The Spatial Turn and the Study of Africa “as a place in the world and of the world”
Prof. Rita Abrahamsen (U Ottawa, Canada)
|Date||Wednesday, 7 June 2017, 9:15 am – 12:45 pm|
|Location||SFB 1199 | Strohsackpassage | Nikolaistraße 6-10 | 5th floor | Room 5.59 | 04109 Leipzig|
|Contact||Katharina Döring | email@example.com|
Current dynamics in Africa (and elsewhere) have come to challenge established theoretical binaries and boundaries, such as local/global, public/private or state/non-state. Often, actors cannot be separated into single categories, and their roles and identities defy easy labels as their interactions and practices include different domains and scopes (e.g. public offices/private business, “smugglers”-cum-“jihadists”, etc.). At the same time, practices of securitization affect the domains of social, cultural, political, and economic life, which calls for an interrogation of the entanglements among security, development, governance, and democracy. Among the different approaches to research these phenomena are assemblage thinking and field analysis, both emphasizing actors and their connections. Similarly, the study of spaces provides another avenue to research the complex interactions of actors across various domains and levels by focusing on the “processes of spatialization” accompanying them as a central dimension of social action. Therefore, the aim of the workshop is to explore the role of space in the study of these phenomena and to systematize different research practices that relate to the spatial turn. To this end, it touches upon the following questions: How can we understand actors seemingly “out of place” in a specific location? How does a focus on space change methods for data collection, analysis, and theory building? How does an analysis of space relate to post-colonial perspectives, or to reflexive global and area studies?
During this workshop, guest researcher Rita Abrahamsen will present her ongoing research that takes goldmining in Tanzania as the empirical point of departure and uses a Bourdieusian-inspired global field theory of development to discern the particular dynamics of this location. Following her presentation, we will share and discuss the different research experiences of the participants, with a special emphasis on analytical approaches in relation to the study of “processes of spatialization”.
To participate in the workshop, please contact Katharina Döring (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Prof. Rita Abrahamsen (University of Ottawa, Canada)
Rita Abrahamsen is a professor in the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. Her research and teaching focus on African politics, security and development, security privatization, and postcolonial theory. Her work has been widely published in renowned journals and she was the joint-editor of African Affairs, the highest ranked journal in African studies, from 2009 to 2014. Her publications include Security Beyond the State: Private Security in International Politics (2011, with M.C. Williams) and Disciplining Democracy: Development Discourse and the Good Governance Agenda in Africa (2000). Rita holds a PhD in politics from the University of Wales. She has taught at the University of Aberystwyth and was a visiting fellow at the University of Cape Town, the European University Institute in Florence, the University of Queensland in Brisbane, the International Peace Research Institute (PRIO) in Oslo, and the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) at the University of Copenhagen.
Image source: U Ottawa, Link (6 June 2017)