Anne-Maria B Makhulu
  • Anne-Maria B Makhulu

  • Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African & African American Studies
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • 201E Friedl Building
  • Campus Box 90091
  • Phone: (919) 668-5251
  • Fax: (919) 681-8483
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Research Description

    Anne-Maria Makhulu is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke University. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Chicago in 2003. Her research interests cover: Africa and more specifically South Africa, cities, space, globalization, political economy, neoliberalism, the anthropology of finance, as well as questions of aesthetics, including the literature of South Africa. Makhulu is co-editor of Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities (2010). She is a contributor to Producing African Futures: Ritual and Reproduction in a Neoliberal Age (2004), New Ethnographies of Neoliberalism (2010), and the author of articles in Anthropological Quarterly and PMLA. A book manuscript, entitled Making Freedom: The Politics of Domestic Life in Cape Town, is under review (Duke University Press).
  • Selected Publications

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (2013).
      • Making Freedom: The Politics of Domestic Life in Cape Town.
      • (is ready for resubmission and a second round of reviews)
      Publication Description

      Making Freedom: The Politics of Domestic Life in Cape Town examines the status and meaning of the South African city under apartheid and immediately after the transition to democracy focusing on the ways in which matters of home-making, citizenship, work, and race critically intersected with the “urban,” and thereby came to constitute it as a strategic space in which marginal subjects, specifically, the black metropolitan poor, sought to make claims on the apartheid state.

      • Beth A. Buggenhagen and Stephen Jackson.
      • (2010).
      • Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities.
      • The University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, (also published in hardcopy),
      • University of California Press.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      The description of Africa as a continent in perpetual crisis, ubiquitous in the popular media and in policy and development circles, is at once obvious and obfuscating. This collection by leading ethnographers moves beyond the rhetoric of African crisis to theorize people's everyday practices under volatile conditions not of their own making. From Ghanaian hiplife music to the U.S. "diversity lottery" in Togo, from politicos in Côte d'Ivoire to squatters in South Africa, the essays in Hard Work, Hard Times uncover the imaginative ways in which African subjects make and remake themselves and their worlds, and thus make do, get by, get over, and sometimes thrive.

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (January, 2012).
      • The Conditions for after Work: Financialization and Informalization in Posttransition South Africa.
      • PMLA
      • Vicky Unruh (Eds.),
      • ,
      • 127
      • (4)
      • ,
      • 782-799.
      Publication Description

      “The Conditions for after Work” situates the problem of work in the twenty-first century in the global south, specifically in South Africa, in part as a way of challenging some of the assumptions of northern theories of the crisis of work. Addressing the very particular challenges of the postcolonial context where the break between Fordism and post-Fordism arises rather differently, this essay argues that new regimes of work should be understood in relation to longer histories of colonial resistance to proletarianization (to the racisms of the shop floor), to Fordisms of another sort, and how these inform the current expansion of informal employment. What sorts of practices and forms of life emerge from the precarity of informal economies and informal settlements? And how are such precarious modes of life connected to and informed by the steady dematerialization of the economy through financialization?

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (Summer, 2010).
      • The “Dialectics of Toil”: Reflections on the Politics of Space after Apartheid.
      • Anthropological Quarterly
      • Jesse Weaver Shipley (Eds.),
      • ,
      • Ethics of Scale: Relocating Politics After Liberation
      • ,
      • 83
      • (3)
      • ,
      • 551-580.
      • George Washington University Institute for Ethnographic Research.
      Publication Description

      Sixteen years since the end of the liberation struggle South Africa's cities have become crucial spaces of self-determination and lively community democracy. Yet their form has changed very little instead highlighting the persistence of poverty (and racism) within neoliberal, post-apartheid capitalism that the transition promised to end. This article explores the enduring quality of deep economic and social marginalization, specifically in the context of Cape Town's informal settlements, which reflect both collective desires for "rights to the city" and their denial.

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (2010).
      • The Search for Economic Sovereignty.
      • In Anne-Maria B. Makhulu, Beth A. Buggenhagen and Stephen Jackson (Eds.),
      • Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities
      • ,
      • The University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection, (also published in hardcopy)
      • ,
      • (pp. 240 pages).
      • University of California Press.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      “Slums” on the outskirts of many global cities signal not only the fact of deepening inequalities under neoliberalism, but equally the integration of local markets within broader circuits of capital and the remaking of cities primarily as sites of international production through the “localization of globalization.” But what few commentators from the United Nations Human Settlements Programme to scholars the likes of Mike Davis have been able to explain are the effective mechanisms of survival in operation in so-called “slums.” Davis has as much as acknowledged that while we face an “epochal transition” in the location of populations in relation to work opportunities, or rather the near total absence of such opportunities, how people make do remains a puzzle and for economists a “wage puzzle.” How indeed, do ordinary people, almost a billion at last count, confront the challenges of social reproduction under conditions of almost total disarticulation from wage work? This essay seeks to address the “wage puzzle” not so much in economistic terms but rather through a theoretical engagement with the terms of lived experience. Drawing on research in Cape Town, specifically on the immiserated margins of South Africa’s gateway city to the rest of the Continent, I argue that social reproduction is better understood in precisely the terms that are so critical to the larger volume Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities. And that moving away from simple explanations of the informalization of the economy that instead we need to think about the politics of bare life: the linkages between housing and the reproduction of labor power; what kinds of new subjectivities emerge in the face of the disarticulation of daily life from circuits of capital and commodities; what forms of desire are shaped by austerity; and how does austerity refigure, often enough, complex practices of money exchange, lending, and abstention. How, for example, is it that in contexts of spiraling debt, exorbitant interest rates, and land speculation—all symptoms of the transnationalization of cities—that institutions of money lending, saving, and banking amongst the poor should mirror the logics of global capital. Here there seems at issue a matter of scale or articulation. More properly, to what degree are the crisis tendencies of capitalism reflected in micro-practices of the poor and what forms of ingenuity are necessary to redirecting what Stephen Jackson has referred to as the “systematic imperative of making do.”

      • with
      • Beth A. Buggenhagen and Stephen Jackson.
      • (2010).
      • Introduction.
      • In Anne-Maria Makhulu, Beth A. Buggenhagen, and Stephen Jackson (Eds.),
      • Hard Work, Hard Times: Global Volatility and African Subjectivities
      • ,
      • The University of California International and Area Studies Digital Collection (also published in hardcopy)
      • ,
      • (pp. 240 pages).
      • University of California Press.
      • [web]
      Publication Description

      The description of Africa as a continent in perpetual crisis, ubiquitous in the popular media and in policy and development circles, is at once obvious and obfuscating. This collection by leading ethnographers moves beyond the rhetoric of African crisis to theorize people's everyday practices under volatile conditions not of their own making. From Ghanaian hiplife music to the U.S. "diversity lottery" in Togo, from politicos in Côte d'Ivoire to squatters in South Africa, the essays in Hard Work, Hard Times uncover the imaginative ways in which African subjects make and remake themselves and their worlds, and thus make do, get by, get over, and sometimes thrive.

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (2010).
      • The Question of Freedom: Post-Emancipation South Africa in a Neoliberal Age.
      • In Carol J. Greenhouse (Eds.),
      • Ethnographies of Neoliberalism
      • ,
      • (pp. 376 pages).
      • University of Pennsylvania Press.
      Publication Description

      The history of struggle which culminated in South Africa’s political transition in the early 90s is well known. Yet its official and relatively untroubled face rests on an exquisite contradiction, namely the subsumption of the very political ideals for which people fought during the course of more than four decades in the very form of liberal constitutional democracy itself, moreover, under the sign of neoliberalism. Thus whatever the protections afforded or implied by the constitution—a constitution which by all accounts is the envy of the world for its high level of inclusivity—-many such critical aspects of this document remain unrealizable. To be sure South Africa is not unique in its limited capacity to translate political ideals into concretely experienced outcomes. Yet, coming to freedom so belatedly, South Africa has all too clearly shown the limits of emancipation under late capitalism—-its postcolonial status so deferred that it made the contradictions of its coming into being all the more visible. Imagine then the very concrete paradoxes that follow from a notion of political struggle conceived as radical revolution; whose central charter had long promised the nationalization of everything-- the seizure of land from a landed elite, in sum, the reclaiming of the Commons--but whose achievement came after "actually existing socialism." This new world order had made revolutions and transitions no longer thinkable, speakable, or practicable. It is against the backdrop of such transformations that South African emancipation is conceived in this essay.

      • Anne-Maria Makhulu.
      • (2004).
      • Poetic Justice: Xhosa Idioms and Moral Breach in Post-Apartheid South Africa.
      • In Brad Weiss (Eds.),
      • Producing African Futures: Ritual and Reproduction in a Neoliberal Age
      • ,
      • Studies of Religion in Africa
      • ,
      • 26
      • ,
      • (pp. 229-261).
      • Brill Press.
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  • Specialties

    • Africa
    • Post Colonialism
    • Neoliberalism
    • Globalization
    • Urban Anthropology
    • Political Economy
    • Finance
    • Social Movements
    • Culture Theory
  • Education

      • PhD,
      • Department of Anthropology,
      • University of Chicago,
      • 2003
      • MA,
      • Department of Anthropology,
      • University of Chicago,
      • 1996
      • BA (summa cum laude),
      • Department of Anthropology,
      • Columbia University,
      • 1994
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies Fellowship,
      • Princeton University,
      • 2006
      • Princeton Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts,
      • 2003-2005
  • Teaching

    • AAAS 333S.01
      • THE WIRE
      • Carr 106
      • Th 11:45 AM-02:15 PM
    • CULANTH 561S.01
      • AFRICA IN A GLOBAL AGE
      • Crowell 106
      • W 03:05 PM-05:25 PM
  • redbrick