Making the National Geographic: The Infrastructure of an Intimate Abstraction

November 16, 2023 |  5:00 - 7:00 PM | Murray Room | Please register to attend

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A world-renowned anthropologist, Arjun Appadurai has been recognized for decades as one of the most important theorists of modernity, globalization, and the nation-state writing today. Currently a Professor Emeritus of Media, Culture, and Communication at New York University’s Steinhardt School, Appadurai is the author of many influential books, including Worship and Conflict under Colonial Rule (1981), Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy (1990), and Fear of Small Numbers (2006). While his scholarship ranges widely across many topics, from global cultural flows to urban design, the structure of political space–and the role of human imagination in creating it–is a theme that cuts across his impressive body of work. 

The Clough Center is delighted to welcome Prof. Appadurai as a Clough Distinguished Lecturer of the 2023-24 academic year. Serving as his respondent is Zine Magubane, Professor of Sociology at Boston College, whose work critically examines the legacies of slavery and colonialism to develop new theoretical tools for a truly global sociology. Prof. Appadurai’s lecture is entitled “Making the National Geographic: The Infrastructure of an Intimate Abstraction.” Please join us for what promises to be an exceptionally rich exploration of the nature of “place” in today’s globalized world.


Arjun Appadurai

Arjun Appadurai

Arjun Appadurai is Emeritus Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University and Visiting Professor at Humboldt University in Berlin. He has published widely on globalization, modernity, cities, design and ethnic violence. He has a special interest in the erosion of democracy in societies like India and the United States. He was born in Bombay, India and has held professorial chairs at The University of Pennsylvania, The University of Chicago, Yale University, The New School and New York University. He has advised leaders at the United Nations, UNESCO, The German Foreign Ministry, the Ford Foundation, and the Guggenheim Museum.


Zine Magubane

Zine Magubane

Zine Magubane is a Professor of Sociology at Boston College, where she also holds a courtesy appointment in the department of African and African Diaspora studies. Her areas of specialization include social theory, sociology of post-coloniality, race and ethnicity, globalization, race and popular culture, gender and sexuality, and the sociology of African societies. Professor Magubane is the author of Bringing the Empire Home: Race, Gender and Class in Britain and Colonial South Africa (University of Chicago Press, 2004).  She is the editor of two other books – Postmodernity, Postcoloniality, and African Studies (Africa World Press, 2004) and, with Reitu Mabokela, Race, Gender and the Status of Black South African Women in the Academy (UNISA, 2005).  Her work has appeared in Signs, Gender and Society, and Critical Sociology. Her newest book: Another Sociology is Possible: Slavery, Colonialism and the (Re)Making of the Classical Canon is forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press. Professor Magubane completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology at Harvard University.

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