Parfait D. AKANA

Anthropology, University of Yaoundé 2,Cameroun

Fellowship : October 2017 to June 2018

Discipline(s) : Anthropology

Pays : Cameroun

Research project: The Theme of Madness in Televisual Creation in Cameroon. A visual anthropology

The aim of this research is the study of different representations of madness in Cameroonian TV films and series. It states that TV creation on madness relates to a semiotic project which operates from a set of socio-political and cultural determinations allowing to grasp its intelligibility through three key terms: place, modalities and purpose. Here the place refers to Cameroon, particularly to urban life as an emblematic place of most of the dysfunctionalities. Modalities are related to the ‘how’, to techniques used for efficiency of what has been called here a ‘semiotic project’. Exemplified by the resources of occult economies - ritual crimes for transgressive enrichment, bad luck, spells, etc. - these techniques constitute, under the "how" mode, the corpus of practices that justify a state of being, which has been designated here as a finality.


Parfait D. Akana is a sociologist, anthropologist and publisher. His work is principally focused on mental illness in Cameroon, sexual and gender-based violence in the experience of madness, sociology and anthropology of communication (social networks, sitcoms, languages and popular cultures). After studying at the Universities of Yaounde I and II, Paris 13 and EHESS of Paris, he joined the Research Department of CODESRIA (Council for the Development and Research in Social Sciences in Africa) where he worked from May 2014 to April 2017. He teaches at the Advanced School of Mass Communication (University of Yaounde II, Cameroon). He is also the editor-in-chief of both Terroirs (African Journal of Social Sciences and Philosophy), founded and directed by Fabien Eboussi Boulaga, and African Psychopathology (Social Sciences and Psychiatry in Africa), founded in 1965 by Henri Collomb.

Major publications

D. AKANA, Parfait (Ed). Genre et enseignement supérieur au Cameroun, Yaoundé, Editions Terroirs, 2017 (à paraître), 178 p.

D. AKANA, Parfait, « Gouverner la folie au Cameroun », Revue Cultures et Sociétés, Sciences de l’Homme, Octobre 2014, N°32, Editions Téraèdre, Paris, 2014.

D. AKANA, Parfait, « Note sur la dénudation publique du corps au Cameroun. A propos d’une explication médiatique », L’Autre, Cliniques, Cultures, Sociétés, 2013, Vol. 14, N°2, Paris, 2013, pp. 236-243.

D. AKANA, Parfait (Ed.). MESSI METOGO, Eloi (Ed.). Séverin Cécile Abega & Jean-Marc Ela : un engagement scientifique, Terroirs (Revue africaine de sciences sociales et de philosophie), Karthala & Editions Terroirs, Paris/Yaoundé, 2012, 185p.

D.AKANA, Parfait. « A propos du temps rétréci : économies occultes et folie. Remarques sur quelques étiologies populaires à Yaoundé », in Psychopathologie Africaine, 2011-2012 [2013], Volume XXXVI, 1 : 29-56.