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Keith Hart (anthropologist)

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Keith Hart (anthropologist)

Keith Hart (born 1943 in Manchester, England) is Centennial Professor of Economic Anthropology at the London School of Economics and International Director of the Human Economy Programme at the University of Pretoria. His main research has been on Africa and the African diaspora. He has taught at numerous universities, most significantly at Cambridge where he was director of the African Studies Centre. He has contributed to the concept of the informal economy to development studies and has published widely on economic anthropology. He is the author of Money in an Unequal World. One recurrent theme of his work has been the relationship between movement and identity in the transition from national to world society.

Prickly Pear Pamphlets

In 1993, Keith Hart and Anna Grimshaw started a small press called Prickly Pear. Together, they published a series of ten pamphlets by a range of authors — young, old, unknown, and famous — on a range of topics in anthropology, the history of science, and ethnographic film. "We emulate the passionate amateurs of history who circulated new and radical ideas to as wide an audience as possible," they said. "And we hope in the process to reinvent anthropology as a means of engaging with society." In 1998, Matthew Engelke and Mark Harris took over the press, expanding its operations in the world market and adding a few titles to its list. In 2001, Prickly Paradigm established itself as a new incarnation of Prickly Pear, edited by Matthew Engelke, with Marshall Sahlins as publisher. In 2004, Justin Shaffner scanned the original Prickly Pear pamphlets into a PDF format and made them freely available for distribution on the Internet on Keith Hart's The Memory Bank.

The Memory Bank

The Memory Bank is Keith Hart's digital archive and blog, which was created in 2000 to help publicize his book by the same name.[1] The site includes a near final version of the book, short academic articles written and published in the last decade, and forays into journalism, stories, poetry, and film reviews.

Open Anthropology Cooperative

Open Anthropology Cooperative is a social networking site for anthropologists founded by Keith Hart in June 2009 on the Ning. There are currently over 7,500 members from distinguished members of the discipline to postgraduates, undergraduates and amateur anthropologists. The establishment of this website has been especially helpful for the development of alternative anthropology. Right Indie.

Principal publications

Books include

  • The Political Economy of West African Agriculture (1982)
  • The Memory Bank: Money in an unequal world (2000)
  • The Hit Man’s Dilemma: or business, personal and impersonal (2005)
  • Market and Society: The Great Transformation today (edited with Chris Hann) (2009)
  • The Human Economy: A citizen's guide (edited with Jean-Louis Laville and Antonio David Cattani) (2010)
  • Economic Anthropology: History, ethnography, critique (with Chris Hann) (2011)

Articles include

  • "Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana" (1973)
  • "On commoditization" (1982)
  • "Heads or tails? Two sides of the coin" (1986)
  • "Kinship, contract and trust: the economic organisation of migrants in an African city slum" (1988)
  • "Notes towards an anthropology of the internet" (2004)
  • "The political economy of food in an unequal world" (2004)
  • "Agrarian civilization and world society" (2006)
  • "Marcel Mauss : in pursuit of the whole" (2007)
  • "Money is always personal and impersonal" (2007)
  • "Interview: Keith Hart answers questions on economic anthropology", European Economic Sociology Newsletter (2007)
  • "The human economy", ASAonline (2008).
  • (With H. Ortiz) "Anthropology in the financial crisis", Anthropology Today (2008)
  • "The persasive power of money in S. Gudeman (ed.), Economic Persuasions (2009)
  • "Money in the making of world society", in C. Hann and K. Hart (ed), Market and Society (2009)
  • "An anthropologist in the world revolution", Anthropology Today (2009)
  • "Mauss et sa vision de l’economie dans les annees 1920-25", Revue du MAUSS No. 36 (2010)
  • "Kant, ‘anthropology’ and the new human universal", Social Anthropology (2010)
  • "The financial crisis and the end of all-purpose money", Economic Sociology: the European Electronic Newsletter (2011)


  1. ^ The Memory Bank

External links

  • The Memory Bank
  • Open Anthropology Cooperative
  • An audio recording of Keith Hart by CUiD
  • InterviewTheory Talks
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