Northwestern University

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Feb
22
Wed 12:00 PM

Wednesdays@PAS: Selecting the State or Choosing the Chief? The Political Determinants of Smallholder Titling in Zambia and Senegal

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When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Program of African Studies   (847) 491-7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
Department of Political Science

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture. Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Lauren Honig, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Kellogg Institute, University of Notre Dame

Title: Selecting the State or Choosing the Chief? The Political Determinants of Smallholder Titling in Zambia and Senegal

Abstract: Land titling has important developmental consequences, but it is not equally desirable or efficient among all smallholder farmers, even within the same communities. Instead, customary institutions shape who benefits from titling—and who resists. Within Sub-Saharan Africa, customary institutions regulate untitled land and play an important role in the daily lives of smallholder farmers. This manuscript examines who titles and why with attention to the individual’s status within the customary institution. Analysis of one new and one established geocoded smallholder survey in Senegal and Zambia indicates that, independent of ethnicity, wealth, and land values, households with greater customary privilege are less likely to title their land. Such individuals are slow to exit the customary system of property rights in order to continue benefiting from high status within the institution. I find support for this mechanism in measures of increased tenure security for those with customary privilege. These findings update the dominant wisdom that land markets and economic efficiency drive smallholder land titling, demonstrating the important effect of status within the customary institution on the decision to title. This contributes to the continuing debate on the efficiency of land titling, in the current era of high demand for African agricultural land. It suggests that smallholders with low customary privilege benefit the most from titling.

Bio: Lauren Honig (PhD, Cornell University), a visiting fellow at the Kellogg Institute at the University of Notre Dame for the 2016–17 academic year, conducts research on the political economy of development and comparative politics in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research interests include state building, property rights, natural resource governance, and plural systems of local authority.

Within the field of Comparative Politics, her primary research interests are state-building and the political economy of development, with a regional focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. Several of her current research projects examine the political determinants of land policy and property rights. This includes her dissertation on the impact of customary authority on the development of mixed property rights institutions in West and Southern Africa. Dissertation fieldwork in Zambia and Senegal was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and Fulbright-IIE.

In addition to field experience in Zambia (2012, 2013, 2014) and Senegal (2011, 2014), she has worked and conducted research in Madagascar (2006) and Burkina Faso (2016), where she was a Peace Corps Volunteer from 2007-2009. She is a Northwestern University alum, 2007 with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies.

Mar
1
Wed 12:00 PM

Wednesdays@PAS: African Literature and Social Media

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When: Wednesday, March 1, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Program of African Studies   (847) 491-7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture. Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Ainehi Edoro, Assistant Professor of English, Marquette University

Title: African Literature and Social Media

Abstract: The talk looks at how social media is laying the groundwork for what might be a shift in the conditions of producing African literature and how we assign meaning and value to African literary objects. The objective is to theorize social media as a new calculus of value that has considerable impact in the production of literary knowledge within the African context.

Bio: Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at Marquette University. She holds a doctorate degree from Duke University. She is the founder and editor of the African literary site called Brittle Paper.

Mar
8
Wed 12:00 PM

Wednesdays@PAS: The Berber Groups of Tripolitania and the Emergence of the Ethnic Discourse in Colonial Libya (1911-1922)

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When: Wednesday, March 8, 2017
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, 1st Floor Conference Room, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

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

Contact: Program of African Studies   (847) 491-7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Come join PAS for our weekly lunch and lecture. Lunch provided by PAS.

Speaker: Chiara Pagano, PAS visiting scholar, PhD candidate in African History, Roma Tre University, Rome, Italy

Title: The Berber Groups of Tripolitania and the Emergence of the Ethnic Discourse in Colonial Libya (1911-1922)

Abstract: Libya is a relatively young territorial aggregate with a long history of changing local equilibriums in which local groups were involved in regional and sub-regional mechanisms of interdependence and competition at a social, economic and political level. Libyan nationalism progressively came out as a reaction to two successive processes of State centralization. The former was promoted during the late Ottoman re-conquest of Tarabulus al-Gharb (Tripolitania) and Barqa (Cyrenaica) provinces; the latter instead was implied by Italian colonization. The rationalization of the public sphere imposed by the advent of Italian colonialism, together with the centralization of power, readjusted the political relationships characterizing pre-colonial societies. New subjectivities were produced and catalogued alongside racial, ethnic, and religious categories. Thus, the gradual process through which the idea of a Libyan Nation has historically emerged engendered the parallel emergence of minority identities, which constitute its corollary.

Addressing the case of social groups inhabiting the Jebel al-Nefusa region (Tripolitania) and the coastal town of Zwara, where the majority of Libya’s Berbers lives, the research’s aim is to retrace how the Arabs-Berbers dichotomy historically emerged, and proved to be a political tool in colonial Libya both for Italian authorities of the early colonial period and the local groups of Tripolitania’s complex society.

Documents and reports produced by colonial functionaries, as well as Italian metropolitan institutions, together with ethnographic, geographic and demographic studies produced by the Italian “colonial library” regarding Libyan population, will serve to assess Italian colonial policy, questioning if it also produced a systematic minority policy, both in religious and ethnic terms. The ethnic minority discourse will be investigated by moving the analysis from a merely cultural approach to a political one, with the aim of retracing the causes of social tensions and political conflicts between Arabs and Berbers. Therefore, it will be emphasized how some group-actors interacting in Tripolitania social and political context during the colonial period appropriated the ethnic discourse in their strategies of intermediations with the colonial authorities to affect the unequal distribution of power and resources at local elites’ level.

My argument is that, historically locating the emergence of the Berber ethnic category during the Italian colonial period will allow us to interpret ethnicity in terms of the changing discourses and practices of self-narrative that occurred within Tripolitanian social competition for prominence, involving not only local actors, but the colonial power as well.

Bio: Chiara Pagano is a PhD candidate in African History at the University of Roma Tre doctoral program in European and International Studies. She has been associate Ph. D. student at the Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain of Tunis. Her research interests concern the historical construction of “identity” and “otherness” as instruments of political control, identification and mobilization in colonial and post-colonial Libya. In order to better address these themes she has been conducting her researches in Libya, Egypt, and Tunisia, where she also studied Modern Standard Arabic.