Stratified Enclosures: Land, Capital and Empire-making in Central Sudan


ACLS Fellowship Program


Anthropology and African Studies


“Stratified Enclosures” focuses ethnographic attention on Emirati and Saudi land investments in Sudan’s agricultural Gezira region and on the varied forms of resistance they have inspired over the last decade. The project asks: what work is land doing for investor and state elites beyond their normative framing as food security measures, and how is this work unsettled at its points of reception? “Stratified Enclosures” situates Gulf Arab investments in Sudanese land within a gendered and racialized history of land dispossession shaped by legacies of enslavement, to argue that they form part of a project of empire-making that is scaffolded by older imperial dispossessions. It then examines how class, gender, race and enslaved descent shape the different forms that resistance to land dispossession and empire-making can take.