*Call for Panelists: *

*Annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association*

*November 14-18, 2018 /// San Jose, California *

*Postcolonial capital: Global finance from the “periphery”*

In 2015, a report from the International Monetary Fund called attention to a
novel financial phenomenon: “There has been a rapid expansion of pan-African
banks (PABs) in recent years, with [...] a systemic presence in around 36
countries. Overall, the PABs are now much more important in Africa than the
long-established European and American banks" (1). It is the contention of
this panel that Africa is not alone in the Global South. Euro-American
institutions are today playing increasingly marginal roles in Global South
finance, where private and public actors alike are turning towards national,
regional, and south-south finance to provide capital for investment projects
across sectors.

We want to gather together scholars who are exploring this contemporary
transformation in global finance. Although Africa is exemplary of this
changing economic landscape, we aim for a broader conversation that re-
centers contemporary economic practices in the postcolonial world. European
and American scholars have largely understood these economies as exceptional
cases to the putative norms of industrialized economies. They are often
characterized as either “informal” and therefore outside the purview of
modern state regulation, or they are “extractive” and framed as a
continuation of long-held imperial inequalities.

We are looking for scholars who take a different approach. Rather than
beginning with the presumption of difference, exception, or exploitation, we
want to explore how the Global South is challenging old financial
arrangements. We want to examine how--and if--familiar financial forms and
techniques are being infused with new cultural and political values. We are
especially interested in new challenges to Euro-American financial dominance
that re-formulate the conventional wisdom on the “peripheral” postcolonial
economy. And we are looking for ethnographic inquiries into how specific
economic practices, tools, and techniques enact--or obstruct--such novel
economic imaginaries.

We seek to foreground the practical labor of economizing in particular
places *and* how such practices rely upon relatively mobile, portable, and
modular techniques and forms. Focusing on specific economic techniques (e.g.,
credit ratings or market research) and forms (e.g., the corporation or
central bank), we ask: how do relations of credit/debt, exchange, and
ownership transcend the assumed particularity of a single location and
challenge global economic norms? And how might our view of “global finance”
shift with the postcolonial world at the center of the inquiry, rather than
the so-called periphery?

Hannah Appel and Janet Roitman will be discussants for the panel, and we are
looking forward to including more scholars in the conversation. If you would
like to participate, please send along a 250 word abstract of your paper
presentation by April 3, 2018 to James Christopher Mizes (mi...@berkeley.edu)
and Kevin P. Donovan (kevi...@umich.edu <kpdono...@umich.edu>).


Enoch, Charles, Mathieu, Paul, & Mecagni, Mauro. 2015. *Pan-African Banks:
Opportunities and Challenges for Cross-Border Oversight.* Washington, DC:
International Monetary Fund.

James Christopher Mizes
Doctoral Candidate
Department of City & Regional Planning
College of Environmental Design
University of California, Berkeley

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