Suffering for Territory: Race, Place, and Power in Zimbabwe / Edition 1

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Since 2000, black squatters have forcibly occupied white farms across Zimbabwe, reigniting questions of racialized dispossession, land rights, and legacies of liberation. Donald S. Moore probes these contentious politics by analyzing fierce disputes over territory, sovereignty, and subjection in the country’s eastern highlands. He focuses on poor farmers in Kaerezi who endured colonial evictions from their ancestral land and lived as refugees in Mozambique during Zimbabwe’s guerrilla war. After independence in 1980, Kaerezians returned home to a changed landscape. Postcolonial bureaucrats had converted their land from a white ranch into a state resettlement scheme. Those who defied this new spatial order were threatened with eviction. Moore shows how Kaerezians’ predicaments of place pivot on memories of “suffering for territory,” at once an idiom of identity and entitlement. Combining fine-grained ethnography with innovative theoretical insights, this book illuminates the complex interconnections between local practices of power and the wider forces of colonial rule, nationalist politics, and global discourses of development.

Moore makes a significant contribution to postcolonial theory with his conceptualization of “entangled landscapes” by articulating racialized rule, situated sovereignties, and environmental resources. Fusing Gramscian cultural politics and Foucault’s analytic of governmentality, he enlists ethnography to foreground the spatiality of power. Suffering for Territory demonstrates how emplaced micro-practices matter, how the outcomes of cultural struggles are contingent on the diverse ways land comes to be inhabited, labored upon, and suffered for.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Donald S. Moore’s Suffering for Territory is a paradigm-shattering work in agrarian studies. Combining an impressive ethnographic study of land struggle in contemporary Zimbabwe with critical theories of sovereignty, hegemony, and race, Moore decisively and masterfully rereads the history of Zimbabwe and southern Africa through the prism of settler colonialism, colonial capitalism, and their legacies.”—Elizabeth A. Povinelli, author of The Cunning of Recognition: Indigenous Alterities and the Making of Australian Multiculturalism

“This widely suggestive book—a model of hospitable thought—combines erudition, theoretical insights, and literary inventiveness with well-crafted ethnography. In the process, it rewrites not only the histories of land, but also the histories of life, race, and sovereignty in Zimbabwe.”—Achille Mbembe, author of On the Postcolony

“Suffering for Territory is an outstanding work of scholarship, which combines innovative theory with vivid ethnographic detail to produce an unusually illuminating view of land, livelihoods, and politics in contemporary rural Zimbabwe. With enormous erudition and keen observational insight, Donald S. Moore shows convincingly how both territories and the subjects who inhabit them can be understood as the contingent products of dynamic social and historical processes. The book’s combination of sophisticated theoretical analysis and deep ethnographic understanding makes it one of the most important contributions to the anthropology of Africa to appear in recent years.”—James Ferguson, author of Expectations of Modernity: Myths and Meanings of Urban Life on the Zambian Copperbelt

Pius S. Nyambara

“[This] study has so much to offer in terms of historical insights as well as grounded methodology, serving as a model of the type of scholarship required to understand the complex relationships between local practices of power, and the broader forces of colonial and postcolonial rule.”
Admos Osmund Chimhowu

“Using well researched and brilliantly presented ethnographies and social histories of the Tangwena People's Kaerezi Ranch (one of the most symbolic arenas in the struggle for independence and racial equality), Moore sifts through the 'sediments' of history and present day dynamics to tell a story of how the contemporary spatial and agrarian structure emerged and is articulated in the lived experiences of villagers in Nyamutsapa (the location of most of his field work).”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822335702
  • Publisher: Duke University Press Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Donald S. Moore is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. He is a coeditor of Race, Nature, and the Politics of Difference, also published by Duke University Press.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : situated struggles 1
1 Lines of dissent 35
2 Disciplining development 68
3 Landscapes of livelihood 96
4 Racialized dispossession 129
5 The ethnic spatial fix 153
6 Enduring evictions 184
7 Selective sovereignties 219
8 Spatial subjection 250
9 The traction of rights and rule 281
Epilogue : effective articulations 310
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