Penn Anthropology Colloquium: Lauren Ristvet, 'Colonial Desires: Imperial Negotiation in the Iron Age Caucasus' (9/16/2013)

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Desire lies at the heart of many theoretical interventions into the logic and practice of empire. As a factor behind the endless accumulation of capital and a stimulus for conquest, desire may fuel colonial expansion. Similarly, the language of desire and sexual union is implicit in colonial and post-colonial discourses on race and hybridity. I will consider the operation of empire in the Iron Age Caucasus in terms of multiple and conflicting desires, investigating their economic, cultural, and political implications.