Fall 2021 Speaker Series: Surulola Eke

2021 Fall Speaker Series: Surulola Eke

Event Details:

  • Thursday, December 16, 2021
  • 2:30 - 4:00 PM
  • Zoom (Please register; link will be emailed to registrants the day of the event)


Surulola Eke, Banting Postdoctoral Fellow

Brief Biography:

Dr. Surulola Eke is the latest Banting Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Department of Political Studies. Working with supervisor Dr. Andrew Grant, his research agenda focuses on the linkages between autochthony, natural resources, and conflicts in West Africa. Dr. Eke has published on these linkages and related security governance themes in several scholarly journals, including Third World Quarterly, Journal of Global Security Studies, Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, Peace Research, and African Security Review. His high impact scholarship has resulted in many academic awards and fellowships, including the University of Manitoba’s most prestigious doctoral fellowship, which fully funded Dr. Eke’s graduate studies. The importance of Dr. Eke’s research agenda was further affirmed via the recipient of Canada’s most prestigious postdoctoral award, the Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship, which recognises scholarly excellence and leadership in academic settings.

Title & Abstract:

"Unfreedom, Social Reproduction, and Everyday (Re)negotiation of Reform in Agrarian Economies"

What explains the persistence of agrarian labour exploitation, and why does change inspire violence? My presentation will explore these questions using Nahu-Kparilim (cattle caretakership) in Ghana as a case study. I will draw on theories of unfreedom, social reproduction, and subalternity to illuminate my findings which address these questions. In doing so, I will engage with three theoretical/scholarly debates: 1) whether unfree labour is essentially a feature of a capitalist or semi-feudal social formation, 2) whether the reproduction of unfree labour is internal, or external, to the exploitative system, and 3) whether resistance takes place within or without the hegemonic power. With the example of Nahu-Kparilim, I will demonstrate that the context of unfree labour is variable and that it shapes the nature of its reproduction, which then determines the trajectory of the (re)negotiation of reform. Hence, to address my research questions, I will discuss how and why the same socio-psychological and socio-cultural forces that account for the persistence of Nahu-Kparilim also inspire violent resistance to change.

Register on Eventbrite to receive the access link. Please direct any questions about the event to polscomms@queensu.ca.