Photographer: Marleen de Witte

dr. M. (Marleen) de Witte


  • Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences
    Programme group: Globalising Culture and the Quest for Belonging
  • Visiting address
    REC BC
    Nieuwe Achtergracht 166  Amsterdam
    Room number: C5.18
  • Postal address:
    Postbus  15509
    1001 NA  Amsterdam
  • M.deWitte@uva.nl
    T: 0205252731

Dr. Marleen de Witte joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology in January 2013. She previously held research and teaching positions at the VU University and Université de Poitiers. She holds a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Amsterdam (2008).

 

Marleen’s main anthropological research interests are religion and media, globalization, the senses and the body, cultural heritage, popular culture, urban Africa and African diaspora. Her current project, titled ‘African by Design: self-styling among Afro-Dutch youth in Amsterdam,’ was awarded a VENI grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research NWO. The project explores how and why second-generation Africans (mainly Ghanaians) and Afro-Caribbeans (Surinamese, Antilleans) produce Africanness in media and expressive culture and how Afro styles are appropriated or contested in everyday practices of self-styling and incorporated into new forms of Dutchness.

 

Marleen has conducted extensive fieldwork in Ghana. Her PhD project studied the use of modern media by charismatic Christianity and neo-traditional African religion, and the processes and challenges involved in the mediatization of religion. Theoretically situated at the crossroads of media, religion, and the senses, the research explored the generation, spread, and adoption of new, mass-mediated forms of religion in Ghana’s new public sphere and compared how media reconfigure the sensory mediation of religious experience in both religions. She discovered that both religions are much closer entangled than their media expressions might suggest at first sight. In 2012 she received the Keetje Hodshon Award from the Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen for her dissertation ‘Spirit Media: Charismatics, Traditionalists, and Mediation Practices in Ghana’ and her other publications.

 

Marleen’s more recent research in Ghana studied the politics and aesthetics of Africanness in cultural heritage formations in Ghana, focusing on the intersecting domains of the state, religion, and media. This project, ‘Styling Sankofa,’ was part of the NWO project ‘Heritage Dynamics: Politics of Authentication and Aesthetics of Persuasion in Ghana, South-Africa, Brazil, and the Netherland’ (www.heritage-dynamics.com). A remarkable outcome was the revitalization and commercialization of African heritage as creative style among young people in Accra, spreading via media and popular culture and closely connected to ‘global Africa.’

 

Marleen is co-editor of the anthropological journal Etnofoor (www.etnofoor.nl).

 

 

Books

Marleen de Witte, 2001, Long Live the Dead! Changing Funeral Celebrations in Asante, Ghana. Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers.

Marleen de Witte, 2008, Spirit Media. Charismatics, Traditionalists, and Mediation Practices in Ghana. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Amsterdam.

 

Articles in journals

Marleen de Witte, forthcoming (2013), Médias religieux, esprits voyageurs: Diffusion publique et secret dans le Pentecôtisme et dans la religion traditionnelle au Ghana. Social Compass, special issue on ‘Religious Media in Africa and the Diaspora: Circulation, Competition and Remediation,’ edited by Steven Van Wolputte and Katrien Pype.

Marleen de Witte and Martijn Oosterbaan, 2013, Introduction: Gold. Etnofoor 25(1): 7-13.

Birgit Meyer and Marleen de Witte, 2013, Heritage and the Sacred: Introduction. Material Religion 9(3): 274-281, special issue on ‘Heritage and the Sacred’, edited by Marleen de Witte and Birgit Meyer. 

Marleen de Witte and Birgit Meyer, 2012, African Heritage Design: Entertainment Media and Visual Aesthetics in Ghana. Civilisations 61(1): 43-64.

Marleen de Witte, 2012, Buy the Future, Now! Charismatic Chronotypes in Neoliberal Ghana. Etnofoor 24(1): 80-104.

Marleen de Witte, 2012, Television and the gospel of entertainment in Ghana. Exchange 41(2): 144-164.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Fans and Followers: Marketing charisma, making religious celebrity in Ghana. Australian Religion Studies Review 24(3): 231-253.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Touched by the Spirit. Converting the Senses in a Ghanaian Charismatic Church. Ethnos 76(4): 489-509.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Business of the Spirit: Ghanaian broadcast media and the commercial exploitation of Pentecostalism. Journal of African Media Studies 3(2): 189-205.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Touch. Material Religion 7(1): 148-155.

Birgit Meyer und Marleen de Witte, 2008, Die Special Effects der Prediger. Ghana: Massamedien, Demokratie und Religion. Afrika Post 4: 34-35.

Marleen de Witte, 2008, Accra’s sounds and sacred spaces. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32(2): 690-709.

Marleen de Witte, 2005, ‘Insight’, secrecy, beasts, and beauty. Struggles over the making of a Ghanaian documentary on ‘African traditional religion’. Postscripts 1 (2/3): 277-300.

Marleen de Witte, 2005, The Spectacular and the Spirits. Charismatics and Neo-Traditionalists on Ghanaian Television. Material Religion 1(3):314-335.

Marleen de Witte, 2005, The Holy Spirit on Air in Ghana. Media Development 42(2):22-26.

Marleen de Witte, 2004, Afrikania’s Dilemma. Reframing African Authenticity in a Christian Public Sphere. Etnofoor 17 (1/2):133-155.

Marleen de Witte, 2003, Altar Media’s Living Word. Televised Charismatic Christianity in Ghana. Journal of Religion in Africa 33(2):172-202.

Marleen de Witte, 2003, Money and Death. Funeral Business in Asante, Ghana. Africa 73(4):531-559.

Marleen de Witte, 2002, Accra’s Charismatic Screens. Etnofoor 15(1/2):222-228.

Marleen de Witte, 1997, Highlife en Juju. Muzikanten als Motor van West-Afrika. Etnofoor 10(1/2):112-127. 

 

Book chapters

Marleen de Witte, forthcoming (2014), Media Afrikania. Styles and Strategies of Representing African Traditional Religion in Ghana’s Public Sphere. In: Rosalind Hackett & Ben Soares (eds.), New Media and Religious Transformations in Africa. Indiana University Press.

Marleen de Witte, forthcoming (2014), International Central Gospel Church. In: Estrelda Alexander (ed.), Dictionary of Pan-African Pentecostalism. Eugene: Wipf & Stock Publishers.

Marleen de Witte, forthcoming (2014), Mensa Otabil. In: Estrelda Alexander (ed.), Dictionary of Pan-African Pentecostalism. Eugene: Wipf & Stock Publishers.

Marleen de Witte, 2012, The Electric Touch Machine Miracle Scam. Body, Technology, and the (Dis)authentication of the Pentecostal Supernatural. In: Jeremy Stolow (ed.), Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between. New York: Fordham University Press. Pp. 61-82.

Marleen de Witte, 2012, Neo-traditional religions. In: Elias Bongmba (ed.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to African Religions. Oxford: Blackwell. Pp. 173-183.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Of Corpses, Clay, and Photographs. Body Imagery and Changing Technologies of Remembrance in Asante Funeral Culture. In: Michael Jindra and Joel Noret (eds.), Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon. New York and Oxford: Berghahn. Pp. 177 – 206.

Marleen de Witte, 2010, Transnational Tradition. The Global Dynamics of ‘African Traditional Religion.’ In: Afe Adogame and Jim Spickard (eds.), Religion Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Religious and Social Dynamics in Africa and the New African Diaspora. Leiden: Brill. Pp. 253-285.

Marleen de Witte, 2010, Religious Media, Mobile Spirits. Publicity and secrecy in African Pentecostalism and traditional religion. In: Gertrud Hüwelmeier and Kristine Krause (eds.), Travelling Spirits. Migrants, Markets, and Mobilities. New York: Routledge. Pp.83 – 100.

Marleen de Witte, 2009, Modes of binding, moments of bonding. Mediating divine touch in Ghanaian Pentecostalism and Traditionalism. In: Birgit Meyer (ed.), Aesthetic Formations. Media, Religion, and the Senses. New York: Palgrave. Pp. 183 – 205.

Marleen de Witte, 2009, Eigen ogen en levende lijven. Antropologie, media en de fetisj van het face-to-face. In: Thijl Sunier (ed.), Antropologie in een zee van verhalen. Amsterdam: Aksant. Pp. 111 – 135.

Book reviews

Marleen de Witte, 2012, Review of Harri Englund (ed.), Christianity and Public Culture in Africa. Journal of Contemporary Religion 27(3): 529-531.

Marleen de Witte, 2011, Review of Matt Tomlinson, In God’s Image: the Metaculture of Fijian Christianity. Comparative Studies in Society and History 53(3): 708-709.

Marleen de Witte, 2005, Review of Paul Gifford, Ghana’s New Christianity: Pentecostalism in a Globalising African Economy. African Studies Review 48 (3).

Marleen de Witte, 2005, Review of Jennifer Hasty, The Press and Political Culture in Ghana. Journal of Language and Popular Culture in Africa 4 (1). (available on www2.fmg.uva.nl/lpca/jlpca/vol4/dewitte.html)

Marleen de Witte, n.d., Review of Steven J. Salm and Toyin Falola (eds.), African Urban Spaces in Historical Perspective. African Review of Books (available on www.africanreviewofbooks.com)

 

E-publications

Marleen de Witte, 2012,  Accra’s sounds and sacred spaces. www.religionsgateway.com, July 17, 2012

2017

  • de Witte, M. (2017). Corporeality TV and the Authentication of 'African Heritage'. In M. P. J. Van de Port, & B. Meyer (Eds.), Sense and Essence: Aesthetics of Persuasion in Heritage Politics. Oxford, New York: Berghahn. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2017). Spirit Media and the Spectre of the Fake. In M. Opas, & A. Haapalainen (Eds.), Christianity and the Limits of materiality. (Bloomsbury Studies in Material Religion). London: Bloomsbury Academic. [details]

2016

  • de Witte, M. (2016). Encountering religion through Accra's urban soundscape. In J. Darling, & H. F. Wilson (Eds.), Encountering the city: Urban encounters from Accra to New York. (pp. 133-150). New York: Routledge. [details]

2015

  • de Witte, M. (2015). Media Afrikania: styles and strategies of representing "Afrikan traditional religion" in Ghana. In R. I. J. Hackett, & B. F. Soares (Eds.), New media and religious transformation in Africa. (pp. 207-226). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2015). Touch. In S. B. Plate (Ed.), Key terms in material religion. (pp. 261-266). London: Bloomsbury Academic. [details]
  • de Witte, M., de Koning, M., & Sunier, T. (2015). Aesthetics of religious authority: introduction. Culture and Religion, 16(2), 117-124. DOI: 10.1080/14755610.2015.1058524 [details]

2014

  • de Witte, M. (2014). Heritage, blackness and Afro-cool: styling Africanness in Amsterdam. African Diaspora, 7(2), 260-289. DOI: 10.1163/18725465-00702002 [details] [PDF]
  • de Witte, M. (2014). Missão Midiática Afrikania: Representando a "Religião Tradicional Afrikana" na esfera pública cristã em Gana. Religião & Sociedade, 34(2), 161-183. DOI: 10.1590/S1984-04382014000200009 [details] [PDF]
  • de Witte, M. (2014). Médias religieux, esprits voyageurs. Diffusion publique et secret dans le Pentecôtisme et dans la religion traditionnelle au Ghana. Social Compass, 61(1), 11-20. DOI: 10.1177/0037768613513939 [details] [PDF]
  • de Witte, M., & Spronk, R. (2014). Introduction: 'African': a contested qualifier in global Africa. African Diaspora, 7(2), 165-176. DOI: 10.1163/18725465-00702001 [details] [PDF]

2013

  • Meyer, B., & de Witte, M. (2013). Heritage and the sacred: introduction. Material Religion, 9(3), 274-280. DOI: 10.2752/175183413X13730330868870 [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2013). The Electric Touch Machine Miracle Scam. Body, Technology, and the (Dis)authentication of the Pentecostal Supernatural. In J. Stolow (Ed.), Deus in machina: religion, technology, and the things in between. (pp. 61-82). New York: Fordham University Press. [details] [PDF]
  • de Witte, M., & Oosterbaan, M. (2013). Introduction: Gold. Etnofoor, 25(1), 7-13. [details]

2012

  • de Witte, M. (2012). Television and the gospel of entertainment in Ghana. Exchange, 41(2), 144-164. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2012). Buy the Future, Now! Charismatic Chronotypes in Neoliberal Ghana. Etnofoor, 24(1), 80-104. [details] [PDF]
  • de Witte, M. (2012). Neo-traditional religions. In E. Bongmba (Ed.), The Wiley Blackwell Companion to African Religions. (pp. 173-183). Oxford: Blackwell. [details]
  • de Witte, M., & Meyer, B. (2012). African Heritage Design: Entertainment Media and Visual Aesthetics in Ghana. Civilisations, 61(1), 43-65. [details] [PDF]

2011

  • de Witte, M. (2011). Business of the Spirit: Ghanaian Broadcast Media and the Commercial Exploitation of Pentecostalism. Journal of African Media Studies, 3(2), 189-205. DOI: 10.1386/jams.3.2.189_1 [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2011). Fans and Followers: Marketing Charisma, Making Religious Celebrity in Ghana. Australian religion studies review, 24(3), 231-253. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2011). Of Corpses, Clay, and Photographs: Body Imagery and Changing Technologies of Remembrance in Asante Funeral Culture. In M. Jindra, & J. Noret (Eds.), Funerals in Africa: Explorations of a Social Phenomenon. (pp. 177-206). New York and Oxford: Berghahn. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2011). Touch. Material Religion, 7(1), 148-155. DOI: 10.2752/175183411X12968355482466 [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2011). Touched by the Spirit: Converting the Senses in a Ghanaian Charismatic Church. Ethnos, 76(4), 489-509. DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2011.620711 [details]

2010

  • de Witte, M. (2010). Religious Media, Mobile Spirits: Publicity and secrecy in African Pentecostalism and traditional religion. In G. Hüwelmeier, & K. Krause (Eds.), Travelling Spirits. Migrants, Markets, and Mobilities. (pp. 83-100). New York: Routledge. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2010). Transnational Tradition: The Global Dynamics of ‘African Traditional Religion’. In A. Adogame, & J. Spickard (Eds.), Religion Crossing Boundaries: Transnational Religious and Social Dynamics in Africa and the New African Diaspora. (pp. 253-285). Leiden: Brill. [details]

2009

  • de Witte, M. (2009). Modes of Binding, Moments of Bonding: Mediating Divine Touch in Ghanaian Pentecostalism and Traditionalism. In B. Meyer (Ed.), Aesthetic Formations: Media, Religion, and the Senses. (pp. 183-205). New York: Palgrave. [details]

2008

2005

  • de Witte, M. (2005). The Spectacular and the Spirits. Charismatics and Neo-Traditionalists on Ghanaian Television. Material Religion, 1(3), 314-335. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2005). Insight, secrecy, beasts, and beauty: struggles over the making of a Ghanaian documentary on "African Traditional Religion". Postscripts, 1(2/3), 277-300. [details]

2004

  • de Witte, M. (2004). Afrikania's Dilemma. Reframing African Authenticity in a Christian Public Sphere. Etnofoor, 17(1). [details]

2003

  • de Witte, M. (2003). Altar Media's Living Word. Televised Charismatic Christianity in Ghana. Journal of Religion in Africa, 33(2), 172-202. [details]
  • de Witte, M. (2003). Money and Death. Funeral Business in Asante, Ghana. Africa, 73(4). [details]

2002

  • de Witte, M. (2002). Accra's Charismatic Screens. Etnofoor, 15(1/2), 222-228. [details]

2001

  • de Witte, M. (2001). Long Live the Dead! Changing Funeral Celebrations in Asante, Ghana. Amsterdam: Aksant Academic Publishers. [details]

1997

  • de Witte, M. (1997). Highlife en Juju: Muzikanten als Motor van West-Afrika. Etnofoor, 10(1/2), 112-127. [details]

2016

  • de Witte, M. (2016). Religion and Media. In H. Callan (Ed.), Wiley International Encyclopedia of Anthropology. New York: Wiley-Blackwell. [details]

2015

2009

  • de Witte, M. (2009). Eigen ogen en levende lijven. Antropologie, media en de fetisj van het face-to-face. In T. Sunier (Ed.), Antropologie in een zee van verhalen. (pp. 111-135). (Antropologie Academie; No. 8). Amsterdam: Aksant. [details]

2008

  • Meyer, B., & de Witte, M. (2008). Die Special Effects der Prediger. Ghana: Massamedien, Demokratie und Religion. Afrika-Post, 2008(4), 34-35. [details]

2005

  • de Witte, M. (2005). The Holy Spirit on Air in Ghana. Media Development, 42(2), 22-26. [details]

2014

  • de Witte, M. (2014). [Review of: K. Pype (2012) The making of the Pentecostal melodrama: religion, media and gender in Kinshasa]. Nova Religio: Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions, 18(2), 99-101. DOI: 10.1525/nr.2014.18.2.99 [details]

2012

  • de Witte, M. (2012). [Review of: H. Englund (2011) Christianity and public culture in Africa]. Journal of contemporary religion, 27(3), 529-531. DOI: 10.1080/13537903.2012.722329 [details]

2011

  • de Witte, M. (2011). [Review of: M. Tomlinson. In God’s Image: the Metaculture of Fijian Christianity]. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 53(3), 708-709. [details]

2008

  • de Witte, M. (2008). Spirit media : charismatics, traditionalists, and mediation practices in Ghana [details / files]

Award

  • de Witte, M. (2012): FSW Onderzoeksprijs 2012 (VU).
  • de Witte, M. (2012): Keetje Hodshon Award (Koninklijke Hollandsche Maatschappij der Wetenschappen).
  • de Witte, M. (2012): VENI Grant (Innovational Research Incentives Scheme, Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO)). Project title: ‘African by Design: Self-styling among Afro-Dutch youth in Amsterdam’.

Keynote / Invited lecture

  • de Witte, M. (invited speaker) (25-9-2014): Spirit Media and the Spectre of the Fake, Christianity and the Limits of Materiality, Turku, Finland.

Journal editor

  • de Witte, M. (editor) & Spronk, R. (editor) (2014): African Diaspora (Journal).
  • de Witte, M. (editor) & Meyer, B. (editor) (2013): Material Religion (Journal).
  • de Witte, M. (editor) (2013): Etnofoor (Journal).
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