Charles D. Piot

Charles D. Piot

Professor in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies

External address: 
205 Ernestine Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Department Of Cultural Anthropology, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 681-3264


Charlie Piot, Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies, does research on the political economy and history of rural West Africa. His first book, Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa (1999), attempted to re-theorize a classic out-of-the-way place as within the modern and global. His next book, Nostalgia for the Future: West Africa after the Cold War (2010), explored shifts in Togolese political culture during the 1990s, a time when the NGOs and charismatic churches took over the bio-political, reorganizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  A forthcoming book (2019), The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles, is on Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa Lottery.  He has begun research on a project focusing on the return of Togolese in the diaspora to West Africa. 

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Virginia 1986

  • M.A., University of Virginia 1982

  • B.A., Princeton University 1973

Selected Grants

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Securing Youth: Humanitarian Futures in Post-Conflict Uganda awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2018 to 2019

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Piety in Progress: Video Filmmaking and Religious Encounter in Benin awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2014 to 2016

Doctoral Dissertation Research: Producing Urban Futures in Post-Genocide Kigali awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2013 to 2015

Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant: Raiding Sovereignty in Central Africa awarded by National Science Foundation (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2011

Piot, C. Nostalgia For the Future: West Africa After the Cold War. University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Piot, C. Remotely Global: Village Modernity in West Africa. University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Piot, C. "Pentecostal and Development Imaginaries in West Africa." Pentecostalism and Development: Churches, NGOs and Social Change in Africa. Ed. D Freeman. Palgrave-Macmillan, 2012.

Piot, C. "Border Practices." Hard Work, Hard Times: Ethnographies of Volatility and African Being-in-the-World. Ed. B Buggenhagen, S Jackson, and A-M Makhulu. University of California Press, 2010.

Piot, C, and Amselle, JL. "Ethnicity: Western Africa." New Encyclopedia of Africa. 2007. 342-344.

Piot, C. "Representing Africa in the Kasinga Asylum Case." Female Circumcision: Multicultural Perspectives. Ed. R Abusharaf. University of Pennsylvania Press, 2006.

Piot, C. "Togolese Cartographies: Re-mapping Space in a post-Cold War City." Crisis and Creativity: Exploring the Wealth of the African Neighborhood. Ed. P Konings and D Foeken. Leiden: Brill Press, 2006.

Piot, C. "Fractal Figurations: Homologies and Hierarchies inKabre Culture." On the Order of ’Chaos’: Social Anthropology and the Science of Chaos. Ed. M Mosko and F Damon. Blackwell, 2005.

Allison, A, Boyer, D, and Piot, C. "Financing Open Access: Introducing Friends of Cultural Anthropology." Cultural Anthropology 31.2 (May 9, 2016): 159-161. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editing the times." Cultural Anthropology 30.4 (January 1, 2015): 525-530. Full Text

"Editors' note on "neoliberal futures"." Cultural Anthropology 29.1 (February 1, 2014): 3-7. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' farewell." Cultural Anthropology 29.4 (January 1, 2014): 599-601. Full Text

Harms, E, Hussain, S, Newell, S, Piot, C, Schein, L, Shneiderman, S, Turner, TS, and Zhang, J. "Remote and edgy: New takes on old anthropological themes." Hau: Journal of Ethnographic Theory 4.1 (January 1, 2014): 361-381. (Review) Full Text

Alison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' introduction: Open access." Cultural Anthropology 29.2 (January 1, 2014): 201-202. Full Text

ALLISON, ANNE, and PIOT, CHARLES. "EDITORS' NOTE." Cultural Anthropology 28.3 (August 2013): 369-371. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' Note." Cultural Anthropology 27.2 (May 1, 2012): 191-192. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' notes." Cultural Anthropology 27.1 (February 1, 2012): 1-2. Full Text

Allison, A, and Piot, C. "Editors' statement." Cultural Anthropology 26.4 (November 1, 2011): 511-513. Full Text