Kamari Maxine Clarke

Director, Centre for Criminology and Sociolegal Studies; Distinguished Professor of Transnational Justice and Sociolegal Studies


Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies
Department for the Study of Religion
Department of Anthropology

Fields of Study

Areas of Interest

  • Transnational Justice, International Criminal Law and Justice
  • Ethnographies of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Adhoc Criminal Tribunals
  • Sociolegal Studies, Legal Anthropology
  • Critical Race Theory, Globalization and Race
  • Contemporary Social and Cultural Theory
  • Geopolitics and the Postcolonial State; Culture, Power and the Anthropology of Violence


Kamari Maxine Clarke is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Toronto. For more than twenty years, she has conducted research on issues related to legal institutions, human rights and international law, religious nationalism and the politics of race and globalization. She has spent her career exploring theoretical questions concerning culture and power and detailing the relationship between new social formations and contemporary problems. One of her key academic contributions has been to demonstrate ethnographically the ways that legal and religious knowledge regimes produce practices that travel globally. In addition to her scholarly work, she has served as a technical advisor to the African Union (AU) legal counsel and produced policy reports to help the AU navigate various international law and United Nations challenges. Clarke has published nine books (3 monographs and 6 edited volumes) with over 50 peer-refereed journal articles and book chapters. She is the author of Affective Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Pan-Africanist Pushback (2019, Duke), Fictions of Justice (Cambridge, 2010), and Mapping Yorùbá Networks (Duke, 2004). Clarke is the recipient of the 2019 Royal Anthropological Institute’s Amaury Talbot Book Prize, as well as the 2019 finalist for the Elliot Skinner book award for her latest book, Affective Justice (Duke, 2019). She is also a recipient of a Distinguished Chair in Transnational Justice sand Socio-legal Studies and a recipient of the 2021 Guggenheim Prize for career excellence.

Courses Taught

  • CRI1020H Law and State Power: Theoretical Perspectives
  • DTS 411H1 Transnational Ethnography
  • CRI1391H1F Topics in International Criminal Law (undergrad)
  • DTS411H1 Transnational Justice
  • DTS401H1 Advanced Topics in DTS: Symbols, Statutes and Black Social Protest


Refereed Scholarly Publications

Single Authored Monographs

  • 2019. Affective Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Pan-Africanist Pushback. Duke University Press.
  • 2009. Fictions of Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Challenge of Legal Pluralism in Sub-Saharan Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2004. Mapping Yoruba Networks: Power and Agency in the Making of Transnational Communities. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Edited Books

  • 2021 (edited with Mariana Valverde, Eve Darian-Smith, and Prabha Kotiswaran). Routledge Handbook of Law and Society. Routledge Press. Routledge Press.
  • 2019. (edited with Charles Jalloh and Vincent Nmehielle). The African Court for Human and Peoples’ Rights: Development and Challenges. Cambridge University Press.
  • 2016. (edited with Abel Knottnerous and Eefje de Volder). Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice. Cambridge/London: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2012. (edited with Rebecca Hardin). Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • 2009. (edited with Mark Goodale). Mirrors of Justice: Law and Power in the Post Cold War Era. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2006. (edited with Deborah Thomas). Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
Articles in refereed Journals
  • In Progress.  Aspirations and Negations of International Justice: Protest Treaties and their Dialectical Resonances.  Special Issue The Anthropology of Geopolitics. Under review
  • Accepted 2021. Affective Attribution as a Politics of Irreconciliation.  Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute. Special Issue.
  • 2020. Towards Reflexivity in the Anthropology of Expertise and Law. American Anthropologist. Introduction to Special Section.
  • 2019.   The beauty….is that it speaks for itself’: geospatial materials as evidentiary matters. Kamari Clarke and co-authored with Sara Kendall. IN Legal Materialities.  Law Text Culture Journal. Special Issue. Special Issue Editors: Hyo Yoon Kang and Sara Kendall. Law, Text, Culture. Volume 23. Legal Materiality. Article 7.
  • 2019.   Affective Justice: The Racialized Imaginaries of International Justice. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol. 42, Number 2, pp. 244–267. ISSN 1081-6976, electronic ISSN 1555-2934. C 2019 by the American Anthropological Association. DOI: 10.1111/plar.12307.
  • 2017. “Rethinking Sovereignty through Hashtag Publics: The New Body Politics” IN Cultural Anthropology - Openings and Retrospectives. Vol. 32. Issue 3, pp 359-366. ISSN 0886-7356, online ISSN 1548-1360.
  • 2017. “Beyond Genealogies: Expertise and Religious Knowledge in Legal Cases Involving African Diasporic Publics.”  Transforming Anthropology. Volume 25, Issue 2. October 2017. Pages 130-155.
  • 2016. Clarke, Kamari M. “The Urgency of New Historigraphies in International Relations Ten Years Later: Reflecting on Siba Grovogui’s Beyond Eurocentrism and Anarchy.” Kitabkhana: A Discussion with Mahmood Mamdani, Pemesh Lalu, Walter Mignolo, Olakunle George, Anna M. Agthangelou and Kamari Maxine Clarke. IN Comparative Studies in South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. May 2016 issue 36.1. 213-219. Duke University Press.
  • 2015. Clarke, Kamari Maxine. “Refiguring the perpetrator: culpability, history and international criminal law’s impunity gap.” The International Journal of Human Rights 19 (5): 592-614.
  • 2014. The Legal Politics of the Article 16 Decision: The International Criminal Court, The UN Security Council and Ontologies of a Contemporary Compromise (with Sarah-Jane Koulen). African Journal of Legal Studies (AJLS). Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 297-319. Brill Nijhoff.
  • 2013. Notes on Cultural Citizenship in the Black Atlantic World. Introduction. Cultural Anthropology 28 (3): 464-474.
  • 2013. Assemblages of Experts: The Caribbean Court of Justice and the Modernity of Caribbean Postcoloniality. Small Axe: A Caribbean Journal of Criticism 17 (2): 88-107. No. 41.
  • 2013. with Deborah Thomas. Globalization and Race: Structures of Inequality, New Sovereignties, and Citizenship in a Neoliberal Era. Annual Review of Anthropology 42: 302- 325.
  • 2012. Thoughts on Jean Comaroff's Political Economy of Zombies IN Portrait: Jean Comaroff. Religion and Society, 3(1), 5-34.
  • 2011. The Rule of Law Through Its Economies of Appearances: The Making of the African Warlord. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies Winter 18(1): 7-40.
  • 2010. The Politics of Faith and the Limits of Scientific Reason: Tracking the Anthropology of Human Rights and Religion. Religion and Society: Advances in Research 1 (2010): 110– 130.
  • 2010. Rethinking Africa through its Exclusions: The Politics of Naming Criminal Responsibility. In Ethics of Scale: Relocating Politics After Liberation, Edited by Jesse Weaver Shipley. Anthropological Quarterly 83(3): 625–652.
  • 2010. Toward a Critically Engaged Ethnographic Practice. Current Anthropology: A Journal of the Human Sciences. The Wenner Gren Foundation For Anthropological Research 51 (S2): S301-S312.
  • 2010. New Spheres of Transnational Formations: Mobilizations of Humanitarian Diasporas. Transforming Anthropology 18(1): 48-65 & 66-79.
  • 2007. Transnational Yoruba revivalism and the diasporic politics of heritage. American Ethnologist 34 (4): 721-734.
  • 2006. Internationalizing the Statecraft: Genocide, Religious Revivalism, and the Cultural Politics of International Criminal Law. The Loyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review 28 (2): 279-333.
  • 2002. Governmentality, Modernity, and the Historical Politics of Oyo-Hegemony in Yoruba Transnational Revivalism. Anthropologica: The Journal of the Canadian Anthropology Society.  44 (2): 271-293.
Chapters in Edited Books
  • Forthcoming. 2021 The Responsibility to Protect and the Geopolitics of African Transitional Justice. The Cambridge History of Rights. Volume V – Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries. Samuel Moyn and Meredith Terreta
  • Forthcoming 2021 African Withdrawals and Structural Inequalities. In The International Criminal Court: Contemporary Challenges and Reform Proposals. Brill/Martinus Nijhoff
  • Forthcoming 2021.  The Anthropology of Law and Emotion IN Oxford Handbook of Law & Anthropology. Editors: Marie-Claire Foblets, Mark Goodale, Maria Sapignoli and Olaf Zenker. Oxford University Press.
  • Forthcoming 2021. Toward a Theory of Practice in International Law: African State Withdrawals from Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court. Editors: Jens Meierhenrich,  IN Toward a Social Theory of International Law. “Cambridge Studies in Law and Society.” Cambridge University Press.
  • Forthcoming 2021. Transitional Justice through the Institutionalization of Emotional Affects IN The Oxford Handbook of Transitional Justice. Editors: Jens Meierhenrich, Alexander Laban Hinton, and Lawrence Douglas. Oxford University Press; London
  • In Press 2021. Critical Race Theory. (Kamari Clarke and Ifrah Abdillahi) IN Routledge Handbook of Law and Society. (edited with Mariana Valverde, Kamari Clarke, Eve Darian-Smith, and Prabha Kotiswaran). Routledge Press.
  • 2019. “Founding Moments and Founding Fathers: Shaping Publics through the Sentimentalization of History Narratives.” In The New Histories of International Criminal Law: Retrials. Oxford University Press. Editors Immi Tallgren and Thomas Skouteris
  • 2019    “Silencing the Guns: The Malabo Protocol, the Rome Statute, and Disputes over Designing African Security, Governance and Peace.” In African Court Compendium. Editors Charles Jalloh, Kamari Clarke, Vincent Nmehielle. Cambridge University Press.
  • 2018. “Afterward: Re-situating In-Justice” In Pursuing Justice in Africa. Editors Karekwaivanane and Jessica Johnson. Ohio University Press; Athens.
  • 2018. “Violence” In Critical Terms for African Studies. Editors Gaurav Desai and V.Y. Mudimbe. Chapter 24. Pp 346 – 364. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.
  • 2017. “Rethinking Liberal Legality Through the African Court of Justice and Human Rights: Resituating economic crimes and other enablers of violence” IN International Criminal Law in Context. Ed Phillip Kastner. Routledge.
  • 2016. “History and Sentimentality in Rule of Law Movements” IN Africa and the ICC: Perceptions of Justice. (edited by Kamari Clarke, Abel Knottnerous and Eefje de Volder). Cambridge/London: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2016. “Looking Forward, Anticipating Challenges: Making Sense of Disjunctures in Meanings of Culpability.” IN The International Criminal Court in Africa: One decade on. Ed. Evelyn Ankumah. Intersentia Press. ISBN 978-1-78068-417-8 I Pp. xxxviii- 676.
  • 2016.  Why Africa?  IN Contemporary Issues Facing the International Criminal Court. Edited by Richard H. Steinberg. Brill Nijhoff. Leiden: Boston.
  • 2016. “Transnational Ifa: The Readings of the Year and the Contemporary Economies of Orisa Religious Knowledge” IN Ifa Divination, Knowledge, Power and Performance. Edited by Jacob K. Olupona and Rowland O. Abiodun. Pp. 260-273. Indiana University Press. Bloomington.
  • 2015. “‘We ask for justice, you give us law’: The rule of law, economic markets and the reconfiguration of victimhood. Chapter 11.” P272-301. IN Contested Justice: The Politics and Practice of International Criminal Court Interventions. Eds. Christian De Vos, Sara Kendall, Carsten Stahn. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • 2012. (with Deborah Thomas). “Globalizing Race “IN Race: Are We So Different? Edited by Alan H. Goodman, Yolanda T. Moses, and Joseph L. Jones. Pp. 234-237. Malden, MA: Wiley Blackwell Publishing.
  • 2012. “Toward a Critically Engaged Ethnographic Practice” IN Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge. Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine Clarke. Pp. 137-159. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • 2012. (with Rebecca Hardin). “Introduction” IN Transforming Ethnographic Knowledge. Edited by Rebecca Hardin and Kamari Maxine Clarke. Pp. 5-34. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • 2009. “The Cultural Aesthetics of Sàngó Africanization” IN Sàngó in the African and African Diaspora. Pp. 213-232. Edited by Joel E. Tishken,, Toyin Falola and Akintunde Akinyemi.
  • 2009. “Oyotunji African Village” IN African American Religious Cultures Volume I: A-R.Edited by Anthony B. Pinn. Pp. 290 - 302. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
  • 2007. “Global Justice, Local Controversies: The International Criminal Court and the Sovereignty of Victims.” IN Paths to International Justice: Social and Legal Perspectives. Edited by Marie-Bénédicte Dembour and Tobias Kelly. Pp. 134-160. New York: Cambridge University Press
  • 2007. “Ritual Change and the Changing Canon. Divinatory Legitimization of Yorùbá Ancestral Roots in Oyotunji African Village” IN Òrìşà Devotion as World Religion: The Globalization of Yorùbá Religious Culture. Edited by Jacob K. Olupona and Terry Rey. Pp. 286-319. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press.
  • 2007. “Yoruba in the American South.” In New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, vol. 6, Ethnicity. Edited by Celeste Ray. Pp. 252-254. June/July. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.
  • 2006. “Mapping Transnationality: Roots Tourism and the Institutionalization of Ethnic Heritage” IN Globalization and Race: Transformations in the Cultural Production of Blackness. Edited by M. Kamari Clarke and Deborah Thomas. Pp. 133-153. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  • 2006. “Yoruba Aesthetics and the Making of Trans-Atlantic Imaginaries” IN Beautiful/Ugly: African and Diaspora Aesthetics. Edited by Sarah Nuttall. Pp. 290-315. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Reprint from 2005. “Yoruba Aesthetics and the Making of Trans-Atlantic Imaginaries” IN African Aesthetics: Essays on Beauty and Ugliness. Edited by Sarah Nuttall. Pp. 290 - 315. Amsterdam: The Prince Claus Fund; London: Phaidon; South Africa: Kwela Books.
  • 1999. ‘To Reclaim Yoruba Traditions is to Reclaim Our Queens of Mother Africa’: Recasting Gender Through Mediated Practices of the Everyday IN Feminist Fields: Ethnographic Insights. Edited by Rae Bridgman, Sally Cole, and Heather Howard- Bobiwash. Pp. 229-242. Broadview Press: Peterborough.
Other (Non-refereed) Scholarly Publications
Non-refereed books/Working Papers
  • 2005. Local Practices, Global Controversies: Islam in Sub-Saharan African Contexts. The MacMillan Center Working Paper Series. Yale University, New Haven, CT.
  • 2005 (with Deborah Thomas) Globalization and Race: Towards an Understanding of the Transformation of Blackness. YCIAS Working Paper Series. Editor.  New Haven, CT.
Articles in non-refereed journals
  • 2006. The Globalization of Human Rights. Anthropology News. American Anthropological Association 47(5): 5.
 Articles in non-refereed conference proceedings
  • 2012. Kony 2012, The ICC and the Problem with the Peace-and-Justice Divide. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law). 106 (March 2012): 309- 313.
  • 2010. Constituting Terms for International Change: Reflecting on Strategies for Women’s Rights. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting. Advancing Women’s Rights Internationally. American Society of International Law 104 (March 24-27, 2010): 561-565.
Technical reports
  • 2019. Clarke, Kamari. Ratification Report: Understanding the Gap in Ratification of the African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights. Submission to the African Union Legal Counsel. Policy Paper. Open Society Foundation
  • 2018. Clarke, Kamari. Global Issues: Toward the Ratification of the African Court of Justice and Human and People’s Rights. Submission to the African Union Legal Counsel. Policy Paper. Open Society Foundation
  • 2017. Clarke, Kamari and Ermias Kassaye. An Analysis of the African Union’s Strategy of Withdrawal from the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court in Relation to International Law: A Preliminary Study on the Withdrawal Procedures for African Union Member States. Submission to the African Legal Counsel. Policy Paper
  • 2014. Clarke, Kamari. M. (with Charles Jalloh). Independent International Criminal Law Expert Non-Paper. Proposals for Clarifications, Amendments and Additions to the Draft Protocol to the Protocol on the Statute of the African Court of Justice and Human Rights. Distribution to African Union Legal Counsel.
Book Reviews in Scholarly Journals
  • 2006. Review of Santeria Enthroned: Art, Ritual, and Innovation in an Afro-Cuban Religion by David Brown. In Transforming Anthropology 14 (1): 121-122.
  • 2000.  Review of: Santeria from Africa to the New World: The Dead Sell Memories. In Transforming Anthropology 9(2): 34-35.
  • 2000. Review of Jews on the American Slave Trade by Saul S. Friedman. Journal of American Ethnic History 19(3): 129-130.
  • 1999. Commentary for “Sameness and the Ethnological Will to Meaning,” Current Anthropology: A Journal of the Human Sciences. The Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research 4
  • 1998. Review of Boston Confronts Jim Crow: 1890-1920 by Mark R. Schneider. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 24(3): 586-587.
Public Voice Commentaries—Opinion Editorials and Blogs
  • 2020. Affective Justice: Book Symposium: A Response. http://opiniojuris.org/2020
  • 2019. Distant Justice Symposium: How Colonial Inscriptions Continue to Matter in ICC and Africa Dynamics In Opinio Juris on Phil Clark’s ‘Distant Justice.’    http://opiniojuris.org/2019/10/01/distant-justice-symposium-how-colonial...
  • 2018 - ongoing. Talking African Justice: Interrogating Law;  www.talkingafricanjustice.com
  • 2016. The Withdrawal Question. “African Withdrawals: Foregrounding Rome Statute Amendments as Critical to Addressing the Structural Inequalities in which the ICC Operates.” Human Rights and International Criminal Law. ICCForum.com  and The UCLA Promise Institute. https://iccforum.com/withdrawal#Clarke
  • 2015. “Power Politics and Its Global Shadows: From Margins to Center.” Review of Rough Justice: The International Criminal Court in a World of Power Politics by James G. Stewart. New York: Oxford University Press. Online Symposium: Whither the International Criminal Court.”
  • 2014. “Accountability and the Expansion of the Criminal Jurisdiction of the African Court.” Arguendo Roundtable (online). American Bar Association.
  • 2014. Justice Can’t Prevail in a Vacuum.” New York Times, Opinion Pages, Room for Debate. December 11.
  • 2013. “Treat Greed in Africa as a War Crime.” New York Times, January 29, OpEd, Pp. A27.
  • 2013. “How Police Use Religion to Deceive Suspects.” Huffington Post. 3/21/2013.
  • 2013. Is the International Criminal Court (ICC) targeting Africa inappropriately? University of California—Los Angeles School of Law. Los Angeles, CA.
  • 2012. Kony 2012, the ICC & the peace/justice divide, part one of two. May 18
  • 2012. Attending to the language of justice. Part two. May 19

Honours and Prizes                       

  • 2021 The University of Toronto Dean’s Excellence Award
  • 2021 The University of Toronto Small Group Award
  • 2021 Guggenheim Fellow Award for Career Excellence
  • 2021 Distinguished Professor of Transnational Justice and Socio-legal Studies
  • 2020 The Royal Anthropological Institute’s Amaury Talbot Book Prize for Affective Justice: ThInternational Criminal Court and the Pan-Africanist Push-back
  • 2020 The AAA’s Association for African Anthropology Elliot P. Skinner Book Award Prize Finalist for Affective Justice: The International Criminal Court and the Pan-Africanist Push-back
  • 2017–2018 Carleton University Faculty of Public Affairs Research Excellence Award
  • 2016–2017 Carleton University Raving Raven for Teaching and Excellence
  • 1988 Concordia Award for Service, Leadership and Academic
  • 1985 Ontario Youth Award–Ontario Government of Canada
  • 1984 Kiwanis Club of Ontario–Leadership Award


BA (Political Science-International Relations), Concordia University
Certificate (Democracy & Political Transition), Jagiellonian University
MA (Anthropology), New School for Social Research
MPhil (Anthropology), University of California, Santa Cruz
PhD (Anthropology), University of California, Santa Cruz
MSL, Yale University

Administrative Service

Advisory Board, University of Toronto, African Studies Program, 2021 – Present
Presidential International Council for Engagements with Africa, 2020 – 2021
Board, Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research; Committee on Engaged Anthropology, 2020 – Present
Institute for Humanities in Africa (HUMA), The University of Cape Town, South Africa, 2020 – Present
African Centre for Transnational Criminal Justice (ACTCJ) Advisory Board, The University of Western Cape, South Africa, 2020 – Present
Consultant, Anthropology Expert Witness for Amnesty Refugee Cases
Member, Connecticut Consortium on African Studies
Board Member to the SSHRC Transformative Memory Partnership, 2019 - 2020
American Anthropologist Associate Editor, Cultural Anthropology, 2016 - 2020
Editorial Board. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review, 2015 - Present
Editorial Board. African Journal of International Law, 2014 - Present
Editorial Board. American Ethnologist, 2012 - 2016
Editorial Board. Humanity Journal: An International Journal of Human Rights Humanitarianism, and Development, 2012 - 2016
Editor-in-Chief, Negotiated Settlement Book Series. University of South Africa Press Member, Board of Directors, Frontier Strategy Group, 2004 - Present
International Resource Person, Nigerian Coalition for the International Criminal Court (NCICC), 2004 - 2005
Member, Editorial Board: Meridians: Feminism, Race, Transnationalism, 2002 - 2006
Member, Advisory Board, Harlem World, 2001 - Present
Member, International Human Rights Collaborative Research Network (CRN) National Secretary, Association for Africanist Anthropology, 2000 - 2002