Mary H. Moran - MASU

When: Tuesday, March 27, 2018 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Where: 341 Eggers Hall


Moynihan Institute Of Global Affairs, and Maxwell African Scholars Union present:

Mary H. Moran, Professor of Anthropology and Africana and Latin American Studies, Colgate University 

My Mother Wouldn't let Me: The Authority of Female Elders and Recruitment to Armed Factions in Liberia

This talk is part of a book-length project on the re-negotiation of gender in post-conflict societies. I pose the question; what does it  mean to be a citizen of a "failed state;" that has come under the trusteeship of outside entities like the United Nations and a host of NGOs? What does it mean when those outside entities define most men as suspected "perpetrators" of violence and most women as its "victims" who are in need of empowerment? Where does this leave men who did not commit violence, and women who did? In my interviews with men who did not participate in violence during the 14-year Liberian civil war, it emerged that female elders often prevented young men from joining the armed factions. Many studies have addressed the ways young men and boys have been recruited for violence but there is little scholarly work on the forces that keep them out of the fighting.  I examine the "supply side," of young male violence: the households where these young men grow up and the claims of women over their labor.

Mary H. Moran is Professor of Anthropology and Africana and Latin American Studies at Colgate University She conducted fieldwork in Liberia in 1982-83, 2006, 2008, and 2009 and with Liberians living in the United States in 1992-2004. Her major publications include Civilized Women: Gender and Prestige in Southeastern Liberia (1990, Cornell University Press), Liberia: The Violence of Democracy (2006, University of Pennsylvania Press), and articles in Annual Review of Anthropology, African Studies Review, Anthropological Quarterly, and other journals and edited volumes.

For information on accessibility, or to request accommodation, please contact Marc Albert 315-443-9248

Sponsored by the Maxwell African Scholars Union at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

Co-sponsored by: Department of Anthropology

If you have requests for accessibility and accommodations, please contact the Equal Opportunity, Inclusion and Resolution Services (EOIRS) office at or 315.443.4018.

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