Current Institutional Affiliation
Associate Professor, Anthropology, Bard College

Award Information

International Dissertation Research Fellowship 1998
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Anthropology, Yale University
Black Baboons and White Rubbish Trees: The Cultural Politics of Race and Nature in Zimbabwe

The proposed study will investigate the ways in which discourse and debate over wildlife management in Zimbabwe have become central tools for negotiating power in multiple contexts. At the local level, impassioned controversies over wildlife ownership have unlocked spaces for contesting visions of rightful 'citizenship' within the nation-state. At the global level, Zimbabwe continues to delegitimize hierarchical systems of country 'membership' in an imagined world order through its bold implementation of innovative conservation strategies. Positioned between these local and international dynamics, the state serves as a mediating agent, but simultaneously becomes both the object and subject of these struggles. By examining the way in which these myriad elements intertwine and fuel one another, the study will contribute to a broader understanding of the creative processes through which African people define their identities within a globalizing modernity. My research will involve twelve months of fieldwork in Gwayi River Valley, a region where issues of wildlife use have become central to people's lives, combined with four months of archival research in Harare and New York City.