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.
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.
Selected Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters
Denham, Aaron (forthcoming). Of House or Bush: The Cultural Psychodynamics of Infanticide in Northern Ghana. Current Anthropology.
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 (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 (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.
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.