Traces of Nomadism: A comparative study of colonial curtailment of mobility and community resilience in North Africa and North America


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




This comparative historical sociology project seeks to explore the ways in which communities in North Africa and North America that were formerly semi-nomadic are re-entering land-based relations, in order to reclaim their land, mobility, and self-determination. While there is a great deal of scholarship on settler-colonialism use of genocide, land dispossession, and forced labor, little consideration has been given to how colonial power restricts mobility through reservations, boarding schools, the destruction of livestock and draft animals, and programs of compulsory sedentarization. Drawing on Indigenous methods, this project seeks to explore how colonization impacted semi-nomadic communities in the long term, and how these communities are re-engaging in land-based relations while celebrating their nomadic past.