SOAS University of London

Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Joe Trapido

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Publications


Joe Trapido
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Visiting Lecturer in Anthropology

Dr Joe Trapido
Email address:
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG
Russell Square: College Buildings
Office No:
Office Hours:
Tuesdays 11.10-13.10


In regional terms I am interested in the DRCongo and in Congolese migrants, and I have done fieldwork in Kinshasa and among the Congolese diaspora in Europe and South Africa. I recently published a monograph entitled Breaking Rocks: Music, Ideology and Economic Collapse, from Paris to Kinshasa. I am currently writing  a book about city politics in Kinshasa. In theoretical terms I am interested in approaches to anthropology that bring together aesthetic and political economic ideas.



2017. Breaking Rocks, Music, Ideology and Economic Collapse. Oxford: Berghahn.


2016. ‘Potlatch and the articulation of modes of production: revisiting French Marxist Anthropology and the history of central Africa’, Dialectical Anthropology, 40: 199–220.

2016. ‘Kinshasa’s Theatre of Power’, New Left Review, 98: 57-80. (Also published as: 2016. ‘El Teatro del Poder en Kinsasa’ New Left Review, 98.)

2015. ‘Africa’s Leaky Giant’, New Left Review, 92: 5-40. (Also published as: 2015. ‘El Gigante Desbordado de África’, New Left Review, 92: 7-45.)

2015. With Saint-Jose Inaka. ‘Congo-Gauteng; Congolese migration to South Africa’ in (eds.) Keith Hart and John Sharp. The Human Economy; perspectives from the South. Oxford: Berghahn, pp 151-173.

2013. ‘Forms of fetishism in Kinshasa; historical insights and contemporary practices.’ In (eds.) Nico Tassi, Diana Espirito-Santo, Making Spirits: Materiality of Religious Things. London: I.B. Taurus, pp 205-229.

2011. ‘The Political Economy of Migration and Reputation in Kinshasa.’ Africa: Journal of the International African Institute, 81(2): 204-225.

2010. ‘Love and Money in Kinois Popular Music.’ Journal of African Cultural Studies, 22 (2):121-144.

Blog Pieces

2016. ‘Music and Infertility in the Nervous State’, Somatosphere Book Forum, –– Nancy Rose Hunt’s A Nervous State: Violence, Remedies, and Reverie in Colonial Congo.

2016. ‘Epochs and continents: Potlatch, articulation, and violence in the Congo.’ FocaalBlog, 5 January.

2015. With Dr Patrick Neveling, ‘Modes of production: Try again, fail better?’ FocaalBlog. 10 November.

2015. ‘Elections, politics, and power in central and southern Africa,’ FocaalBlog, 2 September.

2015. ‘Music, ritual and capitalism in west central African history’, FocaalBlog, April 15.


2016. With Alex Morris. Rear Window: Rumba in Kinshasa - Politics and music in the Congo.

A short documentary film about Congolese music and politics, screened on Telesur, as part of their arts slot ‘rear window’. It can also be found at (



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Trapido, Joe (2015) 'Africa's Leaky Giant'. New Left Review, (92), pp 5-40.

Trapido, Joe (2011) 'The political economy of migration and reputation in Kinshasa'. Africa, (81) 2, pp 204-225.

Book Chapters

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Trapido, Joe (2013) 'Forms of fetishism in Kinshasa: historical insights and contemporary practices'. Making Spirits: materiality and transcendance in contemporary religion.. London: I.B. Tauris.


Jump to: Articles | Book Chapters | Others |

Neveling, Patrick and Trapido, Joe (2015) 'Modes of production : Try Again, Fail Better?' FocaalBlog.


This list was last generated on Monday, 23rd April 2018, 22:02 Europe/London.