University of Manchester

23 March 2007, 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Penn Humanities Forum


"Historicizing Intersubjectivity: Biography and Ethnography"


Event Schedule:

9:30 – 9:50 AM

Registration and Refreshments


9:50 – 10:00 AM 

Opening Remarks


10:00 – 12:00 PM: Panel 1

10:00-10:30: Prologue: Film Screening: Richard Werbner as the Interviewed Ethnographer (24 min. on Zimbabwe Television)

10:30-12:00: Discussion: 'Recovering Postcolonial Memories: From Social Biography to State Memorialism'

Moderator: Dr. Lydie Moudileno, African Studies Center


Jennifer Kyker, Music

Kristin Doughty, Anthropology

Sarah van Beurden, History


12:00 – 1:00 PM

Lunch Break


1:00 – 3:00 PM Panel 2

1:00-2:00: Prologue: Film Screening: Shade Seekers and the Mixer Produced and directed by Richard Werbner

2:00-3:00: Discussion: 'Film and Text: Personal Knowledge, Moral Imagination, and the Occult'

Moderator: Dr. Carol Muller, Music

Students & PostDoc:

Crystal Biruk, Anthropology

Garry Bertholf, Music

Dr. Tonya N. Taylor, Postdoctoral Fellow, HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies


3:00 – 3:15 PM: 

Coffee Break


3:15 – 4:30 PM

Dr. Werbner's talk:"Old Image, New Reflections: Well-Being, Caring, Dignity and the Occult"


4:30 – 5:30 PM 



Co-sponsors: Anthropology Dept., Political Science Dept., Department of Religious Studies

Richard Werbner was educated at Brandeis University (BA, 1959) and the University of Manchester (PhD, 1968). He carried out his first fieldwork among Winnebago of Nebraska in 1958, and began his long-term fieldwork in southern Africa in 1960, among Kalanga, first in Zimbabwe and later in Botswana, and among Tswapong in Botswana. Richard Werbner is Professor Emeritus in African Anthropology, Honorary Research Professor in Visual Anthropology, and Director of the International Centre for Contemporary Cultural Research. He has was the Founder and Convener of the Satterthwaite Colloquium on Religion and Ritual from 1985, he was Chair of the Co-ordinating Council of Area Studies Associations from 1996-2001.

His most recent research, documented in his latest book, Reasonable Radicals and Citizenship in Botswana: The Public Anthropology of Kalanga Elites (2004), has extended across town and country in Botswana. His current project is a study of séances, counselling and subjectivities in Botswana's time of AIDS, of which two products are his films, Seance Reflections with Richard Werbner (2004), and Shade Seekers and The Mixer (2006. His other books include Regional Cults (ed., 1977), Land Reform in the Making: Tradition, Public Policy and Ideology in Botswana (ed., 1981) Ritual Passage, Sacred Journey (1989), Postcolonial Identities in Africa (ed., 1996), Memory and the Postcolony (ed., 1998), Postcolonial Subjectivities in Africa (ed., 2002), and Tears of the Dead: The Social Biography of an African Family (1991) for which he won the Amaury Talbot Prize of the Royal Anthropological Institute.


For inquiries please contact:

Dr.Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D, aadinar@sas.upenn.edu

(215) 898-6610