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Loyola University Chicago

Department of Anthropology

Noah Butler


Department of Anthropology
Loyola University Chicago
Lake Shore Campus, BVM Tower 707
1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL   60660
Office Phone: 773.508.3517

Noah Butler (PhD Northwestern, Dec. 2012) is a Sociocultural Anthropologist and Africanist. He specializes in Economic Anthropology, Religion (Islam), and the Anthropology of Knowledge. His work, based in Niger, examines spiritual hierarchy in Sufism, leaders and followers, and money and gifts. He has received fellowships from various sources, including the National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in conjunction with the American Council of Learned Societies. Newer ethnographic film is a recent obsession, older West African music a renewed interest, and the history of colonial American brewing a continued hobby. 


Articles and Book Chapters

2012    Collapsed pluralities: Islamic education, learning, and creativity in Niger. In Writing Boards and Black Boards: Islamic Education in Africa (Launay, ed.). Bloomington: Indiana University Press. (Forthcoming).

2010    Ritual exchange and the fourth obligation: Ancient Maya food offerings in caves and the flexible materiality of ritual (co-author with Chris Morehart). The Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute (incorporating Man) 16(3): 588-608.

2006a  Costs of knowledge: Some economic underpinnings of spiritual relations in Islam in Niger. Research in Economic Anthropology 24:309-328.

2006b  The materialization of magic: Islamic talisman in West Africa. In Studies in Witchcraft, Magic, War and Peace in Africa: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. (Nicolini, ed.). Lewiston, NY: E. Mellen. pp. 263-276.

Other Selected Publications

2010    Cheikh Hamidou Kane. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of African Thought (Irele and Jeyifo, eds.). New York: Oxford University Press.

2008    The Sahel; Niger; Whaling. In The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern World (Stearns, ed). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

2005    The back-to-Africa movement. A Historical Companion to Postcolonial Thought in English (Poddar and Johnson, eds.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.


Department of Anthropology
1032 West Sheridan Road · Chicago, Illinois 60660
Tel: (773) 508-3485 · Fax: (773) 508-3295

Notice of Non-discriminatory Policy