Welcome to the interactive schedule for the fall 2016 CoLED Conference.
Visit the conference website for conference details, or the interactive map for venue locations.
Ethnography and Design: Mutual Provocations is made possible through funding from the UC Office of the President, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and participating units across University of California campuses.
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avatar for Hannah Appel

Hannah Appel

University of California, Los Angeles
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Los Angeles, CA
I am an economic anthropologist interested in the daily life of capitalism, the private sector in Africa, and the re-emergent dialogue between economics and anthropology. My research and teaching interests are guided by the economic imagination.

How can we expand the field of economic possibility in an interconnected, power-laden world? I am also fundamentally committed to ethnographic research as a vibrant method for asking new questions and formulating new answers about the world in which we live. My current book project, Futures: Oil and the Licit Life of Capitalism in Equatorial Guinea, explores the U.S. based oil and gas industry’s efforts to disentangle the production of profit from the frictions of place; to manage risk, liability, and responsibility through a work-intensive project I call modularity—the mobile and licit infrastructures, labor forces, and imaginaries required to animate spectacular accumulation off Equatorial Guinea’s shores. The Futures project dwells on questions of infrastructure, the contract and the corporate form, and the ethnographic life of Equatorial Guinea’s national economy. 

I’m currently developing a second ethnographic project—Pan African Capital: Finance, Banking, and Economic Self-Fashioning—to continue my inquiry into the licit life of capitalism in Africa’s private sector, and the displacement of how and from where we think about global capitalism. Pan African Capital is based around ethnographic work with an African-owned bank currently operating in over thirty countries on the continent.

Finally, I also work extensively with ongoing Occupy Wall Street projects including Strike Debt and the Debt Collective. These projects work to reimagine finance, capitalism, and economic possibilities for our time, and they demand that the tools of critical theory and the anthropology of finance be tested and sharpened in dynamic public praxis.

My Speakers Sessions

Friday, October 28

3:00pm PDT