"Gender as Memory: Men and Women Making Relations after Wartime" with Martha Lagace


Friday, April 21 at 1:15
African Studies Seminar Room

Anthropological accounts of African women’s travel away from home have noted how their men often interpret these activities disapprovingly as abandonment (e.g., Riesman 1998:219-220; Shaw 2002:163). Meanwhile, these societies tend to expect—and encourage—men to go about, for reasons including livelihood and independence. But what happens when men on the move can only make a living by having many female customers? Drawing from 1950s ethnography as well as my ethnographic research with northern Uganda’s motorcycle-taxi drivers, this talk considers how men and women recovering from a 1986–2006 civil war use differing notions about movement to strategically reformulate “appropriate” gender roles, find one another, and create a future.

Martha Lagace is a PhD candidate in Anthropology at Boston University. Her dissertation is titled Farming the Tarmac: An ethnography of journeys, technology, and the perseverance of tradition.