Stanford University Professor James Ferguson will discuss the creation and expansion of social welfare in southern Africa during York U’s Department of Anthropology Annual Lecture Series on Thursday, Oct. 8.
The event, titled “Give a Man a Fish: The New Politics of Distribution in Southern Africa (and Beyond)”, runs 4 to 6pm in Curtis Lecture Hall C and is open to the public.
Ferguson is the Susan S. and William H. Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences, and professor in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University.
His research focuses on southern Africa, and how discourses organized around concepts such as “development” and “modernity” intersects the lives of ordinary people.
His most recent work examines social welfare programs in southern Africa and across the global south, and aim to place these programs within a larger “politics of distribution” framework.
In settings of diminishing employment opportunities, distributive practices and politics are emerging and leading to questions on how resources should be distributed, who is entitled to them, and why they are entitled.
Ferguson’s research shows that, in response to this, new political possibilities and dangers are emerging. He has written a book on this topic Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution (Duke University Press, 2015), and has authored several other books including Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order (Duke University Press, 2006).