112th: Rhiannon Stephens with Carl Wennerlind
Join us Thursday, April 13th at 7pm for a reading and conversation to celebrate the release of Poverty and Wealth in East Africa: A Conceptual History by Rhiannon Stephens. Carl Wennerlind will join in conversation and Rosalind Morris will moderate.
In order to facilitate this in-person author event, we will be partially closing the second floor starting at 6:45pm. Please review our COVID-19 Safety guidelines and register for the event using the link below.
or register using the following link: https://forms.gle/8ogbkFPEkgGF2q149
In Poverty and Wealth in East Africa Rhiannon Stephens offers a conceptual history of how people living in eastern Uganda have sustained and changed their ways of thinking about wealth and poverty over the past two thousand years. This history serves as a powerful reminder that colonialism and capitalism did not introduce economic thought to this region and demonstrates that even in contexts of relative material equality between households, people invested intellectual energy in creating new ways to talk about the poor and the rich. Stephens uses an interdisciplinary approach to write this history for societies without written records before the nineteenth century. She reconstructs the words people spoke in different eras using the methods of comparative historical linguistics, overlaid with evidence from archaeology, climate science, oral traditions, and ethnography. Demonstrating the dynamism of people’s thinking about poverty and wealth in East Africa long before colonial conquest, Stephens challenges much of the received wisdom about the nature and existence of economic and social inequality in the region’s deeper past.
Rhiannon Stephens is Associate Professor of History at Columbia University, author of A History of African Motherhood: The Case of Uganda, 700–1900, and coeditor of Doing Conceptual History in Africa.
Carl Wennerlind is Professor of History at Barnard College. He is the author of Casualties of Credit: The English Financial Revolution, 1620-1720, A Philosopher’s Economist: Hume and the Rise of Capitalism, together with Margaret Schabas, and, most recently, Scarcity: A History from the Origins of Capitalism to the Climate Crisis, with Fredrik Albritton Jonsson.