The Trials of Mrs. K.: Seeking Justice in a World with Witches
Adam Ashforth (Author)
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In March 2009, in a small town in Malawi, a nurse at the local hospital was accused of teaching witchcraft to children. Amid swirling rumors, "Mrs. K." tried to defend her reputation, but the community nevertheless grew increasingly hostile. The legal, social, and psychological trials that she endured in the struggle to clear her name left her life in shambles, and she died a few years later. In The Trials of Mrs. K., Adam Ashforth studies this and similar stories of witchcraft that continue to circulate in Malawi. At the heart of the book is Ashforth's desire to understand how claims to truth, the pursuit of justice, and demands for security work in contemporary Africa, where stories of witchcraft can be terrifying. Guiding us through the history of legal customs and their interactions with the court of public opinion, Ashforth asks challenging questions about responsibility, occult forces, and the imperfect but vital mechanisms of law. A beautifully written and provocative book, The Trials of Mrs. K. will be an essential text for understanding what justice means in a fragile and dangerous world.
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About the Author
Adam Ashforth is professor of Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Madumo: A Man Bewitched and Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa, both published by the University of Chicago Press.
- Contributor: Adam Ashforth
- Imprint: University of Chicago Press
- ISBN13: 9780226322360
- Number of Pages: 192
- Packaged Dimensions: 14x22x2mm
- Packaged Weight: 312
- Format: Paperback
- Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
- Release Date: 2018-07-20
- Binding: Paperback / softback
- Biography: Adam Ashforth is professor of Afroamerican and African studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of Madumo: A Man Bewitched and Witchcraft, Violence, and Democracy in South Africa, both published by the University of Chicago Press.