"Sweaty motions: materiality, meaning and the emerging workout ethic in Mozambique"

GI Seminars
Wed . 20 Oct . 15h00 to 17h00
"Sweaty motions: materiality, meaning and the emerging workout ethic in Mozambique"
Julie Soleil Archambault

 Próximo Seminário do GI Identidades, Culturas, Vulnerabilidades é no dia 20 de Outubro, quarta-feira, às 15h00. 

O seminário é com a antropóloga Julie Soleil Archambault (Concordia University).

Sweaty motions: materiality, meaning and the emerging workout ethic in Mozambique 


Link de acesso ao seminário:




Alongside the perhaps more obvious ways in which it engages with fat, “fitness” as an aspirational pursuit driven by a combination of health and beauty concerns also encourages new forms of engagement with sweat. In Mozambique where class and gender have produced sweating bodies entangled in hierarchies of care and labour, the growing popularity of fitness is complicating the political economy of bodily substances. Transgressive of ideals of feminine propriety, new ways of sweating are fostering health-conscious subjectivities and encouraging alternative ways of becoming and relating. As a bodily “thing”, sweat sits uncomfortably within post-humanist and neo-materialist efforts at decentering the human. I argue, however, that an ethnography of sweat, which I apprehend as a material-semiotic thing that straddles the subject/object dualism and that operates simultaneously as an index and matter of transformation—can help refine our understanding of the potentiality of matter.



Julie Soleil Archambault is Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. She received her PhD in Anthropology from the School of Oriental and African Studies (U. of London) and is the author of Mobile Secrets: Youth, Intimacy and the Politics of Pretense in Mozambique (2017). She recently completed a project on the political and affective economies of cement in Mozambique and is currently working on a book project on the anthropology of sweat. She is also co-editor of AFRICA: Journal of the International African Institute.