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Hamzić, Vanja (2023) Cosmological and Gender-Bodily Resistance to an Emergent Racial Capitalism in Eighteenth-Century West Africa and Colonial Louisiana. In: Invited talk, the Xenia Series (online), March 2023, London / Cambridge. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

The fashioning of specifically ‘male’ and ‘female’ subjects—whether free, indentured or enslaved—was a sine qua non preoccupation of the early capitalist economy, of which the trans-Atlantic slave trade was one of the key derivatives. When this trade reached its zenith in seventeenth-century West Africa, it set in motion a series of political, religious and social events that would transform this region in the century to come into a battlefield of competing ideas and regimes of personhood—whether they be the nascent colonial racial and gender ordering, religious and social strictures brought fore by many a Fulɓe-led jihād, or an increasingly ostracised spiritual and bodily diversity within the centuries-old Greater Senegambian status groups. In a similar manner, the eighteenth-century ‘French’ and then ‘Spanish’ Louisiana, into which many enslaved West Africans were forcefully brought, became an experimental ground for an emergent colonial gender binary, against both the diverse Indigenous and West African conceptualisations of personhood and sociality. This talk is based on Vanja Hamzić's long-term archival and ethnographic research of these phenomena.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Items (Keynote)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2023 09:23
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/40347

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