P U B L I C L E C T U R E
Prof Dr Erin Pettigrew
Assistant Professor of History and Arab Crossroads Studies, New York University Abu Dhabi
“There is no such thing as bloodsucking”: Accusations along the Slave Routes of Mauritania
Wed, 12 July 2017, 6–8 pm
S 40, RW II
This talk examines events involving accusations of bloodsucking in the southwestern Sahara. French colonial archives allow the researcher to identify specific cases in time and location; however this paper seeks to address but then move beyond histories of colonial governance. To highlight how communities in the Saharan desert dealt with crises provoked by environmental and social change, this investigation also relies on locally-produced written legal opinions and oral testimony dealing with both the pre- and post-colonial eras. Emerging from these Saharan sources is one facet of how desert communities envisioned the enchantment of their social worlds and understood difficult periods through the lenses of gender, slavery, and religious practice. This talk will focus specifically on the issue of gender when it comes to these accusations to tease out whether or not it remains the primary category eliciting accusation despite social and historical contexts.