David Parkin

DAVID PARKIN is a senior research partner of the MPI. He was a founding member of the working group Medical Diversity in his capacity as a visiting research professor in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity from 2010-2011. He is also Emeritus Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, UK, having earlier spent many years at the School of Oriental and African Studies, where he is an Honorary Fellow.  He studies Islam and healing systems among Swahili-speaking Muslims and other Bantu-speaking non-Muslims in coastal eastern Africa, including Zanzibar. His past interests include research on urbanism and on Luo-speakers in Uganda and Kenya, and entrepreneurship and religion among the Giriama of Kenya. He has a general interest in cross-cultural semantics and language use. These interests are brought together in his present work at the MPI on medical and sociolinguistic diversity. He has published various books and articles on these topics.


Publications include

(1999) Suffer many healers. Conclusion to J.Hinnells and R. Porter (eds.) Religion, Health and Suffering. Kegan Paul. London.

(2005) The commercialisation of biomedicine and the politics of flight in Zanzibar.. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.  

(2007) In touch without touching: Islam and healing. In R. Littlewood (ed.). On knowing and not knowing in the anthropology of medicine. Left Coast Press. Walnut Creek. CA. pp. 194 - 219.

(2007) Wafting on the wind: smell and the cycle of spirit and matter. In a special issue of the Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Edited by Elisabeth Hsu and Chris Low.