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Adeline Masquelier

Ombudsperson – Serving through 2023

Adeline Masquelier is Professor of Anthropology at Tulane University. As a sociocultural anthropologist, she has conducted research in Niger, West Africa, for over thirty years on topics such as religion, gender, health, youth cultures, education, and environmental issues. She earned her doctoral degree in anthropology at the University of Chicago.

She has authored three books, including Women and Islamic Revival in a West African Town (Indiana University Press, 2009), which received the 2010 Herskovits Award for best scholarly book on Africa and the 2012 Aidoo-Snyder prize for best scholarly book about African women. Her latest book Fada: Boredom and Belonging in Niger (University of Chicago Press, 2019), which was a finalist for the Best Book Prize awarded by the African Studies Association, focuses on urban youth, unemployment, masculinity, and sociality.

She is the editor of three books, including Critical Terms for the Study of Africa (with Gaurav Desai, University of Chicago Press, 2018). Her articles have appeared in venues such as American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Cultural Anthropology, Anthropological Quarterly, Public Culture, Cahiers d’Études Africaines, Africa, and the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Society. While she remains interested in precarity, masculinity, and urban space, her current focus is on the mass possession of adolescent girls in Nigerien schools. At the intersection of religion, ecology, and education, the book she is currently writing will tell the story of schools that are haunted by painful pasts as much as by imagined futures.

Masquelier is a past President of the Society for the Anthropology of Religion, a section of the American Anthropological Association, and has previously served as Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Director of the Religious Studies Program at Tulane. She edited the Journal of Religion in Africa for five years and is currently an editor of the International African Library at Cambridge University Press.