Birgit Meyer

VU University Amsterdam
De Boelelaan 1081c, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
+353 01 234 2442
Alternative Telephone: 
+31 (0)205986704

        Birgit Meyer is professor of Cultural Anthropology at the department of social and cultural anthropology at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. Her publications include Translating the Devil. Religion and Modernity Among the Ewe in Ghana (Edinburgh University Press, 1999), Globalization and Identity. Dialectics of Flow and Closure (edited with Peter Geschiere, Oxford: Blackwell, 1999), Magic and Modernity. Interfaces of Revelation and Concealment (edited with Peter Pels, Stanford University Press, 2003), Religion, Media and the Public Sphere (edited with Annelies Moors, Indiana University Press), and Aesthetic Formations. Media, Religion and the Senses (Palgrave Macmillan, 2009). She is vice-chair of the International African Institute (London), a member of the Royal Dutch Academy of Arts and Sciences, co-founder of the VU Institute for the Study of religion, Culture and Society (VISOR) and one of the editors of Material Religion. In the academic year 2010-2011 she is a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Berlin.


Research Interests: 

She has conducted research on missions and local appropriations of Christianity, Pentecostalism, popular culture and video-films in Ghana, and cultural heritage and identity. Her current work focuses the interface of religion and media, and the role of Christian imagery in the constriction of identities.



2010                Aesthetics of Persuasion. Global Christianity and Pentecostalism’s Sensational Forms. South Atlantic Quarterly, Special Issue on Global Christianity, Global Critique, 9/2010: 741-763.


2010                The Origin and Mission of Material Religion. With David Morgan, Crispin Paine, S. Brent Plate. Religion XXX: 1-5.


2010                ‘Tradition and colour at its best.’ ‘Tradition’ and ‘Heritage’ in Ghanaian Video-movies. Journal of African Cultural Studies. Special issue on African Screen Media. 22 (1): 7-23.


2010                “There is a Spirit in that Image.” Mass Produced Jesus Pictures and Protestant

Pentecostal Animation in Ghana. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 52 (1): 100-130.


2009                Aesthetic Formations. Media, Religion and the Senses. (Edited volume based on Pionier research program.) New York: Palgrave.


2008                Powerful Pictures. Popular Protestant Aesthetics in Southern Ghana. Journal of the American Academy of Religion 76 (1): 82-110.


2008                Readings in Modernity in Africa. (Edited together with Peter Geschiere & Peter Pels.) Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press on behalf of the IAI; Bloomington: Indiana University Press.


2006                Religion, Media and the Public Sphere. (Edited together with Annelies Moors.)   Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.


2006                Religious Revelation, Secrecy and the Limits of Visual Representation. Anthropological Theory 6 (3): 431-453.


2005                Religious Remediations. Pentecostal Views in Ghanaian Video-Movies. Postscripts 1 (2/3): 155-181.


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