Seminar “Readings and fielworks in Sudan”: Marxist anthropology in African contexts

A session of the seminar “Readings and fieldworks in Sudan”, will be held in CEDEJ Khartoum, on 13th November 2022, 10.30 am

This seminar combines the reading of social sciences monographs on Sudan with reflections rooted in the experience of the research fields I conducted in this country between 1989 and today. As a fourth book, I propose to read “Maiurno. Capitalism and Rural Life in Sudan”, by Mark R. Duffield (1981).

Based on fieldwork carried out in the 1970s by this anthropologist, the book proposes an analysis of the economic and social transformations in Maiurno, Sennar State, with a particular attention to the intermingling of ethnicity issues (mainly related to Hausa groups) and their reshaping by colonial policies of Native Administration, the development of “peripheral” capitalism in Sudan, the dynamics of class formation and struggle.

Within a wider political economy approach, Duffield illustrates the historical process through which early expansion of commercial agriculture, land privatization and wage-labour has disrupted local communal forms of production alongside with kinship and social relations, sowing the seeds for further competition, dependence and conflict.

Through the presentation of this volume I will propose a general reflection about the relevance of Marxist anthropology in African studies, and its contribution for the understanding of contemporary Sudan food and political crises.


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