1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences

“Giving Life: Managing Intimacy and Regulating Affective Circuits Among Malagasy Marriage Migrants in France”


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  • Location of talk: Nau 101 followed by a reception 

Over the past twenty years, thousands of coastal Malagasy women have married Frenchmen and migrated to rural and semirural areas of France. These women go, as they so often put it, to “search” or to “find their lot” in life--Malagasy expressions that refer, respectively, to seeking one’s fortune and to finding one’s generative pairing or mate, suggesting how for many Malagasy women, these two ideas are intrinsically linked. When they successfully marry a Frenchman and establish residency in France, they use their position to earn the resources that enable them to build up networks of their own in Madagascar. This talk analyzes how women achieve the task of “giving life” on two continents and across two cultures at once. Far from being a question of money transfers, as much research on female migration implies, their efforts entail the skillful management of intimacy, so as to properly connect or disconnect the different circuits through which love, resources and information all flow.

Co-Sponsors:  Page-Barbour Fund, Center for International Studies, UVa School of Law, Department of Sociology, Women, Gender and Sexuality Program, the Institute for the Advanced Studies in Culture, Department of Media Studies and Department of Anthropology

Event Date: 
Thursday, 5 March 2015 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Speaker: 
Jennifer Cole
Speaker Title: 
Professor of Comparative Human Development and Chair, Committee on African Studies, University of Chicago