Jane I. Guyer

Johns Hopkins University


Election Year: 2008
Primary Section: 51, Anthropology
Membership Type: Member

Research Interests

As an economic anthropologist, my career of research centers on the interface between the economic life of populations and the formal sector institutions - states, urban administrations, banks and markets - of western capitalism, primarily in Africa. Starting in Nigeria in the late 1960s and later in Cameroon, one line of enquiry focuses on agricultural production for rapidly expanding urban and international markets, with particular attention to the gender division of resource control, labor and income, and to the place of governance in economic life (regulation, taxation). I have studied both agro-ecological and socio-political change over the twentieth century, and followed my first research site over forty years, extending to comparative study and use of remote sensing. This work culminates in a depiction of an indigenous West African mode of growth. From 1980 I developed a second strand of research on price, value and monetary practices in West Africa and beyond, using ethnography, archives, museum collections and sources in the humanities. This work has resulted in a series of publications focused on a) empirically-based theory of persistent interfaces in the monetary world, b) empirical documentation of the experience of monetary turbulence, and c) cultures of monetarism since its ascendancy from the 1980s.

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