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Daria Trentini

Daria TrentiniAssociate Professor of Anthropology
Office Location: 132 Howard Hall

I am an Associate Professor of Anthropology at Drake, where I teach classes on cultural anthropology, medical anthropology, anthropology of religion, and global political violence (among other courses).

My PhD in anthropology is from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, with a dissertation on traditional healers in Mozambique.

After obtaining my PhD, I moved to South Africa, where I served as a Mellon postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.

With areas of focus in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Western Indian Ocean, my research interests are in African healing, spirit possession, anthropology of Islam, political anthropology, anthropological theory, and ethnographic writing.  I have conducted extensive fieldwork in the city of Nampula, the third largest city in Mozambique. Based on this research I have published on spirit possession, Islam, matriliny, traditional medicine and children.

Main publications:


"At Ansha’s: Life in the Spirit Mosque of a Healer in Mozambique (Medical Anthropology Series, Rutgers University Press, 2021) 


“I Am a Man of Both Sides: Female Power and Islam in the Life and Work of a Spirit Healer in Northern Mozambique." International Feminist Journal of Politics 23/2 (2021): 198–220.

“Muslims of the Mosque, Muslim of the Spirits: Competing Ideas of Being Muslim in Northern Mozambique.” Special issue edited by Dorothea Schulz and Tea Virtanen. “Performances of Belonging, Difference and Exclusion in Muslim Africa.” Journal for Islamic Studies 35 (2016): 70–106.

“The Night War of Nampula: Vulnerable Children, Social Change, and Spiritual Insecurity in Northern Mozambique.” Africa, the Journal of the International Institute 86/3 (2016): 528–551.




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