Refiguring the Commons in Morocco's New Enclosures: Ethnographic Perspectives on Land, Community, and the State

Washington, United States

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CCAS is proud to present

Refiguring the Commons in Morocco's New Enclosures:

Ethnographic Perspectives on Land, Community, and the State

Featuring

The 2012-2013 Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellow

Karen Rignall 

Dr. Rignall's talk explores the implications of a large-scale solar energy project for understanding the role of the commons in contemporary struggles over sovereignty in southern Morocco. Public resistance to the state's acquisition of land for the high-profile project illustrates the competing visions of sovereignty held by the state and local residents. Dr. Rignall traces the history of governance in Morocco's collectively owned lands to contextualize current movements to privatize those lands. The sometimes surprising political alignments that emerge challenge easy associations of the commons as inherently egalitarian and the private as a site of neoliberal exclusion. Attending to the rhetorics of sovereignty in these enclosure movements forces us to develop a more nuanced theoretical language for understanding the political potential of the commons.

Dr. Rignall holds a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from the University of Kentucky. Her research addresses how the meanings and uses of land figure into people's experience of a changing rurality in contemporary North Africa.  Dr. Rignall traces the livelihood trajectories of individual households as well as the collective dimensions of land conflict to interrogate the complexities of property and economy in the context of environmental change and immersion in global labor markets.

The Qatar Post-Doctoral Fellowship was established by a generous grant from the State of Qatar to the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University. The fellowship supports a recent Ph.D. working on the topic of U.S.-Arab relations, Arab studies, or Islamic studies for one academic year

Light refreshments will be served.

Contact: 

Elisabeth Sexton

Public Affairs Coordinator

 phone: 202-687-6215

 email: ccasevents@georgetown.edu