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Harri Englund is a Professor in Social Anthropology. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Southern and East Africa, primarily in Malawi but also in Mozambique and Zambia. His research interests range from the anthropology of law, human rights and morality to the study of religion and popular culture. His initial fieldwork was among refugees who had fled Mozambique's civil war. He became interested in the impact of large-scale political and economic developments on the relationships and livelihoods of African peasants. This interest has involved further work on the political culture of emerging democracies, the relation between urbanisation and rural poverty, and the appeal of charismatic Christianity among the urban poor.
Political and moral thought in African languages continues to be an enduring interest. To this end, recent projects have addressed questions of 'free speech' in popular broadcast and print media in Malawi and Zambia as well as in Finland. His most recent research has explored the linguistic, humanitarian and spiritual work of Scottish missionaries in 19th-century Malawi.