The Anti-Witch

by Jeanne Favret-Saada

Translated by Matthew Carey
Foreword by Veena Das

A Book Forum on The Anti-Witch in Somatosphere (May 2016) is available here.

Jeanne Favret-Saada is arguably one of France’s most brilliant anthropologists, and The Anti-Witch is nothing less than a masterpiece. A synthesis of ethnographic theory and psychoanalytic revelation, where the line between researcher and subject is blurred—if not erased—The Anti-Witch develops the contours of an anthropology of therapy, while deeply engaging with what it means to be caught in the logic of witchcraft. Through an intimate and provocative sharing of the ethnographic voice with Madame Flora, a “dewitcher,” Favret-Saada delivers a critical challenge to some of anthropology’s fundamental concepts.

Sure to be of interest to practitioners of psychoanalysis as well as to anthropologists, The Anti-Witch will bring a new generation of scholars into conversation with the work of a truly innovative thinker.

 

Anti-Witch Cover

The anti-witch is nothing short of anthropological therapy—it keeps the dream of ethnography as theory alive in these troubled times.

—Veena Das, Author of Life and words: Violence and the descent into the ordinary

Jeanne Favret-Saada’s The anti-witch is a timely challenge to anthropology and ethnography that goes far beyond the study of “witchcraft.” Her view of dewitching as a therapy, through which the patient has to assume violence as a necessary element for regaining health and prosperity, highlights the worrying ambiguity of evil—a basic issue that makes witchcraft such a haunting theme in societies all over the world. A powerful book in its directness and depth.

—Peter Geschiere, Author of Witchcraft, intimacy and trust: Africa in comparison


140 pages
ISBN: 9780990505044
Price: $17.99 (US)

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Table of Contents
Front Matter
Front Matter
Editorial Note
Acknowledgments
Foreword
by Veena Das
Chapters
Chapter I: Prelude
Chapter II: Unwitting therapy
Chapter III: Birth of a therapy
Chapter IV: “Oh the witch, the filthy bitch, your neighbor…”
Chapter V: Those left behind by the symbolic order
Chapter VI: Being affected
References