Disorder and the Unappreciated Order: Women, Migration and Labor in Mozambique

Monday March 4, 2013
5:30 PM – 6:30 PM



Dr. Jeanne Marie Penvenne

Associate Professor of History, Tufts University


Cabot 206

GEO: ,


Please join us for a talk on women migrants and women in key industries: their roles remain obscured because we do not anticipate their contributions.
At the close of the colonial era in Mozambique (1972-74), cashew nuts were the country's largest source of foreign exchange, outstripping staple exports like sugar and cotton. Despite the growing importance of industrially processed cashew nuts in the Mozambican economy, only a tiny handful of the hundreds of business and scientific articles about the cashew shelling industry so much as mentioned that the industry was firmly anchored in the labor of African women-tens of thousands of them.

The women, the ways they ordered their lives and the urban order that underpinned growing industrialization were largely conflated by the colonial state into problematic disorder.  Taking the case of Mozambique, this talk argues that theorists and analysts continue to conceptualize key areas of society and the economy as either disorder or negative placements. It is much more useful to frame our analysis on what we can show is present and functioning than on assumptions of failed states, and negative placements.

The event will be held on March 4th at 5.30 pm in Cabot 206. Pizza, cashews and light refreshments will be served!

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