Tuesday, October 8, 2019
5 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Joukowsky Forum, 111 Thayer Street
Nada Mustafa Ali will present on “Women, Gender, and Sudan’s 2018/2019 Uprising,” drawing on her ongoing research from a gender and a feminist perspective. Women played key roles in Sudan’s 2018/2019 uprising which unseated Sudan's former president Omar al-Bashir and outlawed the ruling National Congress Party. Gender inequality and violations of the rights of women in different parts of Sudan was a key feature of the regime's policies. Nada Mustafa Ali uses a gender and a feminist perspective in contextualizing and analyzing the uprising as well as Sudan’s transition. What does change mean for Sudan’s diverse men and women? What role are women’s organizations and movements playing in the transition? How can the people of Sudan learn from the country’s history of transitions and short democratic periods? And what can they learn from the “Arab Spring” and from post-conflict experiences in various African countries? Professor Ali will draw on fieldwork in Sudan as well as on digital ethnographic research on social media, social movements, and social change that she started in 2014.
Khalid Medani (’87), will present a lecture on an often-neglected element associated with the rise (and fall) of authoritarianism, the emergence of Islamic political movements, and the local dynamics of ethnic conflict in the Middle East and Africa: the role of informal commercial and social networks. Specifically, and drawing on many years of research conducted in Sudan, Egypt, Somalia and Morocco, Dr. Medani will discuss the similar (as well as contrasting) ways in which informal networks have underpinned the historic popular protests that ended 30 long years of authoritarian rule in Sudan; provided the context for the emergency of militant Islamist activism in Egypt and Morocco; and greatly influenced the dynamics of ethnic politics in Somalia. Professor Medani’s portion aims to initiate an open and critical discussion pertaining to the prospects and obstacles for popular mobilization and democratization in the region; illuminate some of the factors associated with the question of why a small minority of youth join extremist groups; and question the securitization of informal networks reflected in the ongoing global war on “terrorist” finance.
Organized by Lina Fruzzetti, professor of anthropology.