The Centre for African Studies at the University of Basel calls for applications for two doctoral positions in Social Anthropology or African Studies covering a period of three years funded by the Humer Foundation for Academic Talent.
Over the past three decades, in Africa as elsewhere, the effects of urbanization and market liberalization, emerging modes of value production, consumption, and social reproduction, and shifting forms of governance have also given rise to new kinds of mobility and migration. For many, sexuality has been central to imagining and actualizing migratory trajectories. Sexual economies in large urban areas and tourist resorts attract youths with the possibility of quick wealth, conspicuous consumption, or travel abroad. Queer people and sex workers often move as migrants or refugees to places where they hope to gain access to public health or sexual rights advocacy groups. Meanwhile, NGOs, religious organizations, and state officials seek to attend to the myriad social, medical, and moral implications of these various forms of sexualized mobility. As eroticized commodities and media circulate more widely on African markets, members of a growing middle class also travel domestically and internationally, engaging in humanitarianism, consumption, or religious reforms that revolve around sexuality.
This research initiative examines comparatively various forms of movement that produce and deploy racialized and/or ethnicized sexualities as central means of consumptive fantasies, modes of value production, disciplinary regimes, and strategies of investment in the future. Examining the implications of new forms of sexualized mobility for gender, kinship, and domesticity; money and the moralization of wealth; ritual and religion; rising forms of moral securitization and militarization; and new forms of consumption, embodiment, style, and self-making, this project takes sexuality as a key domain for understanding the politics of contemporary mobility and its continuities and discontinuities with colonial discourse and practice, both on the African continent and between Africa and the wider world.