Presented by the Hall Center for the Humanities
Body Movements: Positioning Sudanese Women in an Age of Empire
From 1898 to 1956, amidst the upheaval of imperial rule, a generation of young Sudanese women performed a careful choreography of body movements to adapt to imperial morals and affirm a new standard of modern Sudanese womanhood. Marie Grace Brown traces these gestures, intimacies, and adornment to demonstrate how the imperial experience was inscribed on women’s bodies. The result is a highly participatory tale of empire that honors the ways in which Sudanese women told their own stories in the swing of their hips and the tucks and folds of their clothes. Marie Grace Brown is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of Kansas and a cultural historian of the Modern Middle East with a special interest in questions of gender, empire, and the body as historical text. She is the author of Khartoum at Night: Fashion and Body Politics in Imperial Sudan. Brown’s second book-length project continues the exploration of the relationship between bodies and imperial power. Sex on the Edge: Adventures in Romance in Imperial Sudan examines the romantic behaviors of European women in Sudan in the first half of the twentieth century.