Academy of Finland funding for the research project “Mobile healers, politics and development in sub-Saharan Africa 1870–2000: Transformations, contestations and innovations”

The Academy of Finland has granted a four-year funding for the project Mobile healers, politics and development in sub-Saharan Africa 1870–2000: Transformations, contestations and innovations, with Senior Lecturer Markku Hokkanen as the Principal Investigator.

 

In the history of healing and medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, healers have been crucial agents, but their histories remain largely unstudied. Importantly, healers have engaged with politics in various ways, from control of healing to support or opposition of ruling regimes or development programmes.

 

This project (2019–23) investigates healing, medicine and politics in sub-Saharan Africa through its focus on three interconnected core areas:

 

1) the changing figure of the healer

 

2) the interaction between healers and politics

 

3) the interaction between healers and developmental

policies.

 

It explores how mobilities, contestations and increased global exchanges have affected healing, medicine and politics in the African continent from late nineteenth century onwards. The research team will focus on histories of healers in Namibia, Malawi, Tanzania and Somalia. Together with its partners, the project aims to provide new comparative and diachronic perspectives on healing in sub-Saharan Africa.

 

Last updated: 10.10.2019