Keith Hart (anthropologist) Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Hart_(anthropologist)

Keith Hart (born 1943 in Manchester, England) is international director of the Human Economy Programme at the University of Pretoria and lives in Paris with his family. His main research has been on economic anthropology, Africa and the African diaspora. He has taught at numerous universities (including East Anglia, Manchester, Yale and the Chicago), most significantly at Cambridge where he was director of the African Studies Centre. He has contributed the concept of the informal economy to development studies and has published widely on economic anthropology. He is the author of The Memory Bank (aka Money in an Unequal World). One personal obsession has been the relationship between movement and identity in the transition from national to world society. But his written work focuses on the apparent impasse between the national limits of politics and the fact that the economy is now global.

Early life and education[edit]

Hart was born in Manchester in 1943, was a scholarship boy at Manchester Grammar School and a student at Cambridge University. He started as classicist, but switched from that to the anthropology of religion, and then study for his Cambridge, PhD migrant politics in Ghana.[1][2]

Prickly Pear Pamphlets[edit]

In 1993, Keith Hart and Anna Grimshaw started a small press called Prickly Pear. Together, they published a series of ten pamphlets by a range of authors – young, old, unknown, and famous – on a range of topics in anthropology, the history of science, and ethnographic film. "We emulate the passionate amateurs of history who circulated new and radical ideas to as wide an audience as possible," they said. "And we hope in the process to reinvent anthropology as a means of engaging with society." In 1998, Matthew Engelke and Mark Harris took over the press, expanding its operations in the world market and adding a few titles to its list. In 2001, Prickly Paradigm established itself as a new incarnation of Prickly Pear, edited by Matthew Engelke, with Marshall Sahlins as publisher. In 2004, Justin Shaffner scanned the original Prickly Pear pamphlets into a PDF format and made them freely available for distribution on the Internet on Keith Hart's website, The Memory Bank.

The Memory Bank[edit]

The Memory Bank is Keith Hart's digital archive and blog, which was created in 2000 to help publicize his book by the same name.[3] The site includes a near final version of the book, short academic articles written and published in the last decade, and forays into journalism, stories, poetry, and film reviews.

Open Anthropology Cooperative[edit]

Open Anthropology Cooperative is a social networking site for anthropologists founded by Keith Hart in June 2009 on the Ning. There are currently over 7,500 members from distinguished members of the discipline to postgraduates, undergraduates and amateur anthropologists. The establishment of this website has been especially helpful for the development of alternative anthropology.

Principal publications[edit]

Books include[edit]

  • The Political Economy of West African Agriculture (1982)
  • The Memory Bank: Money in an Unequal World (2000)
  • The Hit Man’s Dilemma: Or Business, Personal and Impersonal (2005)
  • Market and Society: The Great Transformation Today (edited with Chris Hann) (2009)
  • The Human Economy: A Citizen's Guide (edited with Jean-Louis Laville and Antonio David Cattani) (2010)
  • Economic Anthropology: History, Ethnography, Critique (with Chris Hann) (2011)
  • People, Money and Power in the Economic Crisis: Perspectives from the Global South (edited with John Sharp) (2014)
  • Economy For and Against Democracy (editor) (2015)
  • Money in a Human Economy (editor) (2017)

Articles include[edit]

  • Migration and tribal identity among the Frafras of Ghana, Journal of Asian and African Studies, 6 (1971), 21–36.
  • Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana, Journal of Modern African Studies, 11 (1973), 61–89.
  • On commoditization, in E. N. Goody (ed.), From Craft to Industry: The Ethnography of Proto-Industrial Cloth Production (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1982), pp. 38–49.
  • The contribution of Marxism to economic anthropology, in S. Ortiz (ed.), Economic Anthropology: Topics and Theories (Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1983), pp. 105–144.
  • Heads or tails? Two sides of the coin, Man, NS 21 (1986) 637–656.
  • Kinship, contract and trust: the economic organisation of migrants in an African city slum, in D. Gambetta (ed.), Trust: Making and Breaking Cooperative Relations (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988), pp. 176–193.
  • Industrial labour in India: the view from nineteenth century Lancashire, Critique of Anthropology, 20 (2000), 439–446.
  • World society as an old regime, in C. Shore and S. Nugent (eds), Elite Cultures: Anthropological Approaches (London: Routledge, 2002), pp. 22–36.
  • Reflections on a visit to New York, Anthropology Today, 16:4 (2002), 1–3.
  • Manchester on my mind: a memoir, Global Networks, 3 (2003), 417–436.
  • Notes towards an anthropology of the internet, Horizontes Antropologicos, 10:21 (2004), 15–40.
  • Money: one anthropologist's view, in J. G. Carrier (ed) A Handbook of Economic Anthropology (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2005), pp. 160–175.
  • The London bombings: a crisis for multiculturalism?, Anthropology Today, 21:5 (2001), 1–2.
  • Agrarian civilization and world society, in D. R. Olson and M. Cole (eds), Technology, Literacy and the Evolution of Society: Implications of the work of Jack Goody (Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2006), pp. 29–48.
  • Bureaucratic form and the informal economy, in B. Guha-Khasnobis, R. Kanbur and E. Ostrom (eds), Linking the Formal and Informal Economies: Concepts and Policies (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 21–35.
  • Richesse commune: construire une démocratie économique à l’aide des monnaies communautaires, in Jérôme Blanc (ed.), Exclusion et liens financiers. Monnaies sociales. Rapport 2005–2006 (Paris: Editions Economica, 2006), pp. 135–152.
  • Marcel Mauss: in pursuit of the whole, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 49 (2007), 473–485.
  • Money is always personal and impersonal, Anthropology Today, 23:5 (2007), 12–16.
  • Interview: Keith Hart answers eleven questions about economic anthropology, Economic Sociology: The European Electronic Newsletter, 9:1 (2007), 11–16.
  • The human economy, ASAonline, 1 (2008), 1–12.
  • (with H. Ortiz) Anthropology in the financial crisis, Anthropology Today, 24:6 (2008), 1–3.
  • The persuasive power of money, in S. Gudeman (ed.), Economic Persuasions (Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2009), pp. 136–158.
  • Money in the making of world society, in C. Hann and K. Hart (eds), Market and Society: The Great Transformation Today (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 91–105.
  • An anthropologist in the world revolution, Anthropology Today, 25:6 (2009), 24–25.
  • Mauss et sa vision de l’economie dans les annees 1920–1925, Revue du MAUSS, 36 (2010), 34–50.
  • Kant, ‘anthropology’ and the new human universal, Social Anthropology, 18 (2010), 441–447.
  • The financial crisis and the end of all-purpose money, Economic Sociology: The European Electronic Newsletter, 12:2 (2011), 4–10.
  • Jack Goody: the anthropology of unequal society, Reviews in Anthropology, 43 (2014), 199–220.
  • The rise and fall of Europe, Economic and Political Weekly, 49:34 (2014), 27–30.
  • (with H. Ortiz) The anthropology of money and finance: between ethnography and world history, Annual Review of Anthropology, 43 (2014), 465–482.
  • How the informal economy took over the world, in P. Mörtenböck, H. Mooshammer, T. Cruz and F. Forman (eds) Informal Market Worlds Reader: The Architecture of Economic Pressure (Amsterdam: NAI010 Publishers, 2015), pp. 33–44.
  • Money in the making of world society, in G. Lovink, N. Tkacz and P. de Vries (eds) Moneylab Reader: An Intervention in Digital Economy (Amsterdam: Institute for Network Cultures, 2015), pp. 19–31.


  1. ^ "A betting man's reflections on money – the Memory Bank".
  2. ^ Hart, K. (2000). The memory bank: Money in an unequal world. London: Profile.
  3. ^ "The Memory Bank – A New Commonwealth – Ver 5.0".

External links[edit]