• Faculty

  • Janet Roitman

    Professor of Anthropology


    Office Location
    Albert & Vera List Academic Center - 6 East 16th Street

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    Janet Roitman


    Janet Roitman is Professor of Anthropology at The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College.  She has conducted extensive research in Central Africa with a focus on the anthropology of value and emergent forms of the political.  Her first book, Fiscal Disobedience: An Anthropology of Economic Regulation in Central Africa (Princeton University Press, 2005), is an analysis of unregulated commerce in the Chad Basin that documents emergent forms of economic regulation and explains consequential transformations in the nature of state governance in the Chad Basin. Her second book, Anti-Crisis (Duke University Press, 2013) demonstrates how the concept of crisis serves as a narrative device that enables certain questions while foreclosing others, using the 2007-2008 Great Recession as a point of illustration. Her current research focuses on new financial technologies and “high finance” in West Africa.  She currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Cultural Economy, and previously served on the editorial boards of Public Culture and Politique africaine.  Prior to joining The New School, she was a research fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and an instructor at Sciences-Po, Paris.  Her research has received support from the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Agence française du développement, and the Institute for Public Knowledge.


    Degrees Held

    PhD 1996, University of Pennsylvania

    Recent Publications


    Anti-Crisis , Duke University Press, 2013.
    (LSE Book Review)
    (Full Stop Interview)

    Fiscal Disobedience: An Anthropology of Economic Regulation in Central Africa, Princeton University Press, 2005.

    Book Chapters:

    "The Stakes of Crisis" (pdf) in P. Kjaer, and N. Olsen, eds. Critical Theories of Crisis in Europe, Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016.

    Africa, Otherwise” (pdf)  in  J. Obarrio, and B. Goldstone, eds. African Futures, University of Chicago Press, 2016.

    "A Successful Life in the Illegal Realm: Smugglers and Road Bandits in the Chad Basin" (pdf), in Readings on Modernity in Africa. P. Geschiere, B. Meyer, P. Pels, eds. Indiana University Press, 2008. pp 214-220.

     “The Ethics of Illegality in the Chad Basin” (pdf), in Jean Comaroff and John Comaroff, dirs. Law and Disorder in the Postcolony, University of Chicago Press, 2006.

    Modes of Governing : the Garrison-Entrepot” (pdf), in A. Ong and S. Collier, eds. Global Anthropology : Technology, Politics, and Ethicsas Athnropological Problems, Blackwell, 2005.

    "Power is not Sovereign: The Transformation of Regulatory Authority in the Chad Basin" (pdf), in The Privatization of the State. B. Hibou, ed. London, Hurst, 2004.

    "New Sovereigns? Regulatory Authority in the Chad Basin" (pdf), in Intervention and Transnationalism in Africa: Global-Local Networks of Power. T. Callaghy, R. Kassimir, R. Latham, eds. Cambridge University Press, 2001. pp. 240-263.

    Select Journal Articles:

    Crisis”,(pdf) in Political Concepts: A Critical Lexicon (Tel Aviv, New York), 2012. 

    The Efficacy of the Economy” (pdf), African Studies Review 50.2, 2007, pp.155-161.

    "Queries on Cultural Capitalism" (pdf), Cahiers d'Etudes africaines, 138-139, XXXV-2/3, 1995, pp629-645.

    "Figures of the Subject in Times of Crisis" (pdf), with A. Mbembe. Public Culture, 7.2, Winter 1995, pp 323-52.

    Special Journal Issues:

    Guest Editor, Racial France (pdf), special issue of Public Culture, 23, 1, February 2011.

    Publications in French:

    "L'afrique, autrement. Depasse la crise". Multitudes 69, hiver 2017, pp. 173-179.

    "La politique de la valeur" (pdf), with Jean-Pierre Warnier, Journal des africanistes, 76-1. 2006.

    "Les recompositions du bassin du lac Tchad" (pdf), Politique africaine, 94, June 2004, pp 7-22.

    "La garnison-entrepot: une maniere de gouverner dans le bassin du lac Tchad" (pdf), Critique internationale, 19, April 2003: pp. 93-115.
    Republished (forthcoming, 2015) "La garnison-entrepôt?: une manière de gouverner dans le bassin du lac Tchad."  J. Siméant, ed. Faire des sciences sociales de l'international. Éditions du CNRS 2015.

    "Etre 'Off-Shore': l'immersion de la Guinee-Equatoriale dans les enjeux regionaux et internationaux" (pdf), Politique africaine, 81, March 2001, pp. 121-142.

    "Le Pouvoir n'est pas souverain: Nouvelles autorites regulatrices et transformations des Etats dans le Bassin du Lac Tchad" (pdf), in La privatisation des Etats; Paris: Karthala, 1999, pp 163-196. 


    Current Courses

    Concept Work & Materialization (Fall 2018)

    Ind Senior Project

    Ind Senior Project (Fall 2018)

    Independent Study

    Independent Study (Fall 2018)


    States of Africa (Fall 2018)

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