Wouter van Beek

Wouter van BeekCameroon has been a place of study since Wouter's PhD work, especially the far North. The ethnography of the Mandara Mountains, in particular the Kapsiki/Higi, forms a permanent element in his work in Cameroon. In Mali the Dogon of Central Mali form the first focus of his research: their relations within and beyond Mali and their reception of tourists.

From 1996 onwards, through a UNITWIN connection with the Universities of Windhoek and Western Cape, he became increasingly involved with Southern Africa, first with Namibia, now with South Africa. Participation in the SANPAD program, the academic cooperation between the Netherlands and South Africa, resulted in tutoring South African PhD candidates, and in two SANPAD projects, one on witchcraft accusations and a recent one on Holy Places in South Africa, together with Tilburg University. 

Wouter's main thematic interests are religion, cultural ecology and tourism, and these themes form his anchor within the 'Connections and Transformations in Africa' programme, providing both the theoretical and comparative framework for the empirical studies. He has the chair of Anthropology of Religion (part time) at the University of Tilburg, teaches religious anthropology as part of the BA course in Religious Science and lectures in the honours program of Tilburg University as well as in the new Liberal Arts program.

Keywords: Kapsiki-Higi, Dogon, folk tales, oral history, religion, anthropology of religion, tourism, cultural ecology, witchcraft, holy places.