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Ploughing for the Hereafter: Debt, Time, and Mahdist Resistance in Northern Sudan, 1821-1935

Ziai, Hengameh

This dissertation explores formations of the ‘colonial’ in Sudan through the vantage point of transformations in debt and temporality. Situating Sudan in an Ottoman-Egyptian context, it offers an account of how debt and land came to be reorganised so as to be separated from the realm of ethical relations. It does so by exploring legal-juridical changes brought about under Ottoman-Egyptian rule, which gradually altered notions of selfhood and time. In light of this, forms of resistance—especially during the Mahdist uprising—are shown to be a reformulation of disciplinary and ethical regimes and a (re)fashioning of subjects. Concluding with the early decades of British colonial rule, it considers the temporal regimes used to neutralise Mahdist subjectivities, which involved producing a rational, sedentary, and calculative peasantry oriented toward—not an afterlife but—a prosperous future.

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More About This Work

Academic Units
Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies
Thesis Advisors
Mitchell, Timothy P.
Degree
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
February 23, 2021