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Public Anthropology Lecture: "The Natural Border: Bounding Migrant Farmwork in the Black Mediterranean"

Presentation by Timothy Raeymaekers (University of Bologna) online | June 17, 2024 | 6 p.m.

We cordially invite you to the online presentation of our colleague Timothy Raeymaekers titled "The Natural Border: Bounding Migrant Farmwork in the Black Mediterranean" on June 17th at 6 p.m.

Public Anthropology Talk by Raeymaeker

Abstract: The Anthropology of Global Inequalities research group (University of Bayreuth) invites you to the fifth event of its Public Anthropology Talk series.

In this talk, Timothy Raeymaekers will present his book The Natural Border, published by Cornell University Press in 2023. The book tells the recent history of Mediterranean rural capitalism from the perspective of marginalized Black African farm workers. Timothy Raeymaekers shows how in the context of global supply chains and repressive border regimes, agrarian production and reproduction are based on fundamental racial hierarchies.

Taking the example of the tomato—a typical 'Made in Italy' commodity—Raeymaekers asks how political boundaries are drawn around the land and the labor needed for its production, what technologies of exclusion and inclusion enable capitalist operations to take place in the Mediterranean agrarian frontier, and which practices structure the allocation, use and commodification of land and labor across the tomato chain. While the mobile infrastructures that mobilize, channel, commodify and segregate labor play a central role in the 'naturalization' of racial segregation, they are also terrains of contestation and power—and thus, as The Natural Border demonstrates, reflect the tense socio-ecological transformation the Mediterranean border space is going through today.

Bio: Timothy Raeymaekers is Senior Assistant Professor in the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna, and Affiliated Researcher in the Department of Geography at the University of Zurich, Switzerland.

Please register at Dr. Viola Castellano's (viola.castellano@uni-bayreuth.de) to take part in the event.

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