Downrange: Intimacy, Distance, and the Fractured Scales of Security in the Sahel
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About the talk:
This talk sketches the fractured scales of security making in the West African Sahel. Juxtaposing ethnographic fieldwork at United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) headquarters, in Stuttgart, Germany with fieldwork in Niamey, Niger, Meché examines forms of cross-regional intimacy and distance. Meché further traces the multiple origin stories of AFRICOM as an institutional body created to fight new kinds of wars, marred by the shadow cast by wars throughout the Middle East. Meché interrogates US military representations of the “extreme environment” of the Sahel with the idylls of Stuttgart, while also examining the positioning of African landscapes as dangerous, volatile, and in need of military watchfulness and intervention.
About the speaker:
Brittany Meché is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Williams College. She earned her Ph.D. in geography from UC Berkeley, her master's from the New School, and her bachelor's from NYU. She was also recently a non-resident fellow at the Du Bois Research Institute at the Hutchins for African and African American Research at Harvard University.