Andrew Walsh
Department of Anthropology

Western University
 Tiny Chameleon
Andrew Walsh
Office: SSC 3402

(519) 661-2111
Ext. 85092

Fax: (519) 661-2157
Address: Department of Anthropology
University of Western Ontario
London, ON
N6A 5C2


Academic Background
Associate Professor (University of Western Ontario, 2008-Present)
Assistant Professor (University of Western Ontario, 2005-2008)
Assistant Professor (Wilfred Laurier University 2003-2005)
Assistant Professor (Mount Allison University 2001-2003)
PhD (Anthropology, University of Toronto, 1998)
M.A. (Anthropology, University of Toronto, 1992);
B.A. (Anthropology, University of Toronto, 1991)

Research Interests

My current research focuses on the parallel rise and divergent fates of northern Madagascar's sapphire and ecotourist trades.   More specifically, I have been studying how the lives of the Malagasy people involved in these trades are shaped not only by the particular sorts of work required of them, but by the peculiar demands of the foreign consumers served by their work.

I am also currently involved in a collaborative research project involving faculty and students at UWO and the University of Antsiranana (North Madagascar).  For more information, see the Madagascar Field Course page.


Selected Publications

2010       The Commoditization of Fetishes: Telling the Difference between Natural and Synthetic Sapphires.  American Ethnologist, 37(1): 97-113.

2009       The Grift: Getting Burned in the Northern Malagasy Sapphire Trade. In Economics and Morality: Anthropological Approaches, Kate Brown and Lynne Milgram (eds), Altamira Press. Pp. 59-76.

2009       The Obvious Aspects of Ecological Underprivilege in Ankarana, Northern Madagascar.  In World in Motion: The Globalization and the Environment Reader, Gary Kroll and Richard H. Robbins (eds).  Lanham MD: Altamira Press.  Pp. 109-130. 

2007       Ethnographic Alchemy: Perspectives on Anthropological Work from Northern Madagascar.  In Anthropology Put to Work, Les Field and Richard G. Fox, eds.   Oxford: Berg Publishers, pp. 201-216.

2006       “Nobody has a money taboo”: Situating Ethics in a Northern Malagasy Sapphire Mining Town.  Anthropology Today, 22(4): 4-8.

2005       The Obvious Aspects of Ecological Underprivilege in Ankarana, Northern Madagascar.  American Anthropologist, 107(4): 654-665.

2004       In the Wake of Things: Speculating in and about Sapphires in Northern Madagascar.  American Anthropologist, 106(2): 225-237.

2004       Soa’s Version: Ironic Form and Content in the Life Story of a Transnational, Métisse Woman.  Global Networks, 4(3): 259-270.

2003       ‘Hot Money’ and Daring Consumption in a Northern Malagasy Mining Town.  American Ethnologist, 30(2): 290-305.

2002       Saving Souls, Preserving Bodies: Religious Incongruity in a Northern Malagasy Mining Town. Journal of Religion in Africa, 32(3): 366-392.

2002       Responsibility, Taboos and the ‘Freedom to do Otherwise’ in Northern Madagascar. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 8(3): 451-468.

2001       What makes (the) Antankarana, Antankarana: Reckoning Group Identity in Northern Madagascar. Ethnos, 66(1): 27-48.

2001       When Origins Matter: The Politics of Commemoration in Northern Madagascar”, Ethnohistory, 48(1-2): 237-256.

1999       The Imagined Community of the Antankarana: Identity, History and Ritual    in Northern Madagascar.  In Ancestors, Power & History in Madagascar, Karen Middleton, ed.  Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, pp. 145-174. (With Michael Lambek). 

1997       The Imagined Community of the Antankarana: Identity, History and Ritual in Northern Madagascar. Journal of Religion in Africa, XXVII (3): 308-333. (Co-authored with Michael Lambek)


Public Anthropology:

Smithsonian Institute Exhibit on Malagasy Textiles: