Events Calendar

Brittany Meché
Friday, April 26, 2024, 03:00pm
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Afropolitan Insecurities: Kairological Time and Urban Geographies

Through a theorization of kairological time, that is an attention to notions of prophecy, propitiousness, and ordained moments of change, this talk contemplates the urban geographies of two Sahelian capitals: Dakar, Senegal and Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Drawing on ethnographic vignettes, I examine how my informants navigate these sites through forms of watchfulness, anticipation, waiting, and projection, the ways they re- imagine the cities through prisms of impending disaster. I ask: how do these projections of Sahelian cities contrast with other urban imaginaries? How do these cities exist simultaneously as paragons of Afropolitan aesthetic valorization and also loci of danger? The talk considers forms of anticipation and predictions that frame Sahelian capitals as especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and armed conflict. I grapple with the making of these cities as sites of tourism through an Afropolitan sensibility marketed to both foreigners and African and Afro-diasporic communities.

Dr. Brittany Meché is a transdisciplinary scholar working across the fields of Environmental Studies, Security Studies, African/Diaspora Studies, and Science and Technology Studies. She currently serves as Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Affiliated Faculty in Science and Technology Studies at Williams College. Her research examines the politics of environmental expertise, global security projects, French and United States empire, and the making of Black/African diasporic worlds. She is currently completing two book manuscripts. The first, entitled Sustainable Empire: Nature, Knowledge, and Insecurity in the Sahel, is a solo authored study of security interventions, climate change, and the afterlives of empire in the West African Sahel. The second, entitled Heartbreak and Other Geographies: Assembling Katherine McKittrick, is a co-edited volume celebrating the groundbreaking work of Katherine McKittrick.

Location Tillet room 264