On Thursday, November 29, Blair Rose Zaid, lecturer in the University of Michigan Department of Anthropology, will speak in the Whitney Auditorium (Room 1315, School of Education Building) at noon as part of the UMMAA Brown Bag Lecture Series.
The presentation—The Bantu Diaspora: Cultural Change in the Central African Early Iron Age—explores how migratory practices of Africa’s distant past reveal frameworks for identifying the interventions, imaginations, and belongings of an African proto-diaspora. Through an interrogation of formative and early period settlement and subsistence strategies, Professor Zaid reveals how innovation, rather than conservatism, is the impetus for the flexibility and perseverance of Bantu cultural systems. Professor Zaid contends that these mechanisms of innovation provide directives for grappling with massive cultural change in premodern African Diasporas. The extended application of the African Diaspora framework to theories about Bantu Expansion re-centers the behaviors and strategies developed within the rapidly changing cultural and ecological circumstances, to construct a theoretical space for re-identifying massive dispersions and cultural change in early Africa. This talk concludes that Africa’s deep past has ultimately laid ground work for re/envisioning sustainable features of cultural change and continuity.
The Museum’s Brown Bag Lecture Series is free and open to the public.