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Material Culture and Global Circuits

Date and Time: 
Monday, February 22, 2021 - 15:30 to 17:00

Department of Anthropology
VIA Zoom


Dr. M. Amah Edoh

Homer A. Burnell Assistant Professor of
Anthropology and African Studies,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
I am an anthropologist interested in the production of knowledge about Africa; namely, how “Africa” as a category of thought is produced through material practices across African and non-African sites. The questions my work engages are informed in important ways by my lived experiences in the US, Europe, and West and Southern Africa as a dual Togolese and American citizen. My current book project,
Our Grandmothers’ Cloth: Materiality, Class, and Global Membership in the Age of “The New Africa,” traces the trajectory of Dutch Wax cloth (aka African print cloth) between Holland and Togo. The multi-sited ethnography examines how Africa and Africans’ place in the world is negotiated and articulated at the start of the 21st century, at a time when discourses about Africa’s place in the world are shifting from Africa as site of perpetual crisis to Africa as the future (the so-called “New Africa”). My research has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and the Ford Foundation. Prior to joining the academy, I was in the field of public health for six years.

Dr. Vivian Lu

Assistant Professor of Anthropology,
Fordham University
Vivian Chenxue Lu is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Fordham University whose work focuses on capitalism and African diasporic mobilizations amongst the Global South. Her first book project focuses on the extensive migratory circulations of Nigerian traders amongst contemporary trade sites across Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Drawing from the anthropology of capitalism, critical race studies, and
postcolonial African studies, her work examines how transnational south-south
diasporic formations have transformed Nigerian social imaginaries and discourses of postcolonial economic sovereignty. Before coming to Fordham, she was previously a race and ethnicity studies graduate fellow at Stanford University, a visiting PhD student at the University of Lagos, and an African Studies postdoctoral associate at Yale
University. She is currently involved in the Association for Feminist Anthropology and the Lagos Studies Association.