October 2017: Dr. Scott MacEachern: Landscapes of Boko Haram: History, Violence and Wealth in Central Africa (image courtesy Christian Seignobos)

Figure 6.3 - Boko Haram motorcycles (courtesy Christian Seignobos)

Sunday Oct 15, 2017 at 3pm                               Archaeological Institute of America – English Lecturer

Dr. Scott MacEachern

Professor of Anthropology, Bowdoin College

Landscapes of Boko Haram: History, Violence and Wealth in Central Africa

The terrorist organization Boko Haram has inflicted huge amounts of suffering on Central African communities through the last decade. In the course of its activities, it has used frontier zones between Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad and Niger as refuges and areas for the development of political and military power. We can understand some aspects of Boko Haram’s activities by looking at how borders developed in this area, during the period of predatory state formation in the early second millennium AD. These activities include the slave raiding that played so central a role in the formation of regional cultural landscapes, but also banditry and smuggling. In the Lake Chad Basin, frontier landscapes exist as spaces of danger and violence, but also as arenas for wealth creation and cultural innovation. The violence being played out in this area today illustrates the kinds of social disruptions that would have accompanied those processes at different times during the last thousand years.

THIS LECTURE WILL BE HELD IN SPIRO HALL ROOM 4 at 3pm, Wagner College, 631 Howard Avenue (1 Campus Road), Grymes Hill, Staten Island, NY 10301.


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