Mobile Intimacies in Mozambique and the Value of Open-Endedness

Mobile Intimacies in Mozambique and the Value of Open-Endedness

Categories: Lectures and Seminars | Intended for

Friday, March 16, 2018

3:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Add to calendar

482 MacOdrum Library

1125 Colonel By Dr, Ottawa, ON

Contact Information

Sociology and Anthropology, 613-250-2600 x. 2582,


No registration required.



About this Event

Host Organization: Department of Sociology and Anthropology
More Information: Please click here for additional details.

Now part and parcel of everyday life almost everywhere, mobile phones have radically transformed how we acquire and exchange information. Many anticipated that in Africa, where most have gone from no phone to mobile phone, improved access to telecommunication would enhance everything from entrepreneurialism to democratization to service delivery, ushering in socio-economic development. What my ethnography of mobile phone use in Mozambique suggests, however, is that better access to information may in fact be anything but desirable. In this talk, I revisit central anthropological questions around the pursuit of certainty and clarity, and reflect on the value of open-endedness and ignorance, by examining how young Mozambicans have harnessed the technology to subvert regimes of truth and preserve public secrets about the workings of the postwar intimate economy.

Julie Soleil Archambault is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Concordia University. She received her PhD (2010) from the School of Oriental and African Studies (U. of London) and has been conducting ethnographic field research in Mozambique for over a decade. She is the author of Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy and the Politics of Pretense (U. of Chicago Press, 2017).