Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs

"In many ways, people’s interpretations of HIV and their responses to the disease provide a window onto processes of social change more generally."

Anthropology chair receives prestigious award for recent book

October 2nd, 2015

Daniel J. Smith's latest book, AIDS Doesn’t Show Its Face: Inequality, Morality, and Social Change in Nigeria, has received the Elliott P Skinner Book Award of the Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA).

The book, which the AfAA calls "compelling," analyzes popular responses to the AIDS epidemic as a prism to understand wider phenomena.

“The AIDS epidemic has spawned a huge amount of research and writing about Africa," Smith explains, "but much of it treats Africans and African ‘culture’ in particular as something to understand simply to explain the disease and to try to address it. I wanted to write a book that would reverse this optic and see what AIDS can teach us about Africa. In many ways, people’s interpretations of HIV and their responses to the disease provide a window onto processes of social change more generally.”

Smith is chair of the Department of Anthropology, Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence, and a Watson faculty fellow.