Dr. Thompson, Professor of African Cultural Studies at Uw-Madison, joins to discuss Popobawa discourse. Yes, today we will be talking about talking about monsters! 

Dr. Thompson’s book “Popobawa: Tanzanian Talk, Global Misreadings” explores the use of a supernatural entity as a linguistic tool which allows individuals of different backgrounds to indirectly convey political issues, convey their personal authority, or even safely discuss sexual identity in an oppressive landscape. 

We also touch upon the role of international media in spreading and reshaping local folklore, the intricacies of Swahili language and culture, and the Popobawa as a trickster archetype.


Huge THANK YOU!!! to Dr. Katrina Daly Thompson for agreeing to guest on the show, allowing the Popobawa to once more re-emerge in their life ❤️

Visit Dr. Thompson’s website at katrinadalythompson.com

Follow them on Twitter @putawaytheglobe

Contact them via e-mail katrina.daly.thompson@wisc.edu


Send us suggestions and comments to tracingowlspodcast@gmail.com

Follow us on Instagram @tracingowls or Twitter @TracingOwls

Check our Linktree: linktr.ee/tracingowls

Intro sampled from “Something strange lurks in the shadows” by Francisco Sánchez (@fanchisanchez)

Sound effects obtained from https://www.zapsplat.com



POPOBAWA IS DEAD! Tanzanian Affairs

Katrina Daly Thompson (2017): Popobawa: Tanzanian Talk, Global Misreadings. Indiana University Press

Walsh, Martin. (2014). Killing Popobawa: collective panic and violence in Zanzibar. 10.13140/2.1.1585.9522. 

Walsh, Martin. (2009). The politicisation of Popobawa: changing explanations of a collective panic in Zanzibar. Journal of Humanities. 1. 23-33. 

Page | Posts

Vuk/Darwin, host of Tracing Owls Podcast. All-around trickster weirdo discussing biology, forteana, the paranormal and their intricate cultural nuances!