Laurence Douny


Laurence Douny, chercheure invitée, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science

Laurence Douny is an Anthropologist and Africanist. In 2007, she earned her PhD from University College London (UCL) with a field-research based dissertation on the ecology of the Dogon cosmological landscape, funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research. Her work was published as a monograph entitled Living in a Landscape of Scarcity: Materiality and Cosmology in West Africa (2014) by Routledge (Left Coast Press). Since then she has been a Leverhulme Postdoctoral Fellow at UCL, working in collaboration with The British Museum on West African wild silk textiles, and a research associate at the Laboratoire Anthropologique des Mondes Contemporains at the Free University of Brussels (ULB) where she studied the making of indigenous heritage landscapes in relation to local histories of slave trades. Her current research project deals with the social and historical aspects of the formation of an indigenous science of materials around West African silk. At the MPIWG she is a member of The Body of Animals Working Group in Department III. She has been Guest Editor of the Journal of Material Culture and Techniques & Culture, and is currently working on her next book manuscript: Elusive Materials: the Hidden Silk Road of West Africa.

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