City: Halle, Germany
Organiser: Richard Rottenburg
Venue: University of Halle

There is no doubt that the Islamists’ rise to power in the 1980s has put Sudan at the center of transnational media attention. Consequently, the worldwide resurgence of conservatism and right wing politics reanimated a politics of fear and reproduced new clashing discourses over identity and citizenship. Within these contexts, Amal Hassan Fadlalla examines how the production and circulation of violence narratives about Sudan’s conflicts branded humanity in a neoconservative fashion and shaped the practices of Sudanese activists and their allies in the United States, the Sudan, and online. In many temporary and newly formed humanitarian publics, she argues, the ethno-gendered representation of Sudanese men and women as victims and survivors is transformed into powerful narratives that won them the status of role models within the human rights and humanitarian fields. These representations harden already existing gender, ethnic, and class divisions and highlight the post-Cold War politics and confrontations among different national and transnational actors over the meanings of rights, sovereignty, and global citizenship.

This talk is based on Fadlalla’s newly released book “Branding Humanity: Competing Narratives of Rights, Violence, and Global Citizenship,” in which she treats Sudan—a dispersed nation due to sixty years of violent conflicts—as a site for examining these historical shifts and tensions before the country’s division into two nation states in 2011.