Book cover. Illustration: Berghahn Publishing
Book cover. Illustration: Berghahn Publishing

Welcome to the launch of the new book covering the works of Norwegian anthropologist Axel Sommerfelt.

Axel Sommerfelt has been an important influence on Norwegian and Scandinavian anthropology, but his contributions are almost unknown. This book brings together some of his critical writings, newly written articles and an interview which positions him in the history of ‘North Sea’ social anthropology and shows his continued relevance.

An Africanist, Sommerfelt did fieldwork in Ruwenzori (Uganda and Belgian Congo), but also wrote about the Tallensi (Ghana) and worked for years in Salisbury (Harare) before being evicted by Ian Smith's racist regime in 1966. His contributions to political anthropology, methodology and legal anthropology have a lasting value.

The book, published on Berghahn Books in March 2024, has been edited by Marek Jakoubek, Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Tone Sommerfelt. An afterword by Adam Kuper discusses Axel’s work in the context of the political processes that played out during the decolonisation years. More information available on the Berghahn website.

The event is jointly organised by PRIO, Department of Social Anthropology (UiO) and The Museum of Cultural History.

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