002 A Democracy of Chameleons: Politics and Culture in the New Malawi. Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute.
2002 Special Issue on Malawi (with Deborah Potts and John McCracken). Journal of Southern African Studies 28(1).
2015 Forget the Poor: Radio Kinship and Exploited Labor in Zambia. Current Anthropology, 56 (Supplement 11), S137-S145.
2015 Multivocal Morality: Narrative, Sentiment, and Zambia’s Radio Grandfathers. HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory, 5(2), 251-273.
2015 Anti Anti-Colonialism: Vernacular Press and Emergent Possibilities in Colonial Zambia. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 57(1), 221-247.
2013 The Place of Theory: Rights, Networks, and Ethnographic Comparison (with Thomas Yarrow). Social Analysis, 57(3), 132-149.
2013 Zambia at 50: The Rediscovery of Liberalism. Africa, 83(4), 670-689.
2011 The Snowball State and the Perils of Oblivion. Cambridge Anthropology, 29, 30-34.
2008 Extreme Poverty and Existential Obligations: Beyond Morality in the Anthropology of Africa? Social Analysis, 52(3), 33-50.
2007 Witchcraft and the Limits of Mass Mediation in Malawi. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 13(2), 295-311.
2007 Pentecostalism beyond Belief: Trust and Democracy in a Malawian Township. Africa, 77(4), 477-499.
2005 Universal Africa. CODESRIA Bulletin, 3&4, 11.
2004 Gender Relations in African Language Literature: Interpretative Politics and Possibilities. African Sociological Review 8(1), 154-175.
2004 Cosmopolitanism and the Devil in Malawi. Ethnos, 69(3), 293-316.
2004 Towards a Critique of Rights Talk in New Democracies: The Case of Legal Aid in Malawi. Discourse & Society 15(5), 527-551.
2003 Christian Independency and Global Membership: Pentecostal Extraversions in Malawi. Journal of Religion in Africa, 33(1), 83-111.
2002 Ethnography after Globalism: Migration and Emplacement in Malawi. American Ethnologist, 29(2), 261-286.
2002 The Village in the City, the City in the Village: Migrants in Lilongwe. Journal of Southern African Studies, 28(1), 135-152.
2001 Chinyanja and the Language of Rights. Nordic Journal of African Studies, 10(3), 299-319.
2000 The Dead Hand of Human Rights: Contrasting Christianities in Post-Transition Malawi. Journal of Modern African Studies, 38(4), 579-603.
2000 Ethnography and the Meta-Narratives of Modernity (with James Leach). Current Anthropology, 41(2), 225-248.
2000 (Wo)man in War. Antropologiska Studier, 66-67, 61-73.
1999 The Self in Self-Interest: Land, Labour and Temporalities in Malawi’s Agrarian Change. Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 69(1), 139-159.
1998 Death, Trauma and Ritual: Mozambican Refugees in Malawi. Social Science and Medicine, 46(9), 1165-1174.
1998 Culture, Environment and the Enemies of Complexity. Review of African Political Economy, 25(76), 179-188.
1996 Witchcraft, Modernity and the Person: The Morality of Accumulation in Central Malawi. Critique of Anthropology, 16(3), 257-279.
1996 Waiting for the Portuguese: Nostalgia, Exploitation and the Meaning of Land in the Malawi-Mozambique Borderland. Journal of Contemporary African Studies, 14(2), 157-172.
2012 Poverty. In D. Fassin (ed.) A Companion to Moral Anthropology, 283-302. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
2012 Cutting Human Rights Down to Size. In M. Goodale (ed.) Human Rights at the Crossroads, 198-209. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2012 Human Rights and Village Headmen in Malawi: Translation beyond Vernacularization. In J. Eckert, B. Donahoe, C. Strümpell and Z. Özlem Biner (eds) Law against the State: Ethnographic Forays into Law’s Transformations, 70-93. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
2011 The Anthropologist and His Poor. In E. Bornstein and P. Redfield (eds) Forces of Compassion: Humanitarianism between Ethics and Politics, 71-93. Santa Fe, NM: SAR Press.
2011 Rethinking African Christianities: Beyond the Religion-Politics Conundrum. In H. Englund (ed.) Christianity and Public Culture in Africa, 1-24. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
2011 From Spiritual Warfare to Spiritual Kinship: Islamophobia and Evangelical Radio in Malawi. In H. Englund (ed.) Christianity and Public Culture in Africa, 167-188. Athens, OH: Ohio University Press.
2008 Human Rights and Moral Panics: Listening to Popular Grievances. In M. Goodale (ed.) The Anthropology of Human Rights: A Reader, 246-264. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. (Reprint of Chapter 7 in Prisoners of Freedom: Human Rights and the African Poor)
2006 Transnational Governance and the Pacification of Youth: Civic Education and Disempowerment in Malawi. In B. Beckman and G. Adeoti (eds) Intellectuals and African Development: Pretension and Resistance in African Politics , 124-155. London: Zed Books.
2005 Conflicts in Context: Political Violence and Anthropological Puzzles. In V. Broch-Due (ed.), Violence and Belonging: The Quest for Identity in Postcolonial Africa, 60-74. London: Routledge.
2004 Recognizing Identities, Imagining Alternatives. In H. Englund & F.B. Nyamnjoh (eds) Rights and the Politics of Recognition in Africa, 1-29. London: Zed Books.
2002 The Culture of Chameleon Politics. In H. Englund (ed.), A Democracy of Chameleons: Politics and Culture in the New Malawi, 11-24. Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute.
2001 The Quest for Missionaries: Transnationalism and Township Pentecostalism in Malawi. In A. Corten and R. Marshall-Fratani (eds), Between Babel and Pentecost: Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa and Latin America, 235-255. London: Hurst & Co.
2001 Winning Elections, Losing Legitimacy: Multipartyism and the Neopatrimonial State in Malawi. In M. Cowen and L. Laakso (eds), Multiparty Elections in Africa, 172-186. Oxford: James Currey.
2001 The Politics of Multiple Identities: The Making of a Home Villagers’ Association in Lilongwe, Malawi. In A. Tostensen, I. Tvedt and M. Vaa (eds), Associational Life in African Cities: Popular Responses to the Urban Crisis, 90-106. Uppsala: The Nordic Africa Institute.
1996 Between God and Kamuzu: The Transition to Multiparty Politics in Central Malawi. In R. Werbner and T. Ranger (eds), Postcolonial Identities in Africa, 107-135. London: Zed Books.