If you haven’t yet submitted a panel, paper, or poster for the AAAs in Washington, D.C. this fall, now is the time to do so! The deadline is Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5 p.m., by which time all participants need to have registered and paid for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Details can be found here: http://www.americananthro.org/AttendEvents/Content.aspx?ItemNumber=1695. Hope to see you at the AAAs this fall!
This year’s AAA meetings will feature a number of panels and papers sponsored or co-sponsored by AfAA and/or including scholarship by AfAA members. See the PDF below for a complete schedule of AfAA events. We hope to see you there!
James Ferguson, the Susan S. and William H. Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, is 2016 recipient of the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award for his book, Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution, published by Duke University Press.
In addition, there are two recipients of honorable mentions.
J. Lorand Matory, the Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and of African and African American Studies at Duke University for his book Stigma and Culture: Last-Place Anxiety in Black America published by University of Chicago Press.
Richard Werbner, Professor Emeritus of African Anthropology at the University of Manchester for Divination’s Grasp: African Encounters with the Almost Said, published by Indiana University Press.
The Ferguson and Matory books were originally presented in the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture Series at the University of Rochester.
Congratulations to the winner and honorable mention recipients!
The AAAs are almost here, and we hope to see you there! Here is a list of AfAA events taking place at the meetings this year.
Board Meeting: Thursday, November 17 @ 7:30-9:30 AM Hilton Board Room 2
Business Meeting: Thursday, November 17 @ 6:30-7:30PM, Room 3-1460
Reception: Thursday, November 17 @ 7:45PM-10PM, Room 3-1520. This year’s reception will feature a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Anita Spring (AfAA President and Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida), “African Women Entrepreneurs Micro to Global: Successes and Barriers.” Also, don’t forget to stay for the awards, food, music, and dancing!
In addition, there are a number of excellent panels and papers sponsored or cosponsored by AfAA and/or featuring AfAA members scheduled for this year’s meetings. More details on these coming soon!
See the attached flyer for more information on the Distinguished Lecture: distinguished-lecture-flyer-6
Elaine Rosa Salo passed away on August 13, 2016 in Delaware, Newark, at the age of 54. Born in 1962 in Kimberly, South Africa, Salo was a leading African feminist scholar activist whose powerful analyses showed how motherhood practices and personhood more generally in peripheral places provided ways to shape life opportunities. She taught at the University of the Western Cape (1988–1999), the University of Cape Town (1986–1987; 2000–2009), the University of Pretoria (2009–2013) and the University of Delaware (2013–2016).
Salo’s work straddled a commitment to social and gender justice. Her work re-centered the ideas and practices of subordinated mothers and young people struggling for survival in peripheral places as a key site of self-actualization that challenged the intersecting gendered, racist and economic oppressions that reproduced these marginalized neighborhoods. In her 2010 WEB du Bois lecture at the UIUC entitled “Lessons in Leadership for Africa: Listening to, Learning from Feminist Pan-African Discussions, Activism, and Scholarship” and her 2014 lecture at the Nordic Africa Institute titled “Who is a moral person in South African township communities?” she laid out the elements of a revolutionary and humane subaltern feminism situated in a politics of situated maternal experiences, empathetic dialogues, transnational networks, reflective scholarship and an ethic of caring and sharing.
Salo completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town (1980–1984), and her master’s at Clark University in Massachusetts (1984–1986). In 2004 she earned her doctoral degree from Emory University, Department of Anthropology with a dissertation titled “Respectable mothers, tough men and good daughters: Making persons in Mannenberg township, South Africa.”
Salo was a passionate teacher and mentor. She taught courses in women’s movements, gender and development, citizenship and the anthropology of gender and sexualities. She led through personal example, engaged research and teaching, and inspired a new generation of feminist scholars to continue the struggle for social and spatial justice with her beautiful humility, brilliant mind and a wicked sense of humour and sharp commentary.
At institutions where she was based, Salo became a friend, colleague, mentor and support to many. She was feisty, truly passionate and a powerful African feminist and thinker. Beyond her academic, activist and intellectual pursuits, Salo was in essence someone who fully understood the meaning of being human. She displayed these qualities and attributes in all that she did.
Salo survived breast cancer in the past, but it returned last year and claimed her life. She passed away surrounded by her family and loved ones. Beloved wife of 28 years to husband Colin Miller, cherished mother to her son, Miles Miller, and her daughter, Jessica, sister to her brothers Ken and Bertram Salo, daughter of the late Edgar and Rosa Salo.
A memorial and celebration of life will be held for Elaine Salo at the upcoming American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Minneapolis. Saturday November 19th, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hilton Hotel, room Marquette VII.
Initial comments by Cory Kratz, Mike McGovern, Anna-Maria Makhulu, Melissa Melby and Ken Salo, followed by open mike contributions. For more info please contact Faranak Miraftab [email protected].
Call for Abstracts for edited volume
Everyday Life on the African Continent: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity
Editors: Kemi Balogun, Lisa Gilman, Melissa Graboyes, Habib Iddrisu
This volume, edited by a multi-disciplinary group of scholars who work in different regions of Africa, will be a collection of essays focusing on forms of leisure and expressivity on the continent. Each short and descriptive essay (5000-6000 words), will be written in accessible prose and will focus on providing details about a cultural form, explaining the context(s) in which it occurs, and providing some analysis as to its significance. The book will be thematically organized, with multiple chapters on topics such as Fashion and Beauty, Sports and Games, Love and Dating, and Creative Arts.The volume targets an undergraduate audience with limited knowledge of the continent. The intent is for the volume to include essays from all regions of the continent, from rural and urban settings, about the present or the past, and about “popular” or “traditional” practices. This edited volume is under precompletion contract with Ohio University Press, and draft chapters will be due by February 2017.
This project will contribute a critically needed text that exposes undergraduate students to the positive aspects of daily life on the continent. A particular focus will be upon the creative and dynamic ways that people in African contexts are using their leisure time, having fun, being creative, and engaging in forms of expressive culture. Much of the material available for undergraduate African Studies courses emphasizes the challenges facing the continent, focusing on war, poverty, corruption, disease, or human rights violations. These issues are real and deserve sustained attention. However, the narrow focus on “Africa’s problems” creates pedagogical problems. It can reinforce stereotypes students are already conversant with and misses an opportunity for students to consider the similarities and differences between their lives and those of their African counterparts. As those of us who have spent time on the continent know firsthand, challenging conditions do not preclude people from making music, falling in love, playing sports, participating in festivals, writing blogs, telling jokes, wearing expressive clothing, making videos, playing games, dancing, eating delicious food and finding pleasure in myriad other ways in their daily lives. These are the types of topics we anticipate for this volume.
Contributors are welcome to write about their research expertise and may distill research findings from an article or monograph to make it accessible to undergraduates. This is an opportunity to write about a compelling topic outside of one’s disciplinary scope, and essays about first-hand experience are also acceptable. We welcome all abstracts that convey a sense of energy and excitement on the part of the author.
The book editors will be hosting a companion symposium on the topic of “Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity in Africa” at the University of Oregon on February 23-24, 2017. Chapter contributors will be strongly encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event, and funding to offset travel costs will be available. Draft chapters will be pre-circulated, authors will receive feedback from the volume editors during the symposium. We anticipate this symposium being a key activity for establishing connections between the authors and building cohesiveness throughout the book.
Abstracts of roughly 500 words are due by September 30, 2016. Abstracts should briefly describe the topic, place, and time frame, how it fits into the parameters of the volume, and why it is significant. Contributors are welcome to submit multiple abstracts about different possible topics. and then receive feedback from the editors about which might be the best fit.
When submitting your abstract, please indicate whether you would like to participate in the symposium in February, and if you’d like to be considered for funding to offset travel costs.
Abstracts should be emailed as word docs to [email protected].
- September 30, 2016—Abstracts due
- November 15, 2016—Notification of Acceptance & Notification of Funding Awards for Symposium
- February 15, 2017—Pre-circulation of Symposium Papers/ Chapter Drafts
- February 23-24, 2017—Symposium at the University of Oregon
- April 1, 2017—First Draft of Full Chapter Due to Editors for review
- June 1, 2017—Comments back from Editors on Draft Chapters
- July 15, 2017—Revised draft due to Editors
- July 15-Sept. 1—Editors work on finalizing manuscript
- September 1, 2017—Submission to Ohio University Press
For questions or additional information, and to submit abstracts, please contact: Lisa Gilman, [email protected]
Faculty of the Humanities
Senior Lecturer/ Associate Professor/ Professor and Academic Department Head
Job ID: 1707
Duties and responsibilities:
- Teaching and supervising at undergraduate and postgraduate level.
- Involvement in continuous development of the curriculum.
- Conduct research and give research guidance which culminates in publications in national journals.
- As Academic Department Head: Continuous planning and execution of teaching and research strategies,
general organising and coordinating of administrative duties, mentoring and motivating staff, manage
finances (e.g. annual budgeting, allocation of funds) of the department.
- Appropriate PhD-degree
- Experience as external examiner for Master’s and doctoral students.
- Act as editorial board member of high-quality international / ISI / IBSS journals.
- Proven international recognition for specialist expertise and research leadership in a particular area of
academic scholarship (e.g. regularly serves as a reviewer for international / ISI / IBSS journals).
- A NRF rating of C1 or C2 or equivalent status.
Demonstrated successful supervision of graduated Master’s and preferably graduated doctoral
- Proven experience in delivering keynote addresses at national scholarly conferences.
- Serve as a member of an international scholarly society OR an international committee or agency
concerned with research at higher education levels.
- Associate Professor:
o Appropriate PhD-degree.
o Experience as external examiner for postgraduate students.
o Proven experience in the presentation of research papers at national conferences, where there is
evidence of the peer review of papers.
o Editorial board member of high-quality national scholarly journals.
o Proven national recognition for specialist expertise and research leadership in a specific scientific
area of scholarship.
o A NRF rating of C3 or equivalent status.
o Proven experience in the supervision of graduated Master’s degree students.
o A proven research record of relevant publications in accredited national and international
o Serve as a member of a national scholarly society OR a national committee or agency concerned
with research at higher education levels, OR show evidence of service as an active member of
an international equivalent.
- Senior Lecturer:
o Appropriate PhD-degree.
o Proven experience in the presentation of papers / posters at national scholarly conferences.
o Proven national recognition for specialist expertise and research in a specific area of scholarship.
o A NRF rating or demonstrated potential for obtaining a NRF rating.
o Proven experience in the supervision of graduated Master’s degree students.
o A proven research record of relevant publications in accredited national and international
o Proven experience of service as an active member of a national or international scholarly society,
or committee or agency concerned with research at higher education levels.
- Duties applicable to the Academic Department Head:
- Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the department as a
leader in the discipline vis-à-vis competing international entities.
- The Academic Department Head is directly responsible for:
- directing the academic debate in the department;
- influencing the department’s overall climate and culture;
- energising everybody in the department and beyond; and
- shaping the future of the department.
- Contribute to the overall leadership in the faculty.
- Frequent and continuous planning and execution of plans, general organising and coordinating of staff,
students and activities, mentoring and motivating staff, structuring, and exercising overall control
- Create an atmosphere of consensus among staff.
- Effective internal and external communication.
- The Academic Department Head is pivotal in linking the department‘s staff and students with the
University’s management and administration through communication, negotiation and consultation.
- Active participation and involvement in faculty management structures, attending meetings, leading
project teams, representing the department and faculty, and fulfilling the roles of liaison officer and
marketer, when necessary.
- Active participation and involvement in applicable UFS management structures, e.g. Senate.
- Initiate, formulate and implement a visionary academic strategy for the department that is aligned with
and supportive of the guiding strategic documents of the UFS and faculty.
- the provision of top-quality, research-informed facilitation of learning at all levels of teaching in the department;
- relevance of content, material and presentation in all modules;
- the enhancement of student experiences and their continuous engagement in academic debates;
- that adequate rules and regulations are in place to optimally deliver high-quality teaching and learning programmes on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
- adherence to all the rules and regulations of the UFS, faculty and department;
- quality and timely feedback on student work;
- proper and quality-driven academic advice and support to all under- and postgraduate students in the department; and
- the revisiting and development of fresh learning programmes that will help to position the department as a leader in the fraternity.
- Create and maintain a(n):
- visionary research strategy for the department; and
- environment that encourages research, leading to strong and active research habits and a culture of inquiry.
- Ensure that:
- every academic staff member is engaged in quality-driven and discipline-specific research;
- postgraduate students are recruited to broaden the research base of the department; and
- ethical requirements are met.
- Guiding and supporting senior academics towards acquiring NRF ratings.
- Active engagement with the faculty research committee and the UFS Directorate of Research
- Development in order to ensure sustainable financial support for departmental research initiatives.
- Building an effective team of scholars through:
- planning and implementing a fair and reasonable dispensation regarding the workload of staff members in the department;
- planning and implementing a clear and reasonable career path for every staff member in the department, taking account of the strategic plans of the University, faculty and department;
- appropriate mentoring interventions where and whenever it is needed;
- managing staff performance in accordance with existing university policies and procedures;
- recruitment and selection of scholars in the case of vacancies and/or specific strategic needs, whenever strategic repositioning requires expansion of academic endeavours;
- creating and maintaining a scholarship-friendly environment in the department; and
- planning and overseeing effective and relevant staff development.
- Adherence to the UFS’s financial policies and procedures.
- Encourage and actively support academic staff members to apply for external research and other grants.
- Provide academic leadership by creating and executing strategies to establish the department as a
Term of office with regard to Academic Department Head:
Five years, with the possibility of reappointment for a further term.
Assumption of duties:
1 December 2016.
27 September 2016.
The salary scale is available on request. For any further enquiries, please feel free to contact 051 401 3221 /3934.
(Subject to specific conditions): pension scheme, medical aid scheme, group life insurance, housing allowance, leave and sick leave, service bonus and study benefits.
The University reserves the right not to fill the post. The University subscribes to and applies the principles prescribed by the Employment Equity Act. Preference will be given to candidates from the designated groups, in accordance with the principles of the aforementioned act and the employee profile of the specific
department / division.
Applications may be submitted online. All applications must be accompanied by the following:
- A detailed curriculum vitae;
- Copies of qualifications (please provide the SAQA accreditation in the case of foreign qualifications); and
- A copy of your identity document (ID).
Please indicate the reference number and the post you are applying for on the cover letter to your application. Applications that are incomplete, without a reference number, or sent by fax or e-mail, will not be considered. Should you not be contacted within six weeks of the closing date for applications, you may assume that your application was unsuccessful.
External candidates can click HERE to apply online.
UFS staff members can log onto PeopleSoft, click Self-Service, Recruiting, and Careers to apply online.
Centre College invites applications for a tenure-track assistant professor of Anthropology beginning August 2017. We seek a cultural anthropologist who could expand students’ understanding of diversity. Geographic specialty is open, and we are especially interested in deepening our program’s strengths in Latin America and/or the African Diaspora. The area of specialty is also open, while we encourage applications from candidates whose research considers urban anthropology, globalization, language and culture, cultural heritage studies, social movements, economic anthropology or political anthropology. Ph. D. required; candidate must have completed requirements for the degree by the time of appointment.
Centre College, a highly selective liberal arts college of about 1,400 students, has one of the nation’s premier study abroad programs and is ranked among the top fifty National Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News & World Report. Classes are small and academic standards are high. Centre graduates enjoy extraordinary success, with entrance to top graduate and professional schools, prestigious fellowships for further study abroad, and rewarding jobs. The College is located in Danville, Kentucky, a town of 18,000 recognized for its high quality of life. It is within easy driving distance of Lexington, Louisville, and Cincinnati.
Centre College is committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity. Centre strives to create an environment where differences are celebrated rather than discouraged, where the individuals have the opportunity to exchange ideas and share in the richness of mutual experiences. Please view the Statement of Community. For information concerning the college, visit our web site at www.centre.edu.
To apply, please go to http://apply.interfolio.com/36540 and submit a cover letter. In addition, candidates should include a statement of how you would contribute to and/or address the issues of diversity and inclusion at Centre, a teaching statement, a c.v., transcripts, and three letters of reference. Review of applications begins on October 15, 2016. Centre College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2017 ACIP workshop will be Secret Affinities: A workshop in critical reading and an interrogation of the city in Africa via Walter Benjamin’s “Passagen-Werk.” The project was proposed and will be organized by colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand, Noëleen Murray (Director, Wits City Institute and Andrew W. Mellon Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism) and Brett Pyper (Head of the Wits School of Arts). Working groups formed in the initial Secret Affinities workshop will develop collaborative projects over the following year, presenting their outcomes in seminars and public forums in 2018. Activities will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Das Passagen-Werk, Walter Benjamin’s unfinished refection on modernity and history, is the starting point for a two-day workshop in which sections of Benjamin’s text (known in English as The Arcades Project) will be discussed with the aim of facilitating cross-disciplinary discussion in relation to heritage, architecture and public history practices associated with cities and the African present. As with Benjamin’s positioning in Paris, his ‘capital of the nineteenth Century’, we work from our vantage point in Johannesburg, city of an African (but also hybrid) modernity, arguably the ‘African capital of the twenty-first century.’ We follow Benjamin’s endeavour in Arcades to construct ‘a world of secret affinities’ in which his assemblage of notes, reflections and citations on a host of topics, could begin to inform each other in unpredictable ways.
The very site of the workshop illustrates the layered urban histories, experiences, transformations and architectural imaginations that the workshop will seek to examine through particular sites. It will take place at what is now known as Satyagraha House, built as a residence in 1907 by German-born Lithuanian architect Hermann Kallenbach with a rondavel-inspired design. Mohandas Gandhi lived there with his friend Kallenbach and others for two years. Today the buildings have been renovated as a heritage site, museum about Gandhi’s time in South Africa, and guest house. It is a place steeped in history that we cannot recover outside of imaginary recreation involving rhetorics of display and heritage curation; a place that cannot now be divorced from re-invention or politics, but that nevertheless has been re-invented in austere opulence by a French tourism company working with an historian, curator and heritage architect.
The Secret Affinities workshop will form small discussion and working groups made up of established scholars, artists, architects and postgraduate students. Groups will define projects located at the intersections of architecture, public history, spatial planning, heritage and urban studies to develop through regular meetings during the following year. Their outcomes will be presented in 2018 and could include exhibitions, performances, public lectures or seminars, publications, digital and on-line platforms, or special editions of journals.
Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa through an annual ACIP workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.
Information about applying to organize the 2018 ACIP workshop and for the 2017 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards will be available in November 2016. The expected deadline for both workshop applications and student applications is 1 May 2017.
For further information, see http://www.gs.emory.edu/about/special/acip.html and https://www.facebook.com/ivan.karp.corinne.kratz.fund.
The African Critical Inquiry Programme has named Candice Jansen, Nothemba Kate Luckett, and Ajumeze Henry Obi as recipients of the 2016 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards. Jansen and Luckett are both South African students at the University of the Witwatersrand. Jansen is pursuing her PhD in History of Art, while Luckett is studying Sociology. Obi is a Nigerian scholar doing his degree in African Studies and Theatre Studies through the University of Cape Town. Support from ACIP’s Ivan Karp Awards will allow each of them to do significant research for their dissertations. Jansen will work on BINNEGOED: Coloured and South African Photography. Luckett will pursue research on Hope and Utopianism in the Everyday Lives of Metalworkers and their Communities. Obi’s dissertation project will examine The ‘Theatre of the Bloody Metaphor’: The Biopolitics of Violence in the Theatre of the Niger Delta.
Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa through an annual ACIP Workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.
About Candice Jansen’s project: Jansen’s project, BINNEGOED, argues that the conceptual and historical parallels between the medium of photography and the identity of ‘coloured’ can open renewed ways of engaging colouredness and theorising visual histories in South Africa. Naming her project with an Afrikaans word for innards or intestines, Jansen considers the racial identity of coloured through the history of South African photography. She takes up W.J.T. Mitchell’s provocation — ‘what if race was a medium?’ – by using the medium of photography to see into the ways in which word, image and biography mask deeper historical realities of race. What happened to the intellectual project on colouredness and what does any of this have to do with photography? BINNEGOED locates and examines coloured moments in the history of photography to analyse the ways in which race and image intersect over time and to propose alternative ways of thinking coloured identity today. Thus, Jansen will use colonial photographs to locate forgotten identities of the 19th century that eventually became assimilated into coloured categorisation. She will read the history of coloured representation in contemporary photography through a particular focus on coloured prison culture. Finally, she will study colouredness as creative practice through the lives of coloured photographers and coloured life writing. Drawing on interviews as well as archives, collections and libraries in South Africa, Sweden and the United States, Jansen will consider the works and lives of photographers Cedric Nunn, Ernest Cole, George Hallett, David Lurie, Mikhael Subotkzy, Gordon Clark, Luke Daniel, Pieter Hugo, and Araminta da Clermont, as well as unidentified 19th century photographers whose work was archived. In this way her project will help reimagine the entwined histories of race and visuality in South Africa.
About Nothemba Kate Luckett’s project: The National Union of Metalworkers South Africa (NUMSA) resolved to build a political alternative in opposition to the status quo in 2013 in the context of the Marikana Massacre and changing political landscape in South Africa.1 Workers taking action and refusing to “tolerate a dog’s life” (Bloch, 1986) is not something new in South Africa. The struggles of workers, communities and youth were critical in bringing down the apartheid regime and continue to be at the forefront of pushing against and beyond an oppressive and exploitative society. Processes of hope and utopianism do not only happen during the big moments of struggle or through overtly political practices, but are part of everyday lives, concretely manifesting in multiple ways that in turn shape the social world. Luckett’s dissertation, Hope and Utopianism in the Everyday Lives of Metalworkers and their Communities, contends that utopian thinking is part of being human: its ontological basis is that the material world is in process. Hope as a political necessity galvanizes action because it is more than the critique of what is but an imagining beyond the present. Through participant observation, oral histories, and research with documents and local archives, Luckett will explore the everyday lives of metalworkers, and the communities in which they live, through the lens of hope and utopianism and the concrete manifestations thereof. She will further explore the ambiguities and contradictions of utopianism and practices of co-option of hope into the status quo. Her research will focus on Eskom workers and communities in Lephalale, Limpopo, a site that contains many of the contradictions of post-apartheid South Africa. The topic of hope is of particular importance in the current context of alienation and disaffection of millions of working class South Africans, a context that is simultaneously a period of renewed searching, questioning and dreaming.
- The South African Police Service opened fire on a crowd of striking mineworkers at Marikana in August 2012, resulting in 34 dead, 78 wounded, and hundreds arrested.
About Ajumeze Henry Obi’s project: Since the discovery of huge deposits of crude oil in Nigeria in 1956, the creeks of the Niger Delta have metamorphosed into a volatile space of tripartite conflicts between armed youths of the region and the Nigerian military forces in collaboration with multinational oil corporations. The local agitation against ecological pollution and degradation in the region is not only indicative of the collective struggle for survival of the oil-producing communities, but also of environmental insecurity in the region. The ‘Theatre of the Bloody Metaphor’: The Biopolitics of Violence in the Theatre of the Niger Delta will explore the subjectivities of these bio-political conflicts by examining how the insurgency is culturally represented in six Nigerian plays. It considers how this representation captures the material contribution of non-human nature in the history of the resistance, from pre-oil to oil-modernity in the region. Analysis will focus on works by J. P. Clark-Bekeremo, W. Soyinka, Eni Jologho Umuko, B. Binebai and A. Yerima. The texts selected register the topography of the region in a manner that draws on site-specific and geomorphic forces in the performance of insurgency. They point to ways in which nature and the human subject are collectively embedded within the “pluriverse” of the Delta. Interviews conducted in the Warri area of the Niger Delta region will help interpret aspects of the creeks, mangroves and rivers and the relations between geography and supernatural power that figure in the plays. Obi will examine the texts from the standpoint of what Bruno Latour describes as “relational epistemology”, in which political agency is mapped on both sides of the human/nature dualism. In this way, his research will interrogate the dominance of the anthropocentric character of insurgency in the region, while foregrounding the spatial configuration of the geography of the Delta as co-combatant in the historical contestation against global oil capital. Obi’s work will bring a fresh perspective to Nigerian writing and understandings of the insurgencies by tracing the shifting contours of geopolitics and biopolitics in the cultural and dramatic imaginations of the region.
Information about the 2017 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards for African Students enrolled in South African Ph.D. Programmes will be available in November 2016. The application deadline is 1 May 2017.
For further information, see http://www.gs.emory.edu/about/special/acip.html and https://www.facebook.com/ivan.karp.corinne.kratz.fund