Skip To Nav

Site-specific menu

Share |

New world order, 'cannibal war machine' topic of WMU talk

by Mark Schwerin

Oct. 15, 2011 | WMU News

KALAMAZOO--Dr. Neil Whitehead, professor of anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 20, in Room 3025 of Brown Hall at Western Michigan University on "The Cannibal War Machine--Sacred Empowerment and the New World Order." The lecture is free and open to the public.

In his talk, Whitehead will argue that modernist violence, originating with colonialism, has given rise to a new world order via the creation of a "cannibal war machine." This new world order has supplanted the immaterial with the material and a culture centered on consumption, resulting in people and ecologies perpetually consumed through commodity production. He will also give a graduate seminar for faculty and graduate students while on campus.

Whitehead's current topics of research include violence and the cultural order; shamanism and sorcery; vampires, zombies and the body; cultural landscapes and development; ethnopornography; and captives and castaways. Areas of regional specialization include South America and the Caribbean, particularly Amazonia and the Anglo-Francophone Caribbean.

Whitehead's publication credits include the books "Of Cannibals and Kings--Primal Anthropology in the Americas," "Anthropologies of Guayana," "Hans Staden's True History--An Account of Cannibal Captivity in Brazil" and "Terror and Violence--Anthropological Approaches."

Whitehead's visit is through the WMU Visiting Scholars and Artists Program with support from the departments of anthropology, Africana studies and English and the Haenicke Institute for Global Education.

For more information on Whitehead's visit, contact Dr. Mustafa Mirzeler, WMU associate professor of English, at or (269) 330-9209.