Spirit Children: Illness, Poverty, and Infanticide in Northern Ghana (2017)
In parts of West Africa, some babies and toddlers are considered spirit children—nonhumans sent from the forest to cause misfortune and destroy the family. These are usually deformed or ailing infants, the very young whose births coincide with tragic events, or children who display unusual abilities. In some of these cases, families seek a solution in infanticide. Many others do not.

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University of Wisconsin Press
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Sample Chapter

The White Man is My Driver
I’m currently working on a collection of essays based on my fieldwork. It’s a collection of loosely connected ethnographic essays ranging from 500 to 3,000 words. Readability and narrative will be privileged over theory and abstraction. In other words, the book consists of mostly “the good parts.” Get a early look here.

Creative Non-Fiction

Denham, Aaron (2020). The Spirit of the Encounter. Deep Wild 2:18-21.

Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

Denham, Aaron (2020). Of House or Bush: The Cultural Psychodynamics of Infanticide in Northern Ghana. Current Anthropology 61(1)

Denham, Aaron (2020). Passing the Flame: Narrative Trajectories of Trauma. Clio’s Psyche 26(2):244-246.

Bullivant, B., Denham A. R., Stephens, C., & et al. (2019). Elucidating Knowledge and Beliefs About Obesity and Eating Disorders Among Key Stakeholders: Paving the Way for an Integrated Approach to Health Promotion. BMC Public Health 19:1681

Denham, Aaron (2019). Commentary: Freud among the Boasians: Psychoanalytic Influence and Ambivalence in American Anthropology. Current Anthropology 60(4).

Denham, Aaron (2019). Commentary: Struggling to be a “Happy Self?” Psychotherapy and the Medicalization of Unhappiness in Uganda. Current Anthropology 60(2):208-209.

Denham, Aaron (2017). Narrative Transformations: Reflections on Carry Forth the Stories. Journal of Northwest Anthropology 52(1): 100-104.

Denham, Aaron (2015). A Psychodynamic Phenomenology of Nankani Interpretive Divination and the Formation of Meaning. Ethos 43(2). 

Denham, Aaron (2014). Misconceptions and the Mystification of Infanticide in Northern Ghana: Ethnographic Insights. In Medical Anthropology in Global Africa. Rhine, K, Janzen, J., Adams, G., and Aldersey, H. eds. (pp. 157-163). Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Publications in Anthropology. 

Denham, Aaron (2014). Psychoanalytic Anthropology. Clios’ Psyche (special issue) 79(1):383-394.

Awedoba, Albert and Aaron Denham (2013). The Perception of Abnormality in Kasena and Nankani Infants: Clarifying Infanticide in Northern Ghana. Ghana Studies 15-16:41-67.

Denham, Aaron (2012). Shifting Maternal Responsibilities and the Trajectory of Blame in Northern Ghana. In Risk Reproduction and Narratives of Experience. Fordyce, L., & A. Maraesa, eds. (pp. 173-189). Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Denham, Aaron et al. (2010). Chasing Spirits: Clarifying the Spirit Child Phenomenon and Infanticide In Northern Ghana. Social Science and Medicine, 71(3):608-615.

Lum, Jessica and Aaron Denham (2009). Empowering those Responsible: Kinship Imperatives in Maternal and Infant Health in Northern Ghana. Childhood in Africa: An Interdisciplinary Journal 1(1):33-34. 

Denham, Aaron (2008). Rethinking Historical Trauma: Narratives of Resilience. Transcultural Psychiatry 45(3):391-414. 

Fletcher, Chris and Aaron Denham (2008). Moving Towards Healing – Nunavut Case Study. In Aboriginal Healing in Canada: Studies in Therapeutic Meaning and Practice. Waldram, J. (ed.) (pp. 93-129). Ottawa: The Aboriginal Healing Foundation.

A full list of my publications can be found on my Google Scholar profile and copies of work not listed here are on