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African Vampires In The Age Of Globalisation

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Chapter Summary

From various parts of Sub-Saharan Africa today come unsettling tales of vampires and zombies and of extraordinary intercourse between the living and the dead. This chapter deals with a recent genre of urban African witchcraft-tales - one that speaks to the occult economies of globalising capitalism. They take root in a soil in which older kinship-patterns and forms of rural economy have been significantly eroded; they flourish in the increasingly anonymous and commodified spaces of large cities. While they are preceded by other semantic shifts in the folklore of witchcraft, particularly alterations that occur in the period between the World-Wars, there is something highly distinctive about the way these tales articulate troubling relations involving money, global markets, zombie-labour and human body-parts. At its heart, this genre of witchcraft-stories seeks to apprehend and evaluate the social practices and social ontology of capitalism.

Keywords:African vampires; African witchcraft-tales; globalising capitalism; kinship; rural economy; zombie-labourers



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