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Listen to the podcast of the 28 October seminar, part of the Michaelmas term 2015 Public Seminar Series

This lecture draws on and extends beyond the work captured in a recent edited volume on Displacement Economies in Africa(Zed Press, 2014). It continues with the ‘restorative ambition’ to make visible the various interactive spaces, temporalities, social and political relationalities and changing dynamics of production and exchange, that displacement paradoxically generates but which are often hidden from view. Attention is given to the evolution of displacement economies as conceptual/analytical framework, and as empirical object. These dimensions are illustrated primarily through examples from past and ongoing research in Zimbabwe. 

About the speaker

Amanda Hammar is Director and MSO Professor in African Studies at the Centre of African Studies (CAS) at the University of Copenhagen. Her core research interests combine political economy and cultural politics approaches, and the use of ethnography among other methods, to understand the dynamics and spaces of social, economic, political and physical exclusion/inclusion in both agrarian and urban settings, at smaller and larger scales. She is particularly concerned with how these processes unfold and generate change – both symbolic and material – in contexts of displacement and crisis. Within this general framing, she has a special interest in the relationship between sustained crisis and different dimensions of state making and citizen making. She is responsible for the Research Platform at CAS on ‘Sovereignties and Citizenship’. Geographically, most of her work has been focused on southern Africa, particularly Zimbabwe and to a lesser extent Mozambique. Her most recently concluded project has been on Political Economies of Displacement, culminating in an edited volume entitled Displacement Economies in Africa: Paradoxes of Crisis and Creativity. In addition to being a strongly empirically grounded collection (with cases from across the continent), its ambitions include a theoretical challenge to more classic conceptualisations of displacement.