Resource Extraction and Racial Orders in Post/Colonial Ghana
Jemima Pierre, Ph.D.,
Associate Professor of African American Studies and Anthropology
University of California, Los Angeles
If colonial rule in Africa depended upon a racial hierarchy that simultaneously consolidated supposedly “tribal” (ethnic) difference and white racial and cultural and political supremacy, what happens to this structure at the end of formal colonial rule? Following this, what does it mean to explore racial formations in our analyses of decolonization and the African postcolony? In this lecture, I use preliminary analysis from my current ethnographic and archival research on the political economy of resource extraction in Ghana to address these questions. Through an interrogation of the some of the processes and contours of its racialized political economy, I hope to provoke a re-evaluation of the cultural politics of the African postcolony.
Jemima Pierre (Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin) is a sociocultural anthropologist whose research and teaching interests are located in the overlaps between African Studies and African Diaspora Studies and engage three broad areas: race, racial formation theory, and political economy; culture and the history of anthropological theory; and transnationalism, globalization, and diaspora. She is the author of The Predicament of Blackness: Postcolonial Ghana and the Politics of Race (Winner of the 2014 Elliot Skinner Book Award in Africanist Anthropology; long listed for the 2013 OCM – BOCAS Literary Prize; Recipient for the 2012 Bevington Fund First Book Grant). She is currently completing a book, Race and Africa: Cultural and Historical Legacies, which is under contract with Routledge Press (“Framing 21st Century Social Issues Series”). At the same time, she has an ongoing ethnographic research project that focuses on historical and contemporary resource extraction in Ghana as a way to think through the relationship of race and political economy in the African postcolony. Dr. Pierre’s essays on global racial formation, Ghana, immigration, and African diaspora theory and politics have appeared in a number of academic journals including, Cultural Anthropology, Feminist Review, Social Text, Identities, Cultural Dynamics, Transforming Anthropology, Journal of Haitian Studies, Latin American Perspective, American Anthropologist, Philosophia Africana, and Politique Africaine.
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