Thematic: Zulu, epidemics and social change, Southern African religious movements, symbolic and medical anthropology, theories of race.
Regional: South Africa, Kwazulu-Natal, Africa
Flikke's dr. polit project was entitled "Curing the Ills of History: From Colonial Public Health to Hygiene and Healing in Contemporary South African Independent Churches." The project traces the history of epidemics, changes in biomedical discourses on health, hygiene, and contagion. He argues that the notion of race, which emerged through these discourses, was foundational for the development of segregationist policies. A central aspect of this approach is that the study accentuates how segregation and apartheid was embedded in a dialogue between liberal values and medical sciences faced with epidemic threats, existential insecurity, and risk assessment. This background provides the foundation to a reassessment of previous studies of Zulu Zionist healing rituals.
Flikke presently works on a project in Malawi.