Over on the website of the journal Cultural Anthropology you'll find a series of essays (called a "Hot Spot") Iedited by some of the foremost scholars of CAR reflecting on the recent upheavals in the country. I have an essay introducing the themes and another with a very short political history of CAR, and then I turn things over to everyone else. Some of the essays focus on understanding the recent violence, while others reflect on long scholarly and personal engagements with CAR. All of the essays provide useful insights, and some also moved me to tears. Among those you'll find are:
An essay by RebeccaHardin and Henri Zana reflecting on lives devoted to teaching in CAR, and the “professional death” that has befallen CAR's once-hopeful intellectuals.
An essay by Andrea Ceriana Mayneri explaining the symbolic and historical underpinnings of an act of cannibalism in Bangui earlier this year.
An essay by TamaraGiles-Vernick reflecting on the ways in which historical violence is sedimented into Central African memories, alternately forgotten and remembered.
An essay by BrunoMartinelli (in French) explaining the politicization of religion in recent years and reflecting on the sobering realization that some of his former anthropology students are almong the most virulent anti-Balaka.
… And so much more! Check it out!
ps And a special shout-out to the editors of Cultural Anthropology, Charles Piot and Anne Allison, who have overseen the move to open access, as well as expanding the journal's online forums! Anthropology of and for the future.