We are very pleased to announce CEDEJ Khartoum next Seminar on “South Sudan and the Politics of Region-craft” by Zachary Mondesire, on Thursday 19 July- 11 am
The seminar will focus on the new nation of South Sudan and what it now means to be South Sudanese in Africa. First, Zachary Mondesire will draw from his MA thesis that outlines the ideologies of racial difference that circulate in Juba defining relationships between South Sudanese themselves as well as with others from the region, whether northward to Khartoum or southward to Nairobi. These ideas emerged from three months of ethnographic research in 2017 in a modest hotel in Juba that operated as a site of refuge during the still-ongoing civil war and hosted Africans of multiple nationalities (Eritreans, Somalis, Ugandans, and South Sudanese of multiple backgrounds). Thinking through the linkages that his interlocutors made between race and national identity led him to ask (1) how Arab positionality, Khartoum, and Sudan continue to be relevant in South Sudanese political community and (2) given the multi-polar racial thinking of his interlocutors that envisions a racial and political geography much broader than the nation-state, what other forms of political community exist beyond the nation-state and towards the idea of multi-state region and how can his research account for them? The second piece of this paper is the conceptualization of Zachary Mondesire’s dissertation research project that will attempt to answer these questions.
Zachary Mondesire is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at the University of California – Los Angeles. His research focuses on South Sudanese journalists, politicians, and intellectuals in Khartoum and Nairobi, exploring how they think through regional belonging, race, and political community between East and North Africa.