Quincy J. Amoah

Graduate Prize Fellow
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Quincy Amoah is a sixth year student in the Department of Anthropology. He is interested in ethics and morality, sacrifice, divination, aesthetics and iconicity and did fieldwork among Karimojong and other Ateker (agro-) pastoralists in north-eastern Uganda. Amoah’s dissertation is an ethnographic account about his Karimojong interlocutor’s pursuits of flourishing in relation to seemingly discordant imperatives such as the obligation to rustle their enemies’ cattle. In other words, it attempts to probe what ‘good (ejok)’ means when, apparently, often brutal plunder of others is considered by the said raiders and their kin as being virtuous. Previous ethnographers who have engaged this rather obscure controversy are either: astutely ambiguous; or argue that Karimojong moral judgements are founded on utility; or have inferred that Karimojong and other Ateker of concern act with expediency. However, it appears that critical Karimojong maxims like ‘dazzling God is most necessary for flourishing’ contest such inferences. Using phenomenology of language and conceptual analysis that are grounded in ethnographic participant observation, this study is geared towards an understanding of Karimojong interlocutors’ interpretations of a good life and an exposition of the enigmatic Nilotic category of ‘–jok.’ Quincy received a B.A. and M.A in anthropology from The New School.