John M. Janzen, PhD

Professor Emeritus
Department of Anthropology
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS, USA



• PhD, University of Chicago, Anthropology, (1967)
• MA, University of Chicago, Anthropology, (1964)
• Certificate in African Studies, University of Paris (Sorbonne), (1963)
• BA, Bethel College, North Newton, KS. Social Science & Philosophy, (1961)


• Visiting Professor, Gulu University, Uganda. MA Program in Medical Anthropology. (Nov, 2014)
• University of Kansas, Assoc. Prof., 1972-1975; Professor, 1977-2014; Emeritus Professor, (2014-Present)
• Visiting Professor, Medical University of Vienna, Austria, (Spring 2004)
• Visiting Lecturer, Harvard University, Central for Population & Development, (March, 2004)
• University of Cape Town, Visiting Professor, (1982)
• American Univ. Cairo, Visit. Distinguish. Prof, (Jan., 1983)
• McGill University, Asst Prof., (1969-1972)
• Bethel College, Asst Professor, 1967-1968; Visiting Prof, (1976)

Research Interest

His research interests include: Social anthropology, Medical anthropology, Semiotics, Trauma and healing.

Scientific Activities


• (1969) Social Science Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellowship, Kongo therapeutics
• (1978) Wellcome Medal and Award, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, for anthropological research and publication pertaining to medical issues-Quest for Therapy
• (1979) Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, Western Equatorial African historic Lemba cult, traces in Western European museums
• (1982-1983) Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship, Zaire, Swaziland, Tanzania, ngoma healing
• (1985-2014) Numerous PhD student fellowships from Fulbright, NIH, NSF, and SSRC to sponsor dissertation research on health and healing in Africa and elsewhere
• (2000-2013) Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center grant for African Studies Center, University of Kansas
• (2003) Balfour Jeffreys Social Sciences & Humanities Research Achievement Award, University of Kansas
• (2004) Visiting Lecturer: Harvard University & Medizinische Universitaet Vienna
• (2006-2010) US Dept. of Education NRC Grant for Kansas African Studies Center
• (2006-2010) US Dept. of Education Foreign Language & Area Study
• (2012) Byron Alexander Award for Excellence in Graduate Advising. College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Kansas
• (2014) Visiting Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. Halle, Germany



1. Janzen JM, MacGaffey W. Anthology of Kongo Religion: Primary Texts from Lower Zaire. Anthropology. KU Publ. Lawrence. 1974; 163.
2. Janzen JM, Arkinstall W. The Quest for Therapy in Lower Zaire. Berkeley & London. University of California Press, Paperback edition, 1982: 267.
3. Janzen JM, Feierman S. The Social History of Disease and Medicine in Africa. Special Issue: Social Science and Medicine. 1979; 13B: 268.
4. Janzen JM. The Development of Health. Mennonite Central Committee. Development Monograph. Akron, Pa. 1980; 32.
5. Prins G, Janzen JM. Causality and Classification in African Medicine and Health. Special Issue: Social Science and Medicine. 1981; 15B(3).
6. Janzen JM. Lemba (1650-1930): A Drum of Affliction in Africa and the new World. New York, Garland Publ. 1982; 383.
7. Janzen R, Janzen JM. Mennonite Furniture: A Migrant Tradition 1766-1910. Intercourse, PA: Good Books. 1991: 231.
8. Feierman S, Janzen JM. The Social Basis of Health and Healing in Africa, ed. with Steve Feierman, University of California Press. 1992.
9. Janzen JM. Ngoma: Discourses of Healing in Central and Southern Africa. University of California Press. 1992.
10. Janzen JM. Quest of Healing in Lower Zaire. Paris: Karthala. 1995.
11. Rempel-Smucker D, Janzen JM. The Architecture of Anabaptist-Mennonite Spaces and Places of Meeting and Worship. Proceedings of an International Conference October 16-18, 1997, Harleysville PA. Special Issue of Mennonite Quarterly Review, 1999.
12. Janzen R, Janzen JM. Do I still have a life? Voices from the aftermath of war in Rwanda and Burundi, 1994-1995. KU Monographs. Anthropology. 2000: 234.
13. Janzen JM. The Social Fabric of Health: An Introduction to Anthropology. New York: McGraw-Hill; companion Manual & Test Bank. 2001.
14. Janzen JM. Global Anthropology in the U.S. Heartland. Editor. Special issue, Viennese Ethnomedicine Newsletter. 2008.
15. Janzen JM. A Carved Loango Tusk: Local Images and Global Connections. Anthropology. KU Monographs. 2009.
16. Rhine K, Janzen JM, Adams J. Anthropology in Global Africa. Heather Aldersey. KU Monographs in Anthropology. 2014.
17. Janzen JM. Representations, Ritual, and Social Renewal: Essays in Africanist Medica. Anthropology. KU Scholar works. 2014.


1. Janzen JM. Towards a phenomenology of healing in Central Africa Congolese Studies. 1969; 12(2): 97-115.
2. Janzen JM. The Politics of Apoliticality: Form and Process in a Lower Congo Regional Council. African Studies Cahiers. 1969; 9(4): 570-599.
3. Janzen JM. The Cooperative in Lower Congo Economic Development. The Anthropology of Development in Sub-Saharan Africa. In: Brokensha D, Pearsall M, ed. Soc. Appl. Anthro. Monogr. 1969; 10: 70-76.
4. Janzen JM. The Etiquette of Charity. The Mennonite, 27: 456-459; 1970; 28: 472-475.
5. Janzen JM. Kongo Religious Renewal: Iconoclastic and Iconorthostic. Canadian J. of African Studies. 1971; 5: 135-143. doi: 10.2307/483985
6. Janzen JM. Lamans Kongo Ethnography: Observations on Sources, Methods, and Theories, Africa, 1972; 422: 316-328. doi: 10.2307/1158499
7. Janzen JM. The Confrontation of Church and State in Zaire: Alternative Structures and the Problem of Legitimation. The West Africa: Development and Society, Montreal, U. of M. Centre Int. Criminology compare. 1972; 181-206.
8. Janzen JM, MacGaffey W. Nkisi Figures of the Bakongo and Rejoinder on Nkisi African Arts. 1974.
9. Janzen JM. The Dynamics of Therapy in Lower Zaire. Psychological Anthropology. In: Williams TR, ed. The Hague, Mouton. 1975; 441-463.
10. Janzen JM. Pluralistic Legitimation of Therapy Systems in Zaire, Rural Africana. 1975; 26: 105-122.
11. Janzen R, Janzen JM. The Pende Masks in Kauffman Museum. African Arts. 1975; 8(4): 44-47.
12. Janzen JM. The Tradition of Renewal in Kongo Religion. In: Booth N, ed. African Religions: A Symposium. New York, London, Lagos: Nok Publications. 1977; 69-114.
13. Janzen JM. The Comparative Study of Medical Systems as Changing Social Systems. Social Science & Medicine. 1978; 12(2B): 121-129.
14. Janzen JM. Deep Thought: Structure and Intention in Kongo Prophetism, 1910-21. Social Research. 1979; 106-139.
15. Janzen JM. Ideologies and Institutions in the Precolonial History of Equatorial African Therapeutic Systems. Soc.Sci.Med. 1979; 13B.
16. Janzen JM. The Need for a Taxonomy of Health in the Study of African Therapeutics. Soc.Sci.Med. 1981. doi: 10.1016/0160-7987(81)90045-4
17. Janzen JM. Lubanzi: The History of a Kongo Disease. African Health and Healing, ed. S. Yoder, Los Angeles: Crossroads Press. 1982; 107-119.
18. Janzen JM. Medicalization in Comparative Perspective, and Drums Anonymous: Towards an Understanding of Structures of Therapeutic Maintenance. In: de Vries M, Berg RL, Lipkin M, Jr., eds. The Use and Abuse of Medicine. New York: Praeger. 1982; 154-166.
19. Janzen JM. Resource Allocation and Symbol Formation in Great Plains Festivals, Rituals, Mind and Symbol, ed. Allan Hanson, University of Kansas Publ. Anthropology. 1982; 14, 50-65.
20. Janzen JM. Towards a Historical Perspective on African Medicine and Health. Ethnomedicine and Medical History. In: Sterly J, Lichtenthaeler F, eds. Verlag People & Life. 1983.
21. Janzen JM. From the long-standing use of psychotropic drugs in Central Africa. Psychotropes. 1983; 1: 105-107.
22. Janzen JM. Consequences of Literacy in African Religion. In: van Binsbergen W Schoffeleers M, eds. The Social Science of African Religion: Theoretical & Methodological Explorations. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul (Afrika-Studie Centrum, Leiden. 1985; 225-252.
23. Janzen JM. Changing Concepts of African Therapeutics: An Historical Perspective. African Healing Strategies. In: du Toit B, Abdalla IH. Owerri, eds. New York, Trado-Medic Books. 1985; 61-81.
24. Janzen JM. Hippocrates desert, savannah Galeni, Kos: Revista culture and history of medical sciences. 1986; 20: 39-61.
25. Janzen JM, Quadagno J. Old Age Security and the Family Life Course: A Case Study of Nineteenth Century Mennonite Immigrants to Kansas. Journal of Aging Studies. 1987; 1: 33-49. doi: 10.1016/S0890-4065(87)80021-X
26. Janzen JM. Therapy Management: Concept, Reality. Process Anthropology. 1987; 68-84. doi: 10.1525/maq.1987.1.1.02a00040
27. Janzen JM. Bethels Museum: A Centennial History Mennonite Life. 1987; 42(1): 31-38.
28. Janzen JM. African Cults of Affliction. The Encyclopedia of Religion. In: Eliade M, ed. New York, The Free Press. 8: 362-365.
29. Janzen JM. Health, Religion and Medicine in Central and Southern African Traditions. In: Sullivan L, ed. Caring and Curing: Health and Medicine in the Worlds Religious Traditions. New York: MacMillan. 1988; 225-254.
30. Janzen JM, Janzen R. In Expressions of Belief: Masterpieces of African, Oceanic, and Indonesian Art: Museum voor Volkenkunde Rotterdam. New York: Rizzoli. 1988.
31. Janzen JM. Commentary on a Methodology for Cross-cultural Ethnomedical Research. Current Anthropology. 1988; 29(5): 695.
32. Janzen JM, Janzen R. The Art of Lemba in Lower Zaire, In Art and Initiation in Zaire, In: Roy C, ed. Special issue of Iowa Papers in Africa Art. 1990.
33. Janzen JM. Strategies of Health-Seeking and Structures of Social Support in Central and Southern Africa. What we know about Health Transition, eds. In: Caldwell J, Findley JS, Freeman B, Cosford B, eds. Canberra: Health Transition Centre. 1990.
34. Janzen JM. Burial Customs and Funerals in Mennonite Encyclopedia V. 1990; 110-111.
35. Janzen JM. Doing Ngoma: A Dominant Trope in African Religion and Healing. J. of Religion in Africa. 1991; 21(4): 290-308.
36. Janzen JM. Drums of Affliction: Real Phenomenon or Scholarly Chimera? In Religion in Africa: Experience and Expression. In: Blakeley T, van Beek W, Thompson D, eds. J. Curry; Portsmouth: Heinemann. 1992; 161-181.
37. Janzen JM. A Follow-up on Ethnocide and Genocide in the Chaco of Paraguay: A Tribute to Robert J. Smith, Aborigine-Newsletter of the University of Kansas Dept. of Anthropology. 1993, 1: 1-7.
38. Janzen JM. The History and Significance of a Mennonite Prayerhouse: The 1880 Bethel Adobe Sanctuary of Inman, Kansas. Mennonite Life. 1994; 49(3): 4-12.
39. Janzen JM. The aftermath of war: inside Rwanda and Burundi, 1994-5. KU Anthropologist. 1995; 1: 13-15.
40. Janzen JM. Self-Presentation and Common Cultural Structures in Ngoma Rituals of Southern Africa. Journal of Religion in Africa. 1995; 25(2): 141-162.
41. Kauenhoven-Janzen R, Janzen JM. Africa Meets Africa: The African Collection of the Museum of Ethnology. Rotterdam. Rotterdam: Museum of Ethnology. 1996.
42. Janzen JM. Healing, an Overview Encyclopedia of Africa South of the Sahara.In: Middleton J, ed. New York: Charles Scribners Sons, 1997; 274-283.
43. Janzen JM. Sub-Saharan African Healing. Lincolnwood, IL: Ancient Healing. Publications International. 1997; 322-337.
44. Janzen JM. The Comparative Study of Medical Systems as Changing Social Systems. In: van der Geest S, Rienks A, eds. The Culture of Health and illness: Readings in Anthropology. Amsterdam Med. Anthro. Unit. 1998.
45. Anabaptist/Mennonite Spaces and Places of Worship Introduction to special issue of Mennonite. Quarterly Review. 1999; 73: 151-165.
46. Janzen JM. Form and Meaning in Central Kansas Mennonite Buildings for Worship. Special issue of Mennonite Quarterly Review. 1999; 73: 325-354.
47. Janzen R, Janzen JM. Ayiwewe: Children of Rwanda draw their memories of war. In: Jewsiewicki B, ed. Canadian J. of African Studies. 1999; 33.
48. Janzen JM. Text and Context in the Anthropology of War Trauma: The African Great Lakes Region, 1993-1995. J. of the Finnish Anthropological Society. 1995; 4(24): 37-57.
49. Janzen JM. Theories of Music in African Ngoma Healing. In Musical Healing in Cultural. Context. Penelope Gouk. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. 2000; 46-66.
50. Janzen JM. Historical Consciousness and a Prise de Conscience in Genocidal Rwanda. Journal of African Cultural Studies. In: Peel JDY, Lonsdale J. 2000; 13, 1: 153-168.
51. Janzen JM. Afterword to The Quest for Fruition: Studies of the Political and the Therapeutical in Ngoma. In: van Dijk R, Reis R, Spierenburg M, eds. Oxford: James Currey Publishers. 2000.
52. Janzen JM. Mind/body, subject/object: Recent trends in medical anthropology. Reviews in Anthropology. 2001; 30. doi: 10.1080/00988157.2001.9978291
53. Green EC, Janzen JM. Continuity, Change, and Challenge in African Medicine, In Medicine across Cultures: The History of Non-Western Medicine. In: Selin H, ed. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. 2003.
54. Janzen JM. Illusions of Home: The Story of Return of a Rwandan Refugee. In: Long L, Oxfeld E, eds. Coming Home? Refugees who Return. University of Pennsylvania Press. 2003.
55. Janzen JM. Affliction: African Cults of Affliction & Kongo Religion Encyclopedia of Religion. MacMillan Reference, USA. 2nd ed. Revised essays and bibliographies. 2004.
56. Janzen JM. Religious Healing among War Traumatized African Immigrants to the United States. In: Barnes L, Sered S, eds. Religion and Healing in America. Oxford University, 2005; 159-172.
57. Janzen JM. Tsistsistas in Kauffman Museum: On the Making and Meaning of the Cheyenne Segment in the Permanent Exhibition Of Land and People. Mennonite Life. 2006; 61(2).
58. Bierlich BM, Janzen JM. The Problem of Money: Human Agency & Western Medicine in Northern Ghana. Oxford: Berghahn Books. 2007.
59. Janzen JM. Healing and Health Care: African Theories and Therapies. New Encyclopedia of Africa. Gale. 2007.
60. Janzen JM. Global Anthropology in the US. Heartland. Viennese Ethnomedicine Newsletter. 2008; 10(2-3): 3-6.
61. Janzen JM. The Social Reproduction of Health. Essays in Anthropology/Festschrift-30 Years of Auistrian Ethnomedical Society. In: Kutalek R, Prinz A, eds. Muenster, Berlin, Hamburg, London, Wien, Zurich: LIT-Verlag. 2009; 91-109.
62. Janzen JM, Feierman S. Science and Religion in Sub-Saharan African Medicine. In: Numbers R, Brooks J, eds. Science and Religion around the World: Historical Perspectives. Oxford University Press. 2010; 229-251.
63. Janzen JM. Contested Measures of Humanity in African Suffering and Healing. Journal of Religion and Society. 2011; 7: 5-24.
64. Janzen JM. The impact of scholarship and collections in German-speaking Europe on my Africanist medical anthropology. International Journal of Anthropology. 2011; 34(4): 296-297.
65. Schlesier K, Janzen JM. Flakhelfer to Grenadier: Memoir of a Boy Soldier. Amazon Publishing. 2011; 1943-1945.
66. Janzen JM. Teaching the Kongo-Transatlantic. Africa Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter. 2012; 1-18.
67. Janzen JM. Afri-Global Medicine: New Perspectives on Epidemics, Drugs, Wars, Migrations and Healing Rituals, Transnational Medicines. In: Dilger HG. Mobile Experts-Anthropological Perspectives on Medicine in and beyond Africa. Indiana University Press. 2012; 155-137.
68. Janzen JM. Identity, Voice, Community: New African Immigrants to Kansas. In: Crawford M, Campbell B, eds. Causes and Consequences of Human Migration, Cambridge University Press, 2012; 186-200.
69. Janzen JM. Minkisi at the Articulations of Individual and Societal Stress Points. Fragments of the Invisible: The Rene and Odette Delenne Collection of Congo Sculpture. Cleveland Museum of Art. 2013; 46-53.
70. Janzen JM. Renewal and Reinterpretation in Kongo Religion. For Exhibition Catalogue Kongo across the Waters. Harn Museum of Art, University of Florida, & Central Africa Museum, Tervuren, Belgium. 2013; 132-142.
71. Janzen JM. Kongo Atlantic Diaspora. Oxford Bibliographies Online. 2013; 27.
72. Janzen JM. Towards an appreciation of History of the Kingdom of Congo and the Scholarship of Raphael Batsikama Mampuya ba, ba. Introduction to Patricio Batsikama Mampuya, The History of the Kingdom of Congo According to his Toponymy Kinsasa. Paris: LHarmattan. 2013.
73. Janzen JM. -Africa. In: Joseph C. Miller, ed, Princeton Companion to Atlantic History. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2014.
74. Janzen JM. Imagining the Whole: Local Medicine and Global Health. Anthropology in Global Africa. University of Kansas Publications in Anthropology. 2014; 19-25.
75. Janzen JM. Science and Spirit in Postcolonial North Kongo Health and Healing. African Studies Quarterly. 2015; 15(3): 47-63.
76. Janzen JM. Divergent Legitimations of Post-State Health Institutions in Western Equatorial Africa. Working Paper Series 14, SPP 1448, Adaptation & Creativity in Africa. University of Halle-Wittenberg. 2015.


77. Janzen JM. de Jong JTVM. A Descent into African Psychiatry. Anthropology Quarterly. 1990. doi: 10.1525/maq.1990.4.4.02a00110
78. Janzen JM, Jacobson-Widding A, Westerlund D. Culture, Experience and Pluralism: Essays on African Ideas of Illness and Healing. American Anthropologist. 1990.
79. Janzen JM, Wall LL. Hausa medicine, illness and well-being in a West African Culture. J. of the History of Medicine. 1990.
80. Janzen JM, MacGaffey W. Art and Healing of the Bakongo. Stockholm & Bloomington: Ethnogr. Museum & Indiana University Press. Anthropos. 1991.
81. Janzen JM, Vaughn M. Curing their Ills: Colonial Power and African Illness. Cambridge: Polity Press; Oxford: Basil Blackwell. Journal of African History. 1992.
82. Janzen JM, Taylor C. Milk, Honey and Money: Changing Concepts in Rwandan Healing. Anthropos. 1994; 89: 316-317.
83. Janzen JM, Friedman EK. Catastrophe and Creation: The Transformation of an African Culture. Man. 1994.
84. Janzen JM, Henderson L. The Church in Angola. International Bulletin of Missionary Research. 1994; 18: 141.
85. Janzen JM, Kraybill DB. The Amish and the State. Contemporary Sociology. 1995; 45. 86. Janzen JM, Devisch R. Weaving the Threads of Life. Chicago. J. of the Royal Anthropological Institute. 1995; 435-436.
87. Janzen JM, Bockie S. Death and the invisible powers: the world of Kongo belief. Notebooks African Studies. 1995; 35/2-3: 663-667.
88. Janzen JM, Scott S. Amish Houses and Barns. Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage. 1996; 19(1): 41.
89. Janzen JM, Prunier G. The Rwandan Crisis: History of a Genocide. Culture Survival Quarterly. 1996.
90. Janzen JM, Good BJ. Medicine, rationality, and experience. Anthropos. 1996 ; 596-597.
91. Green E, Janzen JM.. AIDS and STDs in Africa. American Ethnologist. 1997; 30-31.
92. Friedson S, Janzen JM.. Dancing Prophets: Musical Experience in Tumbuka Healing. Transcultural Psychiatry. 1998; 35 (4): 520-524.
93. Katz R, Biesele M, St. Denis V, Janzen JM. Healing Makes Our Hearts Happy: Spirituality & Cultural Transformation among the Kalahari Ju/hoansi. American Anthropologist. 1999; 101(4): 45-46.
94. Silla E, Janzen JM.. People are not the same: Leprosy and Identity in Twentieth-Century Mali. American Ethnologist. 2000; 27: 2.
95. Driedger L, Janzen JM.. Mennonites in the Global Village.Toronto Univ. Press., Mennonite Life. 2002.
96. Mamdani M, Janzen JM. When Victims become Killers: Colonialism, Nativism, and the Genocide in Rwanda. Contemporary Sociology. 2003; 32(4): 486-487.
97. Wastiau B, Janzen JM. Mahamba: The Transforming Arts of Spirit Possession among the Luvale-Speaking People of the Upper Zambezi. Anthropos. 2003; 98(2): 618-619.
98. MacGaffey W, Janzen JM. Kongo Political Culture: The Conceptual Challenge of the Particular. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 2005.
99. de Heusch L, Janzen JM. The king of Kongo and sacred monsters. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 2005.
100. Aghion A, Janzen JM. Gacaca: Living together again in Rwanda? and Rwanda we say: The family that does not speak dies. American Historical Review. 2005; 8: 914-915.
101. Janzen JM, Vansina J. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda: The Nyiginya Kingdom. American Historical Review. 2006; 1291-1292.
102. Janzen JM, Rasmussen SJ. Those Who Touch: Tuareg Medicine Women in Anthropological Perspective. DeKalb: Northern Illinois University Press. American Historical Review. 2007.
103. Janzen JM, Loewen R. Diaspora in the Countryside: Two Mennonite Communities and Mid-Twentieth Century Rural Disjuncture. Plains Anthropologist. University of Illinois Press, 2006; 52(203): 365-368.
104. Janzen JM, Livingston J. Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana. American Ethnologist. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2009; 36: 2.
105. Janzen JM, Wreford JT. Working with Spirit: Experiencing Izangoma Healing in Contemporary South Africa. Anthropos. Oxford: Berghahn Books. 2009.