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Vitae, Wim van Binsbergen


for other photographs of Wim van Binsbergen, click here: A, B, C, D; also see the section 'a researcher's photo album'

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updated 14-9-2003

(for short bio-/bibliographical note, see index page)

 

Detailed vitae/

GENERAL

name: VAN BINSBERGEN, Willibrordus Michiel Johannes (Wim)
home address: (restricted)
telephone: private (restricted); work 00.31.71.5273372
fax: 00.31.71.5273344
e-mail: binsbergen@fsw.leidenuniv.nl or binsbergen@chello.nl
marital status: married with five children (one grown up and living on her own)
date, place of birth: Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 25 February, 1947
nationality: Dutch
website: http://www.shikanda.net/

 

EDUCATION

1964 “Gymnasium-B”, Amsterdam
1968 “Kandidaatsexamen” in social sciences, University of Amsterdam: cultural anthropology/ non-western sociology major
1971 “Doktoraal examen” in social science, University of Amsterdam (cum laude): cultural anthropology/ non-western sociology, with fields in religious anthropology and general linguistics
1979 Doctor of social science, Free University, Amsterdam (cum laude)
1990 (effective graduation 1991) Sangoma (spirit medium/diviner) and registered traditional practitioner, Botswana 
Extracurricular training: philosophical anthropology (1964-65), Arabic (1965-66), the computer language Algol-60 (1968), symbolic logic and finite mathematics (1968-69), multivariate analysis and computer techniques (SPSS) (1975-76), Southern African traditional medicine (1988-91), magic and religion in the Ancient Near East (1994-95)
Languages: fluency in Dutch, English, French, German, Nkoya (Zambia), Creole (Guinea-Bissau), Afrikaans; passive knowledge of Italian, Portuguese, Latin and classical Greek; limited command of Arabic (Tunisian and classical), Tswana (Botswana, South Africa), and Ancient Egyptian; minor excursions into Kalanga and Ndebele (Botswana, Zimbabwe) and Chinese

 

APPOINTMENTS

1971-72 Assistant Lecturer in Sociology, University of Zambia
1973 Lecturer in Sociology, University of Zambia
1973-74, 1977, 1978 Research Affiliate, Institute for African Studies, University of Zambia
1974-75 Research Fellow, Netherlands Foundation for the Advancement of Tropical Research (WOTRO), stationed at the Anthropological Sociological Centre, University of Amsterdam
1975-76 Chair of Sociology and Cultural Anthropology of Africa, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Non-Western Sociology, University of Leiden
1977-80 Research Officer, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1979-80 Simon Professor of Anthropology, University of Manchester
1980-1990 (effective 1980-1988) Head, Department of Political Science and History, and Scientific Co-Director of the African Studies Centre, Leiden
1984-87 Consultant Editor, Africa (London)
1986 Visiting Professor of Ethnology, Freie Universität, Berlin (West)
1988-1995 Affiliated Researcher, Applied Research Unit, Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Republic of Botswana
1990-1998 Professor of Anthropology, Free University, Amsterdam, chair of ‘Ethnicity and ideology in development processes in the Third World’
1990-1993 Chairman, Netherlands Association of African Studies
1990-1993 Member, Advisory Board of WOTRO (Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research)
1991- Member, interuniversity graduate school CERES (Centre for Resource Studies, Utrecht), section 7 (identity)
1992 Visiting Professor of Anthropology, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa
1993-1999 Member of the Executive Committee, WOTRO (Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research) Programme on Globalization and the construction of communal identities (also see under: Research)
1994- Member, interuniversity graduate school CNWS (Centre for Non-Western Studies, Leiden), section on Africa
1994-95 Fellow, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities and Social Sciences (NIAS), Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences, Wassenaar; member of the theme group on ‘Magic and Religion in the Ancient Near East’
1996-2002 Chair, Theme group on globalisation and socio-cultural transformations, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1997- Member of the Management Team, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1998- Professor, chair of Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
1998- Chair, Subprogramma on Intercult9al Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam
1998- Chair, Dutch/Flemish Association of Intercultural Philosophy
1999- Member of the Permanent Appointments Committee, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Louvain Catholic University, Louvain, Belgium
1999- Member of the Committee on ICT, African Studies Centre, Leiden
2000- co-initiator (with Jan Jansen) and member of the Advisory Editorial Board, series African Voices for African History, Brill Publishing House, Leiden, The Netherlands
2002 Executive Editor, Quest — Philosophical Discussions: An International African Journal of Philosophy
2002- Member, theme group on Agency in Africa, African Studies Centre, Leiden

 

RESEARCH

1968-71, 1978 Shrines and ecstasy in the social structure of northwestern Tunisia (fieldwork: March-June 1968, August-September 1970, April 1979, May 2002).
1972- Anthropology and history of the Nkoya of Zambia (fieldwork: February 1972-April 1974; September-November 1977; August 1978; June/July 1989; May and October, 1992; January and June/July, 1994, September/October 1995).
1972- Religion in Zambia, with particular emphasis on organised urban religion and social control, the transformation of autochthonous religious forms, and the relation between politics and religion (fieldwork: February 1972-August 1973)
1980-1991 Head, Department of Political Science and History, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1981- Religion, migration and ethnopsychiatry in Guinea Bissau (fieldwork: December 1981, November 1982, April-August 1983)
1988 The growth of urban society in Francistown, Botswana (fieldwork: November 1988-October 1989; August; September 1990; June/July 1991; April/May and October, 1992; February 1994, March-April 1999; particular emphasis on cultural, medical and religious trans­formations in the context of urbanisation)
1990 The comparative and historical study of protoglobalisation, as exemplified by systems of geomantic divination in Southern Africa, throughout the African continent, and elsewhere in the Old World; 4/5 of the NIAS appointment, 199495, was devoted to this research, the rest to general theoretical and methodological contributions to the NIAS theme group on ‘Religion and Magic in the Ancient Near East’
1993-1999 (with P. Geschiere) initiated and directed (later shared with H.U.B. Thoden van Velzen and P. van der Veer) of the research programme ‘Globalization and the formation of communal identities’, financed by the Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research (WOTRO) (Dfl. 2.5 mill. budget granted 1995)
1994- (with R. Badwy) translation with commentary of: al-Zanati, Sidi al-Shaikh Muhammad, 1995, Treatise on the principles of sand-science: A provisional English translation by Rafat Badwy with the assistance of Wim van Binsbergen, of: Zanati (Muhammad al-), Kitab al-façl al-kabir fi uçul cIlm al-raml. Wa-yalihi: risala fi’l-Jafr wa-Qurca li-Sayyidi Jacfar al-Çadiq.
1994 (with M.R. Doornbos) Identity and power in subSaharan Africa
1994 Traditional medicine in Botswana; M.A. students’ training project in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, Republic of Botswana
1995-1997 (with B. Bierlich, University of Haifa, Israel; and K. Arhin, Legon, Ghana), research on interand intrafamily variation of the nutritional status of children, rural Ghana; a project funded by the Netherlands Israel Research Programme (funding obtained May 1996
1995-1998 initiator and chairperson, monthly staff colloquium, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1996-2002 founder and chairperson, theme group on ‘Globalisation and sociocultural transformations in Africa’ at the African Studies Centre, Leiden
1997 Sub Saharan Africa, Ancient Egypt, and the World: Beyond the Black Athena thesis
1998 The North Atlantic critique of African philosophy as an intercultural challenge
1998 the development of a philosophy of interculturality on the basis of a critical inspiration from cultural anthropology and African Studies
1998 Member of the Programme on the Philosophy of Information and Communication Technology, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam
1998-2001 (with P.L. Geschiere) Commodifiction and globalisation
1999- Cupmarks, prehistoric stellar maps, and mankala board games: Exploring mankind’s oldest attested forms of conceptual representation
2002- Agency in African history: an analysis of non documentary (mythical and iconographical) sources allowing the reconstruction of patterns of agency in precolonial African societies

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

1971-73 University of Zambia, Department of Sociology (later called: Department of Social Development Studies)
1975-76 Department of Cultural Anthropology and Non-western Sociology, University of Leiden
1975- Guest lectures/courses for non-specialist audiences, at the Royal Tropical Institute (Amsterdam), Kontakt der Kontinenten (Soesterberg; an institution offering introductory courses for development workers), the General Curriculum (Studium Generale) of the University of Utrecht and the Technical University of Twenthe, Clingendael (Netherlands Institute for Foreign Affairs), etc.
1975- Guest lectures at various universities in the Nether­lands, United Kingdom, Canada, Federal Republic of Germany, Zambia, Botswana, Belgium on topics related to my ongoing research
1977-78, 1978-79 W.M.J. van Binsbergen & K. de Jonge, inter-university post­graduate regional course on Migration in Africa.
1977- Supervision and external examination of various “doktoraal” (= postgraduate) and doctoral (Ph. D.) theses on anthropology, non-western sociology, history and legal studies of Africa, for the University of Leiden, Municipal Uni­versity of Amsterdam, Free University (Amsterdam), Erasmus University (Rotterdam)
1980- As head of the Department of Political and Historical Studies, and Head of Globalisation Studies, African Studies Centre, Leiden, supervision of numerous members of the research staff (postdocs and Ph.D. candidates)
1979-80 Simon Professor of Anthropology, University of Manchester
1984-87 Co-operation with Stichting Leerplan Ontwikkeling (SLO) and Centrum voor Internationale Vorming (CEVNO), towards the development of a curriculum on African development problems for Dutch secondary education
1986 Visiting Professor of Ethnology, Freie Universität, Berlin (West)
1990- Professor, department of anthropology and development studies, Free University, Amsterdam
1991- Professorial staff, inter-university social-science research school CERES (Centre for Resource Studies)
1992 Visiting Professor of Anthropology, University of Durban-Westville, South Africa
1994- Traditional medicine in Botswana; M.A. students’ training project in co-operation with the Ministry of Health, Republic of Botswana
1994- Professorial staff, social-science research school CNWS (Centre for Non-Western Studies), Leiden University
1998- Professor of Foundations of Intercultural Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam

 

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPERIENCE including conferences

1965-66 Founding member and secretary, Association of Cultural Anthropology and Non-western Sociology Students at the Muni­cipal University of Amsterdam
1966-68 Member of the Committee, subsequently President, of the Netherlands Association of Cultural Anthropology and Non-western Sociology Students (KULA)
1967-68 Convenor and chairperson of a conference on The military in Developing countries, organised by KULA, Nijmegen, 1968.
1971-73 Member of the Committee on Curriculum Development, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zambia
1975-82 Convenor and chairman of the monthly inter-university Africa Seminar, later called Africa Colloquium
1975-76 Member of the Advisory Board, Project Women and Development (VENO), University of Leiden
1976-77 Convenor (with K. de Jonge, H. Meilink and J. van der Klei) of the International Conference on Migration in Africa, held in Leiden, November 1977
1978-79 Convenor (with M. Schoffeleers), International Conference on Recent Religious Research in Africa; An Evaluation, held in Leiden, December 1979.
1979-80 Member of the Founding Committee, Netherlands Association of African Studies (Werkgemeenschap Afrika)
1980-1990 Head, Department of Political Science and History, and Scientific Co-Director, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1981 Convenor (with G. Hesseling) and chairperson, Dutch/Belgian Conference on State and Society in Africa, held in Leiden, December 1981.
1984 Convenor (with G. Hesseling and F. Reijntjens) and chairperson, Dutch/ Belgian Conference on Modern State Penetration in Africa, held in Antwerp, December 1984.
1985-1990 Member of the Board of IMWOO (national policy institute for social-science research in developing countries), The Hague
1986-88 Member of the organising committee (with P. Geschiere and P. Konings), International Conference on the Political Economy of Cameroon, held in Leiden, May 1988.
1986-1989 Member of the Section on Cultural Anthropology and Non-western Sociology, formerly Academic Council (a national body co-ordinating academic policy in these disciplines)
1989 Member of the organising committee, conference on the Kalanga people, organised by the Supa Ngwao Museum, Francistown, in conjunction with the Botswana Society, Gaborone
1990-1993 President, Netherlands Association of African Studies
1990-1995 Member of the Advisory Board of the series ‘Studies in Human Society’, (a series of anthropological publications published by the Centre for Non-Western Studies with Brill, Leiden)
1991 Convenor (with Kees Schilder) and chairperson of a Dutch-Belgian workshop on ethnicity in Africa
1993-1999 (with P. Geschiere) initiator and co-director (a position later shared with H.U.B. Thoden van Velzen en P. van der Veer) of the national research programme ‘Globalization and the construction of communal identities’, financed by the Netherlands Foundation for Tropical Research (WOTRO)
1993 Convenor and chairperson, section ‘State and ethnicity’ (25 papers), International Congress on ‘The anthropology of ethnicity’, University of Amsterdam, December 1993
1996-2002 Chair, Theme group on globalisation and socio-cultural transformations, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1996 Convenor and chairperson (with Rijk van Dijk), conference ‘Black Athena: Africa’s contribution to global systems of knowledge’, African Studies Centre, Leiden, 28 June 1996
1996 Convenor and chairperson, conference ‘Violence in anthropology’, Free University, Department of Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of Development, November 1996
1997- Member of the Management Team, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1997 Convenor (with R. Fardon and R. van Dijk), international conference ‘Globalisation, consumption, and development’, WOTRO/ EIDOS (European Interuniversity Development Opportunities Study-Group)/ Directorate General for International Co-operation, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague/ Leiden, March 13-16, 1997
1998- Chair, Dutch/Flemish Association of Intercultural Philosophy
1998- Chair, Subprogramma on Intercultural Philosophy, Philosophical Faculty, Erasmus University Rotterdam
1999- Member of the Committee on Information and Communication Technology, African Studies Centre, Leiden
1999- Member of the Permanent Appointments Committee, Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Louvain Catholic University, Louvain, Belgium
1999 Convenor (with A. Breedveld and  J. van Santen), international conference ‘Islam and transformation in Africa’, Leiden: African Studies Centre and Institute for the Study of Islam in the Modern World
1999 Convenor (with P.L. Geschiere) international conference ‘Globalisation and identity: The Social Life of Things revisited, Amsterdam: WOTRO/ African Studies Centre / Erasmus University Rotterdam
2000- co-initiator and member of the Advisory Editorial Board, series African Voices for African History, Brill Publishing House, Leiden, The Netherlands
2002 Convenor (with R.A. van Dijk), international conference ‘Globalisation and new questions of ownership’, Leiden: African Studies Centre and Erasmus University Rotterdam
2002 Executive Editor, Quest — Philosophical Discussions: An International African Journal of Philosophy
2003 Convenor (with R.A. van Dijk and Wouter van Beek), international conference ‘Agency in Africa: A new debate, and old issue’, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Theme group on Agency, African Studies Centre, Leiden

 

MEMBERSHIP OF SCHOLARLY AND PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

Dutch-Belgian Association for Intercultural Philosophy (chair)

European Inter-university Development Opportunities Study-group (EIDOS); member of the steering committee

Frobenius Gesellschaft (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Kulturmorphologie)

Kwame Legwane Traditional Association of Botswana (professional association of traditional healers)

Netherlands Association of African Studies (Werkgemeenschap Afrika): founding member 1979, chairman 1990-1993

Netherlands Writers’ Association (‘Vereniging van Letterkundigen’)

Verein für Interkulturelle Philosophie, Germany

list of publications

contact details

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