Landscape and local history in the River Jur area, South Sudan 1947-2012
Blog: Researching South Sudan
My thesis is about the social construction of landscape, geographies and place in Dinka agro-pastoralist and urban communities who live near and graze cattle in the floodplains of the River Jur (a tributary of the White Nile) in present day Warrap State, South Sudan.
I look at how landscape tropes and narratives of environmental change are used to understand the past. In addition to archival research I am using participant observation, oral history and analysis of songs to show how individuals locate themselves in time and space. I am particularly interested in the way in which history is created and told in a community recovering from civil conflict in the new country of South Sudan.
My chapters focus on the expansion of the state including the growth, destruction and rebuilding of towns and administrative centres; civilian relationships with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA); the changing factors affecting establishing households and grazing cattle; how borders between communities are imagined and enforced; spiritual aspects of the landscape including changing significance of spiritual leaders and the protection of crops, land and cattle.
My project is supported by the AHRC.
Local understandings and constructions of the state
- Cross-species relationships and pastoralism
- Generational relationships and youth
- Photography and the visual record of South Sudan
- Dinka language
- Conflict and memory
"The Veterinary Service and Para-vets in Lakes State, Southern Sudan". Sudan Studies Association of the UK annual symposium, London. Sept 2010
"Between the Town and the Cattle-Camp: Para-vets in Southern Sudan". African Studies Association of the UK Conference, Oxford. Sept 2010
"Veterinary Medicine in Southern Sudan: Managing technical knowledge and biomedicine in Lakes State". Sudan Programme Graduate Studies on Sudan Conference, Oxford. April 2010
2010 - 2011 Research assistant to Dr. Helen Young for ‘Pastoralism as Sustainable Livelihood Strategy - A Policy review for Sudan' part of a joint Tufts University/UNEP project: Livelihoods and Environment: Pastoralism and Pastoralist Livelihoods
2008 - 2010 Research assistant to Prof. Henrietta Moore. Research project: Modern Lives.