AAA Annual Meeting Program

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Paper Information:
Type: Paper
Paper Title: RELUCTANT SUBJECTS, UNRULY TRANSACTIONS: CONTESTING VALUE AND AUTHORITY IN RURAL COLONIAL SENEGAL
Author: FRANCOIS RICHARD (University of Chicago)   
Date/Time: Fri., 9:15 AM
Co-Author(s): FRANCOIS RICHARD (University of Chicago) 
Abstract: This paper explores how rural residents in the Siin province of Senegal drew on a shifting repertoire of economic practices to engage – and partially subvert – colonial forms of government and the incursions of global markets. During the late Atlantic era, peasant populations were able to access wider worlds of consumption, by creating new arenas of circulation and value on the fringes of formal commerce – a supplementary relationship that both upheld Atlantic exchanges while undermining their linkages to political elites. With the onset of the so-called ‘legitimate trade,’ which triggered the development of peanut cultivation for world markets, and the event of formal colonization, Senegal witnessed important realignments in the political economy of trade and control over its proceeds. Siin’s peasant communities became inextricably entangled in a dangerous world dominated by debt, commodities, and money – a world which ultimately threatened their economic autonomy. As they sensed these prospects, and faced increasing pressures to engage with colonial commerce, local populations responded with ambivalence, evasion, and at times refusal. These tense economic encounters became the sites for new contestations over notions of wealth, legitimacy, and authority, as negotiated between state officials, a host of colonial actors, and local communities. In turn, these competitions over value, identity, and place in France’s imperial geography refashioned local economic subjectivities, in an area that was at once at the center of colonial production (as a major cash-crop grower) and on the margins of colonial circulations (by virtue of its awkward integration into colonial markets).

Program Number: 3-0220
Session Title: HOT TRADE: FRONTIERS AND FRICTION IN PAST ECONOMIES
Session Sponsor: Archaeology Division
Session Date/Time: Fri., 8:00 AM-11:45 AM
Organizer(s): KATHRYN FRANKLIN (University of Chicago) 
Chair(s): SHANNON DAWDY (University of Chicago)  
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