Oct
8
Mon 4:00 PM

"Are Births Just Women's Business?" Gift Exchange, Value, and Global Volatility in Muslim Senegal

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When: Monday, October 8, 2012
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM  
Where: 620 Library Place, Conference Room  
Evanston, IL 60208 map it
Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Public
Contact: Kate Dargis   (847) 491-7323
Group: Program of African Studies
Category: Lectures & Meetings
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"Are Births Just Women's Business?" Gift Exchange, Value, and Global Volatility in Muslim Senegal

Beth Buggenhagen, Anthropology, Indiana University, Bloomington

Abstract: Through global circuits of wage labor and capital, the Murid way has become an economic force in the Senegalese postcolony amid conditions of protracted global volatility. I analyze women’s actions within these global circuits. Women create value through giving gifts during the celebration of births and marriages that are the product of, and the motivating force behind, Murid global trade. I focus on how women shift the media (such as varieties of cloth) and modality of exchange in relation to their experience of economic turbulence. Women’s ritual activities, on which male honor rests, draws them into conflict with the Murid clergy, which views women’s actions as customary and not part of their modern, austere, and global vision of Islam in Senegal. 

Bio: Beth Buggenhagen is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Indiana University, Bloomington. She is the author of Muslim Families in Global Senegal (IU Press 2012) and is currently working on a project on photographic practices and urban life in Dakar, "Visualizing Dakar: Islam and Photography in an African City."