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Afropolitan Insecurities: Kairological Time and Urban Geographies

Friday, April 26 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Speaker: Brittany Meché, Williams College 

Abstract: 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. 

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Friday, April 26
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT


Dept. of Geography
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50 Joyce Kilmer Ave
Piscataway, NJ 08854 United States
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