Northwestern Events Calendar


Anthropology Colloquium, Zoe Crossland, Columbia University


When: Monday, April 13, 2020
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Central

Where: 1810 Hinman Avenue, 104, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Nancy Hickey   847.467.1507

Group: Anthropology Colloquia and Events

Co-Sponsor: Anthropology Department
Alice Kaplan Institute for the Humanities

Category: Lectures & Meetings


Rethinking biopower: nonhuman forms of life and sovereignty in precolonial Madagascar

Precolonial history tends to be left outside of discussions of biopower, which are generally figured in terms of western modernity. In the context of African history the biopolitical has been traced in relation to European colonial power, and through the importation and instantiation of imperial policies and structures of governance. But how might biopolitics have operated in precolonial political formations? Taking highland Madagascar as a case study I consider the role of rice in the constitution of sovereignty and the formation of subjects of the precolonial state. Foregrounding modes of biopolitics and subjectification that are less centered on the human, I suggest that such African enactments and assemblages of political power demand a rethinking of forms of life and their relationship to the biopolitical. 

This event is co-sponsored by the Kaplan Institute for the Humanities
This event is co-sponsored by the Program of African Studies

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