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People Dr David Pratten

Co-Investigator, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance


Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of Africa

David Pratten is Associate Professor in the Social Anthropology of Africa, and Fellow of St Antony's College at the University of Oxford. 

David Pratten joined the African Studies Centre at the University of Oxford in 2005. He is a social anthropologist and his post is a joint appointment with the Institute of Social Anthropology. He studied at Oxford, Manchester and SOAS, and previously taught at the universities of Edinburgh and Sussex.

David's research is based on a long-term engagement with Annang villagers in south-eastern Nigeria and focuses on themes of history, violence and the state. The focus of his initial work was an historical ethnography of colonialism which focused on the events surrounding a series of mysterious deaths in south-eastern Nigeria during the late 1940s. More recently his research has examined issues of youth, democracy and disorder in post-colonial Nigeria with a particular focus on vigilantism and new masquerade performances.

He has previously been Director of the African Studies Centre (2009-2013) and was the Director of Graduate Studies.

Since 2010 David has been Co-Editor of AFRICA: Journal of the International African Institute which is the premier journal devoted to the study of African societies and culture.