Past Event

Sahara Haze: Climate, Wind and the Ocean of Sand

October 5, 2021
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Columbia University Seminar Studies in Contemporary Africa invites you to:

Sahara Haze: Climate, Wind and the Ocean of Sand

A virtual event with Dr. May Joseph, Professor of Social Science & Cultural Studies, Pratt Institute

“The Sahara Desert is critical to the Brazilian Rainforest”


The Sahara Desert is critical to the balance of ecosystems from the Atlantic Gulf Stream to the Brazilian Rainforests. It is also a swiftly transforming materiality of the biosphere connecting the Mediterranean and North Africa to the North American troposphere. Drawing on the history of the Harmattan Wind, and autobiography, this talk explores why we should care about sand. Joseph explores the ethics and aesthetics of sand, and its relational import on hurricanes, oceans and biodiversity.

For Zoom Link and Password please RSVP to [email protected]

Dr. May Joseph is Founder of Harmattan Theater, Inc. an environmental theater company focusing on global water issues, based in New York City. She is Professor of Global Studies in the Department of Social Science and Cultural Studies at Pratt Institute, New York. Joseph has written widely on transnational cultural flows, and works on water ecology, global environmentalism, visual culture and critical ocean studies. She is the author of the ghosts of lumumba (Poetics Lab, 2020); Sealog: Indian Ocean to New York; Fluid New York: Cosmopolitan Urbanism and the Green Imagination (Duke University Press, 2013); Nomadic Identities: The Performance of Citizenship (Minnesota, 1999) and coeditor (with Jennifer Fink) of Performing Hybridity (Minnesota, 1999). Other co- edited volumes include Transboundaries (Shima, 2023); Islands of Refuge (Island Studies Journal, 2022); Nomadic Identities (Island Studies Journal, 2021); History, Memory and Islands (Island Studies Journal, 2020); Coloniality and Islands (Shima 2019); Social Text # 124, Spring 2015; City Corps (Journal of Space and Culture), New Hybrid Identities (Women and Performance, 1995) and Bodywork (Women and Performance, 1999). Joseph has created site specific decolonial performances along Dutch and Portugese maritime routes.

Co-chairs: Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi and Robyn d’Avignon Rapporteur: Jessie Cohen Advisory and Steering Committee: Robyn d’Avignon, Nisrin Elamin, Laura Fair, Abosede George, Vivian Chenxue Lu, Daniel Magaziner, Nana Osei-Opare, Anooradha Iyer Siddiqi, Rhiannon Stephens, Matthew Swagler, Adedoyin Teriba

Contact Information

Jessie Cohen