Charles D. Piot

Charles D. Piot

Professor of African and African American Studies

External Address: 
210 Friedl Building, Durham, NC 27708
Internal Office Address: 
Box 90091, Department of Cultural Anthropology, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 681-3264


Charlie Piot, Peter Lange Faculty Director of DukeEngage and Professor of Cultural Anthropology & 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 biopolitical, reorganizing social and political life in the absence of the state.  His most recent book, The Fixer: Visa Lottery Chronicles (2019), is about Togolese who apply for and attempt to game the US Diversity Visa Lottery.  He has begun research focusing on the return of Togolese from the diaspora to West Africa.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Virginia 1986

  • M.A., University of Virginia 1982

  • B.A., Princeton University 1973

Piot, C. “Wealth production, ritual consumption, and center/periphery relations in a West African regional system.” American Ethnologist, vol. 19, no. 1, Feb. 1992, pp. 34–52. Manual, doi:10.1525/ae.1992.19.1.02a00030. Full Text

Piot, C. “Of Persons and Things: Some Reflections on African Spheres of Exchange.” Man, vol. 26, no. 3, Sept. 1991, pp. 405–24. Manual, doi:10.2307/2803875. Full Text

Tambiah, Stanley. “"Comment" on "Bridewealth and Dowry Revisited: The position of Women in Sub-Saharan Africa and North India".” Current Anthropology, vol. 30, 1989, pp. 430–31.

Piot, C. “Fathers and Sons: Domestic Production, Conflict and Social Forms Among the Kabre.” Research in Economic Anthropology, vol. 10, 1988, pp. 269–85.

Geentz, Clifford. “Local Knowledge: Further Essays in Interpretive Anthropology.” Journal of Speech Quarterly, vol. 71, 1985, pp. 390–92.