François G. Richard: Reluctant Landscapes: Historical Anthropologies of Political Experience in Siin, Senegal
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In Reluctant Landscapes, François Richard explores changes in the material, political, cultural, and practical worlds of Seereer communities in the Siin region of west-central Senegal over the past 500 years. This period saw a number of large-scale historical processes become entangled in the lives of people living in these communities, including the development of kingdoms, the large-scale oceanic commerce with the trade in enslaved Africans as a centerpiece during the Atlantic Era, and the expansion of French colonial occupation during the mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. Richard places documentary, oral historical, archaeological, visual, and ethnographic sources in tension with one another to draw out the experiences, actions, and agency of non-elites (primarily peasant farming households other classes of individuals, such as migrant agricultural laborers) alongside those of local and regional elites and various colonial actors (administrators, merchants, and the like).