Andrew Apter is Professor of History and Anthropology at UCLA, where he co-founded the
Atlantic History Colloquium. His books include Black Critics and Kings: The Hermeneutics of
Power in Yoruba Society (1992); The Pan-African Nation: Oil and the Spectacle of Culture in
Nigeria (2005) which focuses on Festac ’77 and received the 2007 Amaury Talbot Prize awarded
by the Royal Anthropological Institute; Beyond Words: Discourse and Critical Agency in Africa
(2007), and Oduduwa’s Chain: Locations of Culture in the Yoruba Atlantic (2018), all with the
University of Chicago Press.

He also co-edited Activating the Past: History and Memory in the
Black Atlantic World (2010) with Lauren Derby. He is currently working on Atlantic Slavery and
the Spirits of Capitalism, exploring how Atlantic slavery and its fetishized forms of human
commodification remain deeply buried within the core of racial capitalism.


Apter received one BA in philosophy (Yale, ‘78) and another in social anthropology
(Cambridge University, ‘80) before completing his PhD in anthropology (Yale, ‘87). He taught
at Columbia University (1987-89) and the University of Chicago (1989-2003) before shifting to
UCLA. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Lagos; the École des Hautes
Études en Sciences Sociales; St. Antony's College, Oxford University; and the University of
Utrecht. He has conducted fieldwork in Nigeria, Ghana, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and
among Congolese refugees in Zambia.

Publications:
The Pan-African Nation: Oil and the Spectacle of Culture in Nigeria (2005) 










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