Celebrating 50 years of publishing a Radical Journal of Geography, 1969-2019

Video abstract – Jordanna Matlon talks about ‘Narratives of Modernity, Masculinity, and Citizenship Amid Crisis in Abidjan’s Sorbonne’

In this video Jordanna Matlon (Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse) discusses her article, forthcoming in Antipode 46:3, ‘Narratives of Modernity, Masculinity, and Citizenship amid Crisis in Abidjan’s Sorbonne’. She situates the Sorbonne, a public-speaking area in the centre of Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, within the context of the political and military conflict that led to its rise and ultimate demise. Next, she positions the Sorbonne as a social space where men reframed the crisis narrative and their place in it, drawing on a legacy of Abidjan as the ‘Paris of West Africa’ to articulate themes of modernity, masculinity, and citizenship. Literally and ideologically, predominantly un- and under-employed men centred themselves from the global and urban periphery. They enacted hyperbolised modern masculinities in opposition to their former French colonizers and migrants from regional countries. Jordanna’s article proceeds in two parts. In the first, she reviews the literature on crisis in the African city with a focus on informality and gendered conceptions of work. In the second, she analyses Sorbonne sociality under the rubrics of: politics, as a space where men centred themselves and the city at the centre of global affairs; poverty, as a place where men shared in their experience of poverty while simultaneously generating fantasized identities within a community of insiders; and penises, as a masculinist and misogynist space where men asserted their rightful place in the city as men and citizens.

Jordanna is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Toulouse. She studies the livelihoods and lifestyles of men in Abidjan’s informal economy. In addition to Antipode, she has published in Poetics, Contexts, Ethnography, The Black Scholar, Global Dialogue and The Africa Report, among other places. She is currently preparing her book manuscript, tentatively titled “I will be VIP!”: Culture, Politics, and Masculinity on Abidjan’s Periphery.


Special thanks to Carlos Carmonamedina for producing this video.

For more on the Sorbonne, see:

Afrique Arte, ‘À la Sorbonne’

La Dépêche d’Abidjan, ‘Il était une fois “La Sorbonne”’

abidjannetTV, ‘La Sorbonne, (forum Pro Gbagbo) completement détruite par les agents de la Marie du Plateau’

What do you think? Here at we value readers' responses and encourage comments

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Archive by category

Interventions Interviews News Other Reviews Video Abstracts Virtual Issues

Archive by date

Journal content

Antipode - Wiley Online Library

Antipode Book Series

Antipode - Wiley Online Library

Twitter updates

  • RT @HGJournal: We are excited to announce that we are making the following article publicly available: “It’s time to recognize how men’s ca… 1 week ago

Enter your e-mail address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts.

Join 16,726 other followers

Transparency notice

Click here to read about how we use and protect the personal data of Antipode’s authors and referees and those applying for Antipode Foundation grants and places at events we organise

%d bloggers like this: