Dr Jason Hickel
Dr Jason Hickel received his PhD in Anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2011. He specializes on democracy, violence, globalization, and ritual, and has been engaged in ethnographic and archival research in Southern Africa since 2004. His work has been funded by Fulbright-Hays, the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Charlotte W. Newcombe Foundation. Jason’s core research looks at how the moral values that underpin western liberalism get contested and resisted in postcolonial contexts. He is engaged in new research that investigates the increasing incidence of vigilante violence against foreign immigrants in South Africa’s informal settlements, specifically around Durban. His work explores the connections between xenophobia and the popular notions about witchcraft that inform South Africans’ anxieties about employment, marriage, and other tenets of social reproduction that have been undermined by neoliberalism. This project contributes to contemporary discussions about globalization and the rise of right-wing social movements. Although much of Jason’s work is focused on South Africa, he also serves as a COI expert for Lesotho and Swaziland.