Jane Guyer

George Armstrong Kelly Professor of Anthropology

Johns Hopkins University

Jane I. Guyer is a Professor of Anthropology. She came to the Hopkins department from Northwestern University in 2002, having served previously on the faculties of Harvard and Boston University. Her research career has been devoted to economic transformations in West Africa, particularly the productive economy, the division of labor and the management of money. Theoretically she focuses on the interface between formal and informal economies, and particularly the instabilities that interface gives rise to. Her co-edited book is the result of collaborative work with a Nigeria-based network of social scientists, on currency devaluation in the popular economy under structural adjustment and military rule in the 1990s (Money Struggles and City Life, 2002). The work of the group continues, on the topic of accountability. Her last book (Marginal Gains, 2004) re-examines the anthropological and historical record on monetary transactions in Atlantic Africa.  Since that publication she has developed two research themes: African land use, as a continuation of An African Niche Economy (1997) into a comparative study published with colleagues in a special issue of Human Ecology (2007); and a series of papers on Cultures of Monetarism, which draws on West African, Western and other non-Western sources. In 2008 she was elected to the National Academy of Sciences (Anthropology Section). A long term involvement with African Studies has fostered her interest in the humanities and arts. She has co-curated two exhibits and participated in humanities publications, largely by virtue of her work in various African Studies organizations, including her directorship of the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University for seven years.