Meet the Faculty

Douglas J. Falen

Douglas J. Falen

Professor of Anthropology, Director of Human Rights

Contact Information

Phone: 404.471.5499
Office Location: Campbell 122

Office Hours: Spring 2019
On leave

Academic Degrees

B.A., Emory University
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Teaching and Scholarly Interests

Professor Falen's research interests include the Republic of Benin, marriage and power, Christianity in Africa, African witchcraft, and the anthropology of deceit. He teaches courses on such topics as cultural anthropology, marriage, world ethnographies, Voodoo, African cultures, research methods, and linguistic anthropology.

Recent Publications

2018 African Science: Witchcraft, Vodun, and Healing in Southern Benin Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
2011 Power and Paradox: Authority, Insecurity, and Creativity in Fon Gender Relations. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

2016. “Vodun, Spiritual Insecurity, and Religious Importation in Benin.” Journal of Religion in Africa 46(4):453-483.
2016 “Culture Summary: Fon.” New Haven: Human Relations Area Files.

2008 "Polygyny and Christian Marriage in Africa: The Case of Benin." African Studies Review 51(2):51-74.

2008 "The 'Other' Gender?: Reflections on Fieldwork in Benin." Men and Masculinities 11(2):164-173.

2008 with David Berliner. "Introduction to Special Section on Men Doing Anthropology of Women." Men and Masculinities 11(2):135-144.

2007 "Good and Bad Witches: The Transformation of Witchcraft in Benin." West Africa Review 10:1-27

Invited Book Chapters, Editorials, and Blogs

Falen, Douglas J. 2018. “'Hello, Mister Doug!' An Anthropologist Revisits his Armenian Peace Corps Village." Anthropology News website, December 3, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/AN.1049.

Falen, Douglas J. 2018. "Universal Witchcraft and the Problem of Categories." University of Wisconsin Press Blog.

2018 "African Vodun in the Age of Globalization.” Anthropology News website, September 11, 2018. DOI: 10.1111/AN.961

2008 "Critical Thinking in Anthropology." In Critical Thinking in College, George W. Rainbolt and Sandra L. Dwyer (eds), 246-248. Thomson/Wadsworth.

Book Reviews
2018 An Ethnography of a Vodu Shrine in Southern Togo: Of Spirit, Slave and Sea, by Eric J. Montgomery and Christian N. Vannier. American Ethnologist 45(2): 308-309.
2015. Witchcraft and a Life in the New South Africa, by Isak Niehaus. American Anthropologist 117(3):616-617.

2011. Allah Made Us: Sexual Outlaws in an Islamic African City, by Rudolf Pell Gaudio. Australian Journal of Anthropology 22(2): 284-286.

2009. Polygamy: A Cross-Cultural Analysis, by Miriam Koktvedgaard Zeitzen. Social Anthropology / Anthropologie Sociale 17(4): 510-511.

Web Links