ASW Conference 2013: Extractive Economies and the State in Contemporary Africa

The African Studies Workshop culminates each year with a conference event in the spring.  The 2013 conference, entitled Extractive Economies and the State in Contemporary Africa, was held on Friday, April 26, 2013 at the Tsai Auditorium.  

The conference dealt with a critical dimension of dynamic and process of “Africa rising” – the changing impact of extractive economies across the continent. This impact is felt in diverse ways by different African populations, an impact mediated in complex ways by African states, not least in their relations with global corporations, local communities, so-called “traditional” authorities, NGO’s, and a motley array of other “stakeholders,” ranging from organized crime to faith-based institutions. The conference explored these relations and the processes to which they are giving rise, thus to open up new empirical, analytical, and theoretical conversations on a topic of obvious contemporary significance.

Session One

Christopher Alden, Reader in the Department of International Relations at the London School of Economics presenting Africa Rising – renewal, scramble or beginning?
Brenda Chalfin, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Florida presenting Africa’s Ultra-deep Oil Front: Constructing Risk in the Western Gulf of Guinea

Session Two

Keith Breckenridge, Associate Professor at Wits Institute for Social & Economic Research, University of Witswatersrand presenting Revenge of the Commons: South Africa and the Resource Curse


Session Three 

James Smith, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davis presenting Tales of the time of ‘May it never end’: network fantasies and the drama of fluctuating temporality in the Eastern DR Congo

Filipe Calvao, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of Chicago presenting Rogues and Experts: Bodies and Kimberlite, Fractal Geology, and the Txibulo of Capital

Joshua Walker, PhD Candidate in Anthropology, University of Chicago presenting Diamonds, Dollars and Decline: Post-boom Extractive Economies in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Closing remarks

Professor John Comaroff, Professor of Anthropology and African Studies, Harvard University