Writer’s Workshop "Theorising the State and Mobility in Africa"

Writer’s Workshop

"Theorising the State and Mobility in Africa"

in collaboration with the Forced Migration Studies Programme, WITS University and the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull

Maputo

Date: 31st  July – 4th August 2010

In July-August 2010, MPI co-hosted a writer’s workshop in collaboration with the Forced Migration Studies Programme, WITS University and the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation, University of Hull. This project drew inspiration from scholars like Achille Mbembe, Frederick Cooper and James Scott, who have sought to regenerate theories of the ’state’ by considering the relationship between African states and mobile people. By focusing upon processes of enslavement, segregation, genocide,  indirect rule, urbanization and territorialisation in continental Africa, this work seeks to move beyond standard Europe/Africa, formal/informal, weak/strong dichotomies, and epochal historical references that suggest Europeans decided Africa’s future at the Berlin Conference in 1884. Our writer’s conference was designed to develop an edited collection to address these concerns. The collection aimed to combine historical insights in with ethnographic research to identify whether there is anything we might call an African ’model’ of regulating mobility.

As the titles listed below illustrate, colleagues from Africa, Europe and North America submitted papers dealing with issues ranging from border controls to decolonisation to inner city-policing. There was also a considerable breadth in terms of the case material covered, including studies of West, Central, Eastern and Southern Africa. The writer’s workshop took place in Maputo, Mozambique from 31 July – 4th August 2010. The agenda of the workshop was experimental, designed to foster a spirit of theoretical engagement amongst the authors, as well as providing intensive sessions to workshop each individual contribution. Darshan Vigneswaran (MPI) and Joel Quirk (Hull) are currently compiling the manuscript for an edited collection, based on the papers and discussions in Maputo, to be submitted for review in early 2011.

The organisers would like to thank the British Academy UK-Africa Partnerships Scheme, Southern Africa Nordic Trust and the Max Planck Society for supporting this event. Papers:

 

INTRODUCTION

Joel Quirk, WISE, University of Hull - Darshan Vigneswaran, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

 

LEGACIES

European States and mobility in Pre-Colonial Africa: Portugal’s migration policies for Sao Tome and Angola (16th-19th centuries)
Filipa Ribeiro da Silva, WISE, University of Hull

Influx Control in Historical Perspective:  The Zimbabwean Experience  1890-1970s
Gerald Chikozho Mazarire, University of Zimbabwe

Captive to civilization’: Law, labor and violence in colonial Mozambique
Eric Allina-Pisano, University of Ottawa

State-government and self-government amongst Aderawa migrants to Northern Nigeria (1880-2000)
Benedetta Rossi, School of History, University of Liverpool  

Slavery and Forced Migration in Africa: Historical Inquiry as Contemporary Instruction
Joel Quirk, WISE, University of Hull

 

TRANSITIONS

Decolonization and (Dis)Possession in Portuguese Africa
Pamila Gupta, WISER, WITS University

Semi-Sovereignty in Southern Africa
Audie Klotz, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University

Sovereignty, Territoriality and National Unity in Rwanda
Simon Turner, Danish Institute for International Studies

Moving from peace to war in the Zambia/Angola borderland
Oliver Bakewell, International Migration Institute, University of Oxford

Reformulating Apartheid: From Influx Control to Immigration Control
Darshan Vigneswaran, Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity

 

AUTHORITY AND IDENTITY

Between Patriotic Visions and Local Responses: Diaspora, development and the ambivalent role of the state in Ghana
Nauja Kleist, Danish Institute for International Studies

Mobility and the Politics of Recognition in African Cities:  Rethinking the Basis of Participation and Belonging
Loren B. Landau, FMSP, WITS University

Where the State Resides:  Displacement, Authority and Belonging at Zimbabwe’s Edges
Amanda Hammar, Centre of African Studies, University of Copenhagen

States of Passion / States of Experts: Policing Counterfeit Medications in Africa
Julia Hornberger, University of Zurich