Profit Terrains: Nigerian Marketcraft in the Global South Shift


ACLS Fellowship Program




Amongst this increasingly connected Global South, circular migrations—that is, temporary migrations and not immigration—are generating new kinds of political consciousness and economic formation. This book project charts this phenomenon from the vantage point of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and the highly diasporic country of origin of thousands of African businesspeople connecting trade sites across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East since the 1990s. The book focuses on how globally mobile Nigerians are creating market formations that are strikingly monopoly resistant, and defensive against corporate and non-Black foreign actors. By weaving together intergenerational life narratives, fieldwork in Nigerian market worlds, and popular and material culture from archives, the project ethnographically and historically explores the cultural politics of commercial profit.