David Pratten is a social anthropologist and his post is a joint appointment with the Institute of Social Anthropology and the African Studies Centre. David's research is based on a long-term engagement with Annang villagers in south-eastern Nigeria and focuses on themes of history, violence and the state. The focus of his initial work was an historical ethnography of colonialism which focused on the events surrounding a series of mysterious deaths in south-eastern Nigeria during the late 1940s. His research has also examined issues of youth, democracy and disorder in post-colonial Nigeria with a particular focus on vigilantism and new masquerade performances. David’s most recent research examines the relationship between popular culture and the oil industry in the Niger Delta and he is working with colleagues at the University of Port Harcourt on a project called ‘The Arts of Oil’. David has also worked closely with Pitt Rivers Museum colleagues on its displays of West African masks and in 2018 collected a mask for the collection in Nigeria.
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