AAA Annual Meeting Program

AAA Annual Meeting Program Details


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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: VIOLENCE, JUST IN TIME: THE FUTURE OF WAR AND WORK IN THE MANO RIVER BASIN
Author: DANIEL HOFFMAN (University of Washington)   
Date/Time: Fri., 2:30 PM
Co-Author(s): DANIEL HOFFMAN (University of Washington) 
Abstract: By the final days of the recent wars in Sierra Leone and Liberia, the language of labor, employment, gain, compensation, reward and security – the language, in other words, of work – had become the language of militia fighters throughout the region. Combatants saw themselves as workers as much as they saw themselves as patriots, democrats, youth and rebels. In fact, these various titles were indistinguishable in the socio-political imaginary of the young men who fought this war. As these conflicts drew to a close, it seemed that every aspect of these men’s lived world was oriented toward making their bodies and their capacity for violence available for hire, whether in the diamond mines of Sierra Leone, the political campaigns of Liberian national elections, or on the region’s many battlefields. Now, as large groups of ex-combatants converge on the Sierra Leone / Liberia border to dig diamonds deep in the forest, it has becoming clearer what form of work this truly is. Veterans of the fighting in Sierra Leone and Liberia talk of themselves in increasingly stark terms as workers for hire in a “just in time” economy of violence. They recognize that the known rules and roles of production have been suspended, and that their individual futures lie in understanding, and then mastering, the demands of West Africa’s brand of crisis capitalism.

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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