Gender, Slavery, Policy: Hadijatou Mani in Context

Seminar date: 
21 September 2011
15.30 - 17.00u
Pieter de la Courtgebouw / Faculty of Social Sciences, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden
Seminar room: 

This seminar is being organized in cooperation with the Department of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology at Leiden University.

The case of Hadijatou Mani is emblematic. It has a place in the history of anti-slavery struggles and in the fight for recognition of women’s rights. It also sheds light on historical transformations of dependent relations in the Republic of Niger. After contextualizing Hadijatou's case in the society that generated it, Benedetta Rossi compares and confronts international human-rights approaches and ideologies of gender and hierarchy held by many in southern Niger and northern Nigeria. These groups are not simply producers of 'local' knowledge but mobilize normative arguments that they see as being based on global Islamic dictata. International human-rights networks claim universal relevance. However, their assumptions clash with views supported by Hadijatou’s society of origin. The seminar will discuss how, if at all, a meaningful dialogue can be established across different ethical and hermeneutical traditions.

Benedetta Rossi has an RCUK Fellowship at the Department of History at the University of Liverpool, where she lectures in African history and runs an MA in International Slavery Studies. Her recent publications include the edited volume Reconfiguring Slavery: West African Trajectories (Liverpool, 2009) and the co-edited volume Being and Becoming Hausa: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Brill, 2010).