Modern Malice In Africa Topic Of UNH Lecture March 23
Contact:  Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations
March 15, 2006

DURHAM, N.H. -- The 2005-2006 Saul O Sidore Lecture Series at the University of New Hampshire continues Thursday, March 23, with Misty Bastian, an anthropologist at Franklin and Marshall College. This year’s series examines ideas about evil and efforts to combat it in a diversity of places — Nigeria, Ghana, the United States, Great Britain, Egypt and Sudan —and explores how these ideas represent both products of, and resistance against modernity.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and begins at 4 p.m. in Theatre I of the Memorial Union Building.

Bastian, who has published on a variety of topics in Nigerian culture and history including witchcraft, rumors of ritual murder, and Igbo conceptualizations of twins as the purveyors of evil powers, will address notions of human malice in various African contexts and explore their relationship to larger narratives of evil forming in modern societies. She has articles in two recent collections that focus on the problem of evil in contemporary Africa and elsewhere: “'Diabolic Realities': Narratives of Conspiracy, Transparency and 'Ritual Murder' in the Nigerian Popular Print and Electronic Media” (2003), and "Vulture Men, Campus Cultists and Teenaged Witches: Modern Magics in the Nigerian Popular Press" (2002).