Charles D. Piot

Charles D. Piot

Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
210 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 681-3264


Charlie Piot, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies, does research on the political economy and history of rural West Africa. His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa (1999), attempted to re-theorize a classic out-of-the-way place as within the modern and global. His next book, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War (2010), explored shifts in Togolese political culture during the 1990s, a time when the NGOs and charismatic churches took over the bio-political, reorganizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  A forthcoming book (2019), The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles, is about Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa Lottery.  He has begun research focusing on the return of Togolese from the diaspora to West Africa.

Degrees & Credentials

  • Ph.D., University of Virginia 1986

  • M.A., University of Virginia 1982

  • B.A., Princeton University 1973

Selected Grants

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Securing Youth: Humanitarian Futures in Post-Conflict Uganda awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2019

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Piety in Progress: Video Filmmaking and Religious Encounter in Benin awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2016

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Producing Urban Futures in Post-Genocide Kigali awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2015

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Raiding Sovereignty in Central Africa awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2011

Piot, C. The Fixer Visa Lottery Chronicles(Accepted).: Theory in Forms, June 14, 2019.

Piot, C. Nostalgia For the Future: West Africa After the Cold War. University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Piot, C. Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa. University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Piot, C. "Pentecostal and Development Imaginaries in West Africa." Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa. Ed. D Freeman. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012.

Piot, C. "Border Practices." Hard Work, Hard Times: Ethnographies of Volatility and African Being-in-the-World. Ed. B Buggenhagen, S Jackson, and A-M Makhulu. University of California Press, 2010.

Piot, C, and Amselle, JL. "Ethnicity: Western Africa." New Encyclopedia of Africa. 2007. 342-344.

Piot, C. "Representing Africa in the Kasinga Asylum Case." Female Circumcision: Multicultural Perspectives. Ed. R Abusharaf. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Piot, C. "Togolese Cartographies: Re-mapping Space in a post-Cold War City." Crisis and Creativity: Exploring the Wealth of the African Neighborhood. Ed. P Konings and D Foeken. Leiden: Brill Press, 2006.

Piot, C. "Fractal Figurations: Homologies and Hierarchies inKabre Culture." On the Order of ’Chaos’: Social Anthropology and the Science of Chaos. Ed. M Mosko and F Damon. Blackwell, 2005.

Allison, A, Boyer, D, and Piot, C. "FINANCING OPEN ACCESS: Introducing Friends of Cultural Anthropology." Cultural Anthropology 31.2 (May 1, 2016): 159-161. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editing the times." Cultural Anthropology 30.4 (January 1, 2015): 525-530. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' note on "neoliberal futures"." Cultural Anthropology 29.1 (February 1, 2014): 3-7. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' farewell." Cultural Anthropology 29.4 (January 1, 2014): 599-601. Full Text

Harms, E, Hussain, S, Newell, S, Piot, C, Schein, L, Shneiderman, S, Turner, TS, and Zhang, J. "Remote and edgy: New takes on old anthropological themes." Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4.1 (January 1, 2014): 361-381. (Review) Full Text

Alison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' introduction: Open access." Cultural Anthropology 29.2 (January 1, 2014): 201-202. Full Text

ALLISON, ANNE, and PIOT, CHARLES. "EDITORS' NOTE." Cultural Anthropology 28.3 (August 2013): 369-371. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' Note." Cultural Anthropology 27.2 (May 1, 2012): 191-192. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' notes." Cultural Anthropology 27.1 (February 1, 2012): 1-2. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Untitled." Cultural Anthropology 26.4 (November 1, 2011): 511-513. Full Text