In the fragmented political landscape of early modern Germany, control over moving goods and people was a permanent object of contention between travelers and more than three hundred competing polities. Such conflicts were often framed as matters of “conduct”, a term denoting the sovereign right to escort travelers and to levy customs duties on passing goods and people. Although only certain forms of movement were subject to conduct restrictions, public officials constituted a considerable obstacle for the unhampered movement on the roads and rivers traversing the patchwork empire. Accordingly, attempts at “monopolizing the legitimate means of movement” (John Torpey) clashed at more or less open forms of resistance from the side of those to be controlled. Drawing on the physical, symbolic and intellectual conflicts occasioned in this context, the talk explores the fundamentally controversial nature of these polities’ grasp on human mobility. Confronted with fragmented, multi-layered forms of territoriality, double-edged claims of protection and ubiquitous appeals to free movement, we are called to reflect on the border through the eyes of a past that knew restricted mobility as an all-pervasive but much-disputed principle of socio-spatial organization.
Paul T. Zeleza
Department of History
“Domestic Transformations in Contemporary Africa: What Role for the Diaspora?”
Wednesday, March 4, 4-6pm Fayerweather 411
Discussant: Ndieme Ouleye Ndoye
Zeleza’s academic work has crossed traditional boundaries, ranging from economic and intellectual history to human rights, gender studies and diaspora studies. He has published more than 300 journal articles, book chapters, reviews, online essays and short stories.
Topics include political, economic development and human rights issues as well as the impact of globalization on Africa, the continent’s relationships with its diasporas and the impact of the Obama presidency in terms of the diaspora paradigm.
Zeleza won Africa’s most prestigious book prize, the Noma Award, for “A Modern Economic History of Africa” and “Manufacturing African Studies and Crises.” His recent books include “Barack Obama and African Diasporas: Dialogues and Dissensions” and “In Search of African Diasporas: Testimonies and Encounters.”
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Malawi and his master’s from the University of London, where he studied African history and international relations. He holds a Ph.D. in economic history from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Wednesday, December 10th
4:15 – 5:45pm
The Little Book of Kabul, is a book project that depicts a portrait of Kabul through the daily activities of a number of artists who live in the city. With an evocative tone, it focuses on the tiny details that escape grand narratives. Colours and gestures, smells and accents. In 20 short stories and 47 black and white photographs, The Little Book of Kabul dives into the lives of the three main characters exploring what it means to be an artist in Kabul and hence unveiling the beauty and brutality of the city.
Dr. Francesca Recchia is an independent researcher and writer who has worked and taught in different parts of the world, including India, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine. She is interested in the geopolitical dimension of cultural processes and in recent years has focused her research on urban transformations and creative practices in countries in conflict. She was the director of the 4th Afghanistan Contemporary Art Prize and is the author of three books, The Little Book of Kabul (with Lorenzo Tugnoli), Picnic in a Minefield and Devices for Political Action (with a photo-essay by Leo Novel).
Lorenzo Tugnoli is a documentary photographer based in Kabul. His work has been published by The New York Times, Le Monde, Newsweek, Time Magazine, Wired, The New Republic, The Atlantic, Der Spiegel as well as several Italian magazines. He is a regular contributor of the The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.