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Governing Mobile Peoples

This research seminar addresses nomadic societies in the Middle East during British colonial rule, and the nomadic Inuit societies in Greenland during Danish colonial rule.

21.03.2019 | Mark Sedgwick

Dato tor 25 apr
Tid 13:00 16:00
Sted Room 1461-516

A main dividing line through history and in the contemporary world runs between nomadic and sedentary life styles. A wide-range of practices and discourses have developed around how to govern and regulate non-sedentary groups with an equally wide-range of objectives, including taxation, natural resource extraction and the implementation of developmental policies promoted. Often the hidden agenda behind these practices is that mobile people must ‘improve’ and behave in more civilized (and more controllable) ways. This research seminar addresses these issues in two different contexts: The nomadic societies in the Middle East during British colonial rule, and the nomadic Inuit societies in Greenland during Danish colonial rule.

The seminar consist of two lectures:

  • Dr. Robert Fletcher, University of Warwick: 'Governing Mobile Peoples: from late colonialism to decolonization'

Robert Fletcher is an innovative scholar with a particular interest in the histories of imperialism, nomadic societies and desert environments in the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. His publications include British Imperialism and ‘The Tribal Question’: Desert Administration and Nomadic Societies in the Middle East, 1919-1936 (Oxford UP, 2015) and he is PI for the AHRC project 'Britannia Rules the Wastes: Britain and the Arid World, 1900-1960'.

  • Dr. Søren Rud, University of Copenhagen: 

Søren Rud is an expert of the history of Danish colonialism in Greenland, with a particular interest in the technologies employed by colonial authorities in order to govern and regulate the Inuit. He has recently done research on policing, law and penal practices in Greenland 1860 – 1950. In 2017 he published Colonialism in Greenland: Tradition, Governance and Legacy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).

The seminar is organized jointly by the Research Programme in History and the Ph.D Programme in History, Archaeology and Classical Studies

Seminar