Upcoming Africanist conferences & events

To inform the editors of the ASAUK newsletter and website about upcoming conferences and workshops, please contact Simon Heap at editor(AT)asauk.net

For past conferences go to this page.

Conferences Future. . .


All Roads Lead to Lagos, African Perspective Conference: The Lagos Dialogues, Golden Tulip Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, Nigeria, 11–15 December 2013. The ArchiAfrika, Africa perspectives conference will cover the following themes, The African Diaspora, Culture and Literary Arts, Housing Cultures, African Cities and Mass Housing, Africa's Green Imperative, and the Physical and Virtual Worlds of Africa. It is set to attract a number of architects, planners and entrepreneurs in West African cultural media, particularly in film and art. Along with the academic papers being presented, there will be keynote talks from architects, film-makers, and urban policy makers at the event. The conference and accompanying exhibitions are open to the public.

For more information: africanperspectivesconference.wordpress.com Academic conference panel convenor: Dr Ola Uduku: o.uduku@ed.ac.uk

The Humanities and the Dynamics of African Culture in the 21st Century, 2nd Faculty of Arts International Conference, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Nigeria, 11–15 March 2014. That Africa is at crossroads in an increasingly globalised world is indisputable. Equally indisputable is the fact that the Humanities as a broad field of intellection, research and learning in Africa appears to have been pigeonholed or at best given the ‘backseat’ in the development aspirations of many African countries. It is intended that this conference would explore contemporary cultural dynamics in Africa and the African diaspora.

Papers are sought on evaluating cultural identities in 21st century Africa; the diaspora and African culture in the new millennium; the humanities and the question of security in 21st century Africa; environmental ethics and African culture; the dynamics of intellectual culture in the 21st century; inter-disciplinary explorations and the dynamics of African culture; philosophy and the dynamics of African culture; African youth and culture in the new millennium; literature and the dynamics of African culture; textual and textured representations of African culture; language and the dynamics of African culture; history and the dynamics of African culture; theatre and the dynamics of African culture; cultural dynamics and the sustainable development in Niger Delta; media and communication and the dynamics of African culture; African popular culture in the new millennium; gendered representations in African culture in the 21st century; religion and the dynamics of African culture; and theoretical explorations of the dynamics of African culture.

250 word abstracts by 30 November 2013 to: aauartscon2014@gmail.com and Dr Eunice Omonzejie: euniceomons@yahoo.co.uk and Osakue S. Omoera: osakueomoera@gmail.com

Texts, Modes and Repertoires of Living In and Beyond the Shadows of Apartheid, 40th Annual Conference of the African Literature Association (ALA), 9–13 April 2014, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. April 2014 marks an auspicious moment in African history and experience: twenty years after the demise of official apartheid. Elsewhere, the seemingly intractable challenges of poverty, social inequality, discrimination and tyranny continue to bedevil the continent. The conference presents a fitting occasion to embark on the kinds of retrospection, introspection and predictions that look both at the past and the future in more fluid and dynamic ways – particularly in relation to the shadows and unfinished business of apartheid and the possibilities for imagining and creating a more just, egalitarian and humane world.

As a political system and concept, apartheid occupied a complicated status in local and global imaginaries. It signified one of the most totalising attempts at racial social engineering, encompassing economic, socio-political and cultural policies as well as interventions into the most fundamental elements of everyday life. Today, apartheid has become shorthand for contesting different kinds of discrimination, segregation and exploitation across the world. The term can be usefully deployed as a catalyst for also speaking to other experiences and case-studies. Such an inflection, when used pointedly and imaginatively, can be productive, whether in localised or global comparative frameworks.

One central aesthetic response to the demands of life and ‘apartheids’ is an abiding reliance on the complexities and politics of the quotidian; the everyday. The everyday longings for basic necessities and also for joy, love, beauty, community and democracy present some of the most politically affective and effective occasions that call into question the dominant ideas and networks of the state and other powerful national and international forces. Artists and citizens – through recourse to texts, modes and repertoires of living – have proffered alternative narratives, senses of self, memories and hopes for the future.

Possible areas of focus for papers and panels include: Self, time, space and the poetics and politics of the everyday; ‘Apartheids’ and ‘partitions’; the saliences and antimonies of the quotidian; the ordinary and fantasy as sites of alternative epistemologies; bodies and power; consumption cultures and performance; sexualities and subjectivities; the dis(contents) of affective states; the worlds and lives of things; history, violence, trauma and memory; myth, movements and auto/biography; adaptation and translation of identities, languages and texts; media, communicative ecologies and cartographies of alienation and/or belonging; popular forms, spaces and sub-cultures of personhood and social renewal; and ruins, remainders, residues.

Abstracts up to 500 words for individual papers or panels by 30 November 2013 to Bhekizizwe Peterson: ala2014.sllm@wits.ac.za Information on pre-registration, registration and ALA membership dues at: www.ala2014.co.za

Africans and The Hague Justice: Realities and Perceptions of the International Criminal Court in Africa, The Hague University of Applied Sciences, The Hague, The Netherlands, 23–24 May 2014. Most African countries are signatories to the Rome Statute and therefore explicitly endorse the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. As a result one would expect them to be supportive of ICC interventions. The reality, however, shows otherwise.

Over the last few years, many African leaders have expressed their doubts about the impartiality of the Court. Some of the objections raised are that the ICC is a neo-colonial institution, a political instrument, with a judicial framework not geared to meet the needs of African societies. The African Union has challenged the jurisdiction of the Court by calling on its member states to reconsider their obligations to the Court. African States have openly refused to surrender President al-Bashir of Sudan despite the arrest warrant issued against him. Most recently, Kenyans elected Uhuru Kenyatta as their President, while at the same time indicted by the ICC for allegedly being responsible for crimes against humanity. In addition, the African Union has taken steps to confer international criminal jurisdiction on the African Court of Justice and Human Rights, without it being clear whether this ‘African Court’ is to complement or to replace the ICC.

Other African leaders, on the other hand, have emphasized the crucial role of the International Criminal Court in fighting impunity on the continent. The ICC also finds many supporters in Africa’s civic society, like human rights activists and victim communities who remain convinced of the importance of the ICC for international criminal justice. In light of the simmering tensions between the ICC and some African leaders, the many protests in African countries against the Court and the objection that it has an anti-African bias, it seems timely to explore the perceptions and reality of the ICC in Africa through a multi-disciplinary lens. Thematic angles that the conference seeks to highlight include the ICC's influence on African national politics as well as on interstate relationships in Africa and beyond; the position of the African Union in the African debate on the ICC; and the role of ICC-like bodies, such as the ‘African Court’ in relation to the plural judicial systems of African states. Additionally, papers on the socio-cultural impact of the ICC and its compatibility with other international judicial frameworks are warmly welcomed. Contributions in this domain could relate to socio-cultural understanding of justice vis-à-vis international criminal justice, representations of the Court in media, documentaries, songs or literature, as well as the roles and positions of different languages (local/English/legal) in the context of African cases before the ICC.

Hosted by Netherlands Association for Africa Studies (NVAS), The Hague University of Applied Sciences and School of Human Rights Research, Utrecht, the conference aims to reflect the complex and multi-layered perceptions of the ICC in a bid to reach a better understanding of African sentiment and insights surrounding the Court. Abstracts up to 400 words by 25 October 2013 to Dr Froukje Krijtenburg: hagueconference2014@gmail.com

African Archaeology without Frontiers, 14th Congress of Pan African Archaeological Association for Prehistory and Related Studies, and 22nd Biennial Meeting of the Society of Africanist Archaeologists, Braamfontein Campus, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 14–18 July 2014.

The joint congress and meting will cover all aspects of African archaeology and all periods from the earliest hominins to the historical period. The aims of the Congress are to bring together Africanist archaeologists and colleagues from related disciplines; provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas; provide funds to a number of selected students to attend the conference; facilitate contact and collaboration between students and professionals in African archaeology and related disciplines; and forge links and friendships.

Details on registration and abstracts by 31 January 2014 submitted through the conference website: www.paa2014.co.za/index.php/en/