This article critically examines the emergent anthropological analytic that situates African witchcraft within modernity, global capitalism and state structures. Despite the contrast the authors of this analytic make with what they call the older anthropological analytic that viewed witchcraft as a sign of traditional African social organization, I suggest that both approaches neglect the various social projects, social identities and power relations involved in witchcraft, including those surrounding anthropology as a discipline. I elaborate this point through discussing some of the overlapping and contesting forms of authority, including my own as anthropologist, involved in a witch-finding exercise that took place in the early 1990s on commercial farms and Communal Lands in Hurungwe District, northwestern Zimbabwe.

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Critique of Anthropology
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Rutherford, B. (1999). To find an African witch: Anthropology, modernity, and witch-finding in North-West Zimbabwe. Critique of Anthropology, 19(1), 89–109. doi:10.1177/0308275X9901900106