Adam Ashforth (Univ. of Michigan) on “witchcraft” in rural Central and urban Southern Africa. Discusses connections with colonial and postcolonial power and authority; gender; spiritual insecurity and religious enthusiasm; law, culture, and HIV/AIDS in Malawi; “anti-anti-witchcraft,” and the “serious laughter” of photographer Santu Mofokeng.
Dr. Gary Morgan, MSU Museum Director, on African masks and the Great Dance (Gule Wamkulu) in Chewa society, Malawi. Discusses origins and characters of Gule Wamkulu, and gender, political, educational and health aspects of masks and their future in a globalizing world. Accompanies MSU exhibition on masks and the first major book on Gule Wamkulu with Claude Boucher of KuNgoni Centre of Culture and Art, Mua, Malawi.
Dr. Wapu Mulwafu (Univ. of Malawi) on African environmental history. Mulwafu discusses the history of water use and management in Malawi, focusing on political and religious aspects of soil conservation and the importance of indigenous ecological knowledge and practices. He closes with insights on the challenges of “doing history” in Malawi.