Fellow, Society of Fellows in the Humanities 2012 - 15
Brian Goldstone is a social-cultural anthropologist of contemporary Africa. He received his PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Duke University in 2012. His first book, A Fire Upon the World: The Passions and Powers of Ghana’s Pentecostal Movement, explores the incursion of Pentecostal-charismatic churches into northern Ghana, a rural, predominantly Muslim region whose population has increasingly become the target of evangelistic efforts undertaken by Christians from the south. Arranged as a gathering of disparate scenes, an approach that makes use of a wide array of ethnographic, literary, philosophical, video/photographic, and historical materials, the book charts the intimate, intensive, often precarious worlds that materialize as believers labor to make the “miraculous life” their own. Brian's current research builds on this work, examining the recent, controversial proliferation of Pentecostal “prayer camps” as an alternative site for the diagnosis and treatment of mental disorders. The project situates the emergence of such psychospiritual interventions within the nexus of global biomedicine, development and humanitarianism, theologies of health and healing, and the ethics and affects of affliction. His articles have appeared in South Atlantic Quarterly, History of the Present, Theory & Event, Anthropological Quarterly, The Johannesburg Salon, Public Books, and the volume Secularism and Religion-Making (Oxford University Press, 2011). A co-edited collection, African Futures: Essays on Crisis, Emergence, and Possibility, is forthcoming with the University of Chicago Press.