AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: HEDGING THE FUTURE: TOGO'S VISA LOTTERY
Author: CHARLES PIOT (Duke University)   
Date/Time: Fri., 3:00 PM
Co-Author(s): CHARLES PIOT (Duke University) 
Abstract: The post-Cold War dispensation in Togo – state pullback, the privatization of common property, class consolidation, NGO-ization, the dramatic spread of charismatic Christianity – has re-made social and political fields, and ushered in new sovereignties, biopolitical regimes, and temporalities. It has also spawned a near-universal desire for exile. This paper explores the new moment through the immensely popular practice of Togolese applying for, and attempting to game, the US green card lottery. Examining the ins and outs of visa lottery logic, the paper also positions “lotto visa” within a larger field of state-sponsored lotteries, ponzie schemes, micro-finance initiatives, and gifts to God that have swept the cultural field over the past ten years – and that attempt to hedge the present against an unknown future.

Program Number: 3-0785
Session Title: AFRICAN FUTURES IN CRISIS
Session Sponsor: Co-Sponsored by Society for Cultural Anthropology and Society for Cultural Anthropology
Session Date/Time: Fri., 1:45 PM-5:30 PM
Organizer(s): BRIAN GOLDSTONE (Duke University) 
Chair(s): CHARLES PIOT (Duke University)  
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