François G. Richard, University of Chicago

Associate Professor Chicago, Illinois fgrichard@uchicago.edu Office: (773) 702-7714

Bio/Research

I am a historical anthropologist and archaeologist interested in West Africa’s past. My work is staged in the Siin province of Senegal, though I have also conducted research in the United States and the Caribbean, and maintain a keen interest in the broader Atlantic world. My research investigate...

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Bio/Research

I am a historical anthropologist and archaeologist interested in West Africa’s past. My work is staged in the Siin province of Senegal, though I have also conducted research in the United States and the Caribbean, and maintain a keen interest in the broader Atlantic world. My research investigates the political changes that have taken place in the Siin over the past 500 years, how those were manifested in social landscapes, and how they shaped the lifeworlds of peasant communities. I am interested in the long-term relationship binding rural villagers with various configurations of state power, from the Atlantic era to present times. This forms the topic of the monograph – titled “Reluctant Landscapes: Historical Anthropologies of Political Experience in Siin (Senegal), 1600-1940” – I am currently writing. The book argues that the material worlds that have organized rural life in the Siin over time have placed certain limits on projects of rule in the region. While altering in response to broader political and economic forces, Siin’s ‘reluctant landscapes’ have imparted a distinct shape to local modes of action and subjectivities, whose effects continue to be felt in the contemporary present.

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