Current Institutional Affiliation
Doctoral Candidate, Indiana University / Bloomington

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 2013
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Indiana University / Bloomington
Globalization, Migration, Land Tenure and the Evolution of Racial Subjectivities in Southern Morocco

The dual processes of colonialism and globalization have combined to alter the cultural landscape in Morocco's desert south. Difference has been historically defined in Morocco through language and the linguistic divide between Arab and Berber speakers. However, in Morocco's southern oasis communities, difference has also been defined through land tenure. Specifically, "Black" families were prohibited from owning land and relegated to a lower social status. Following independence, Black Moroccan families were able to take advantage of employment opportunities in the north and have begun to dismantle the physical signposts of their marginalization. Through the purchase of land and the productive use of funds provided by NGOs, Black Moroccan families are remaking the cultural and physical landscape of southern Morocco. In addition, migrant networks embed the local cultural processes of southern oasis communities into broader social movements that include a trans-national Berber rights movement, environmental activism and the Arab spring. By focusing on the oasis community of Akka in Morocco's Tata Province, I will work to understand the impact of these economic changes on how Moroccans understand difference and how previous racial ideologies are reproduced in new and unique ways.