David Newman Glovsky F'19

David Newman Glovsky
Doctoral Candidate
History
Michigan State University

Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships 2019
Doctoral Candidate
History
Michigan State University
Belonging Beyond Boundaries: Constructing a Transnational Community in a West African Borderland since 1867

In the late nineteenth century, the French, British, and Portuguese colonial governments drew borders between the colonies of Senegal, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea to divide and separate the peoples of these colonies. Based on ethnographic and archival research in six countries, “Belonging beyond Boundaries” argues that colonial governments never successfully controlled these borders, and that precolonial territorial strategies and networks have persisted to the present. Borderland communities made and remade spatial networks for a variety of reasons, adjusting their geographies in the face of state efforts to control and monitor movement. This research demonstrates that these communities used shifting migration strategies to consistently produce and reproduce alternative visions of space and place that challenged colonial and postcolonial ideas of territory as bounded space, using their border location to gain political autonomy and successfully disengage from colonial and postcolonial states.