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Cultural Anthropologist James Lorand Matory Is Visiting Researcher at Freie Universität's Latin America Institute

Humboldt Research Award Winner to Give Public Lecture on February 11

№ 023/2014 from Jan 22, 2014

The prominent American cultural anthropologist James Lorand Matory has been granted a Humboldt Research Award, which he will use to spend a year doing research at the Latin America Institute (LAI) of Freie Universität Berlin. Matory, who is based at Duke University, will spend the coming months looking into museum practice and ethnological research in the German-speaking part of Central Europe with regard to the circulation of ritual objects from Africa and Afro-Latin America in the Atlantic region. On February 11, 2014, he will give a public lecture entitled "The African Gods of Latin America: the Real-Life ‘Fetish’ in the Making, and the Critique, of European Theory" at LAI. The event is public, and there is no admission charge. Due to limited seating, advance registration is requested. Please send an email to Ximena Aragón ( by January 30, 2014.

James Lorand Matory is a professor of cultural anthropology and the director of the Center for African and African-American Research at Duke University. With many years of field research in West Africa, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the U.S., he is a pioneer in circum-Atlantic research, which deals with the regions bordering the Atlantic. In particular, he was able to demonstrate the historical depth of the transatlantic relations between North and South America on the one side and Africa and Europe on the other. Through his conceptualization of the "Afro-Atlantic live dialogue “between key players, practices, and ideas, Matory has done pioneering research in the field of survival and transformation of African traditions in the Atlantic world.

J. L. Matory is the recipient of numerous international research awards, including the Social Science Research Council Award (1992), the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (1995-1996), the Africanist Award (2010), and the Outstanding Africana Service Award (2012).

The award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation amounting to 60,000 euros is one of the highest research awards in Germany. The Humboldt Foundation invites outstanding scholars and scientists to conduct research in Germany in collaboration with colleagues.

Time and Location

  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014, 4 p.m.
  • Latin America Institute, Freie Universität, Room 201, Rüdesheimer Straße 54-56, 14197 Berlin; subway station: Breitenbachplatz (U3)

Further Information

Further Information Online