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. . .
'Researching Africa: Fieldwork and UK-based research';
Organized by Lancaster University African Studies Group; Wednesday 24th April 2013. This workshop is aimed at postgraduate students in all disciplines with research interests relating to Africa. The workshop will include presentations and group discussions around two main topics.
Fieldwork in Africa. The morning session of the workshop will explore the practicalities of preparing to undertake fieldwork in Africa. We will hear from speakers about their experiences of conducting fieldwork and discuss how practical challenges can be overcome.
Studying Africa from a distance.
The afternoon session will consider different ways of researching Africa without visiting the continent. The country you are researching may not be accessible, or your research interests may mean that there is no expectation that you will undertake fieldwork. So how can we best understand Africa from a distance?
The workshop is open to all postgraduate students and the £10 participation fee will cover lunch and light refreshments. Please register online at: http://online-payments.lancaster university.co.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?modid=1&prodid=1560&deptid=6&catid=231&prodvarid=0
If you are interested in presenting a paper, please contact Dr Charlotte Baker: c.baker(AT)lancaster.ac.uk
‘Mali in Transition: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Territorial Integrity, Islamist Groups, Military Intervention and Humanitarian Actions’, SOAS, University of London, 29–30 May 2013. Organised by the Centre of African Studies, SOAS, and Department of Anthropology, Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, and with additional funding by ASAUK, this conference is to provide an academic, interdisciplinary, research-based platform to Africanists from Europe, Africa and the US with a view to initiate a debate about the causes of the present political and humanitarian crisis in Mali, and its impacts on the country’s social, political, economic and cultural diversity. The conference aims at promoting an independent and informed discussion to counteract often partial media discourses about the political and military crisis in Mali which are not based on extended periods of field research. In this sense the conference also aims to offer a critical forum to professionals working in the media industry and international agencies whose actions in Mali are geared towards development policies, human rights investigations, conflict resolution, food and refugee emergencies, geo-political strategies, land administration, the protection of heritage sites. Parallel activities to the conference will include the screening of two documentaries and a couple of book launches, and a workshop led by a Malian Tuareg artisan, now a refugee in Burkina Faso, who was trained at the British Library in restoring the ancient manuscripts of Timbuktu. The conference is free. Some of the papers presented will be in French. The organisers envisage a large turnout of people and would therefore appreciate you register to attend. For more information, please contact the convenor of the conference: Dr Alessandra Giuffrida: giuffrida.alessandra(AT)gmail.com To register please send an email with ‘Mali in transition’ in the subject line to: cas(AT)soas.ac.uk
SCOLMA (UK Libraries and Archives Group on Africa) Annual Conference:
"Hidden Collections in African Studies"
Tuesday 9th July 2013
Senate House Library, University of London
Last year's RLUK Hidden Collections report, www.rluk.ac.uk/files/_0.pdf, shared the findings of a survey into "hidden collections" carried out by Research Libraries UK and the London Library in 2010, which aimed to gather evidence about the ongoing need for retrospective cataloguing of UK collections.
The report found that "hidden collections" (defined as material for which there is no online catalogue record) remain an immense problem for UK libraries. Over 13 million volumes
were uncatalogued in the libraries that responded, 18.5% of the total number of volumes held by those libraries. Over 4 million more (in a smaller number of libraries) had unsatisfactory catalogue records. The report noted that foreign language material and formats which require particular skills and expertise (such as maps, music, and archives) were heavily represented in "hidden collections", and found that while there were significant retrospective cataloguing projects underway the scale of the problem is often beyond individual institutions.
In addition, as more material becomes available online and researchers expectations of digital content expands, those resources not easily available in digital format in turn become "hidden".
This conference will discuss the extent and scope of "hidden collections" in different formats in African Studies in the UK, look at examples of projects addressing this problem and work towards ways forward at a national level. The conference will also seek to engage with researchers who can talk about hidden and recently un-hidden collections.
Researchers, archivists and librarians are invited to submit abstracts for consideration for this conference. We are particularly interested in researcher perspectives on the impact of newly catalogued collections; and librarian and archivist presentations on innovative and efficient ways of making collections available.
Abstracts of up to 500 words may be sent to: david.clover(AT)london.ac.uk by 22nd April 2013.
‘Connected Histories of Empire’, Centre for the Study of Colonial and Postcolonial Societies, University of Bristol, 15–16 July 2013. Over the last two decades, scholars have begun to characterise the British Empire as a complex patchwork of interacting and dynamic agencies, rather than as a homogenous monolith. As a result, the traditional spatial framework based on a stable division between the metropole and the periphery seems increasingly outmoded. Instead, historians, literary critics, scholars of globalisation, and philosophers have been writing about the webs, networks, and circuits in which people, objects, and ideas moved. This conference will interrogate the idea of an empire of connections, considering the possibilities opened up by thinking in terms of global interaction, as well as the challenges of incorporating the myriad interconnections of empire into coherent historical narratives.
The conference is the culmination of a year of events at the University of Bristol which have focused particularly on the memorialisation and commemoration of the British Empire. As scholars have begun to uncover the intricately woven interconnections of empire, a central concern of the conference will be to consider how this might influence how empire has been, and is, remembered and memorialised in Britain and elsewhere.The organisers invite proposals for papers and panels on the following broad themes: the commemoration and memorialisation of different imperial sites, events and phenomena; links between imperial port-cities/global cities; flows of people, goods (physical and cultural), and money; the movement, preservation and display of imperial artefacts and archives; imperial networks and imperial careering; imperial audiences and public spheres; links between global history and imperial history; and connections and comparisons between different modern empires. 250-word abstracts by 25 January 2013 to: connectedhistoriesofempire(AT)yahoo.co.uk
'Calabar through Time: Issues and Challenges’, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria, 24–27 April 2013. Having served as a major West African slave port, the colonial capital of the British Southern Protectorate, the modern regional and state capital of South-Eastern State and Cross River State accordingly, there are few metropolises in post independent Nigeria with the fame and attention of Calabar. This attraction has been attributed to its history, its strategic location as a coastal town, as well as its relative peace in a country that is becoming more violent through the tensions of sectarian and ethnic violence. Yet, some have pointed to the charm of Calabar's environment and people, while for others the burden of her pre-colonial status as a city state, a trade imperium and a colonial metropolis combine to give it its pride of place. For different people, Calabar is therefore a home, a symbol of pride, a myth, a historical hot spot and a hedonistic place. Given this historical background as well as the context of global tourism in which Calabar is ambitiously situated there is urgent need to bring this Nigerian metropolis into critical analysis for the benefit of its future inhabitants.
Organised by the Calabar Study Group of the University of Calabar, this conference therefore aims to bring together renowned scholars of Calabar studies to interrogate the contradictions in its history and its present in order to envision a better future. Proposals for paper are invited on the trans-Atlantic slave trade; the Abolitionist Movement; pawnship in the slavery and palm oil trade eras; the hinterlands; the palm oil trade; the development of Africa's city states; the development of literacy in the pre-missionary period; Nigeria's colonial history; religious diversity; multicultural politics; the Nigerian Civil War; the post-Civil War era and the politics of reconciliation; sexuality; gender; modernity; developments in the arts: the fine arts, literature, theatre and performing arts, High Life music, and culture in Africa; dynamics of Nigerian politics; challenges of Global Tourism in Nigeria; developments of architecture in Nigeria; mysticism in Nigeria; myth making; imagined and real geographical boundaries; inter-ethnic relationships; traditional Rulership; metropolitanism; ecology; cultural influence in the Americas and Europe; and traditional institutions in the Calabar region: Ekpe, Ndem, Abang and Ekombi. 300-word abstracts by 25 January 2013 to Dr Dave Imbua: imbuadave(AT)yahoo.com and Idom T. Inyabri: nyabro(AT)yahoo.com
‘Greater Sudan: Cross Roads to the Future’, Sudan Studies Association 32rd Annual Conference, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA, 24–26 May 2013. Greater Sudan has been receiving an extraordinary attention for the last half century from public, scholarly and political circles. Building upon serious scholarly studies, Sudanese conversations, debates and dialogue of past events in addition to forums, and conferences, many scholars, politicians and intellectual workers continued to reflect on which ways the Sudan would go. The upcoming conference will attempt to look even deeper into this phenomenon by examining intersections between past present and future of greater Sudan.
Panellists may present only one paper or participate in one panel per conference in order to make limited participant spaces available to as many participants as possible. Thematic Conversations are extensions of on-going conversations among scholars while exploring new trends and approaches to current or old questions. The conference provides an intellectual venue for like-minded scholars to continue in their discussion, deliberations that they started before in websites or other forums and engage into a face-to-face open academic exchange in an informal structure and within an open though captured audience. Although, there might not be formal presentations, the conversations must have a session chair, participants and a topic. The roundtable format generally provides an open discussion where the chair and the participants engage themselves and the audience in active discussion. Participants might or might not prepare papers but they should not lecture to the audience. For panel proposals, thematic conversations and roundtables, an abstract of maximum 250 words should be sent together with a 250-word abstract for each paper. Please also include a proposal, names of chair and participating members of each proposed thematic conversation and roundtable. Proposed papers, panels and roundtables abstracts by 28 February 2013 to Dr Abdullahi A. Gallab: abdullahi.gallab(AT)asu.edu
‘Afro-Identity at the Crossroads: African and African Diaspora Creative Genius beyond Globalization and the 21st Century’, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, 26–30 August 2013. In recent times, the intensification of transnational dialogue between peoples of African descent in the Americas and their kin in continental Africa has been yielding high dividends on both sides of the Atlantic. On the American side, decades of Affirmative Action and Black Consciousness have produced a new generation of Afro-Americans who have not only finally come to terms with their Black identity, but are also proud to project their African heritage and deploy their African genius to wrestle the right to full citizenship of their various and respective societies from the hegemonic forces of white elites. In most Latin-American and Caribbean nations, the coming to power of different shades of leftist parties that have been the traditional allies of the Afro-descendant segments of such societies has made it possible for Afro-descendants to vie for and gain much-needed visibilities on the national scene, leading to significant overall political, social and economic advancements in the collective existence of Afro-Latin-American subjects. The diverse government-promoted initiatives like the creation of a Special Ministry for Racial Equality, the promulgation of Federal Laws that mandate the teaching of African and African Diaspora history and culture in schools and the Quota System for admission of Afro-descendants to public universities and the public service are some examples of such advancements that appeared on the Latin American horizon since 2002. On its own part, the African Union (AU), realizing the great potentials of the African Diaspora and the enormous contributions it can make to the development of Africa and African descendants in general, resolved to declare the African Diaspora as the 6th Region of Africa with all the rights and privileges derivable from such membership.
Papers are sought on the concepts and theories of African identity; African origin of civilization beyond Egyptology; the Black Man’s Burden: slavery, colonialism, emancipation and independence; myths and ideologies of racial domination: stereotypes, discrimination, marginalization; policies and praxis of exclusion: whitening and the politics of racial genocide; Black agency and resistance to racial disenfranchisements; African and African descendants and international politics; African and Afro-descendant economies since the 2008 Crisis; dialogue between Africa and its Diaspora; the AU and the 6th Region; the Black Diaspora in the Middle East and East Asia; the contemporary Afro-European Economic Diaspora; migration and the Western Union politics; the politics of poverty, hunger and famine; contemporary trans-Atlantic dialogues: culture, religion, politics and ideas; music, film and video; gender and power relations; the politics of African languages and the African linguistics; legacy in the Diaspora: art, performance and creativity; festivals, myths and legends; Afro-descendant populations and the commemoration of bicentennialanniversaries of national independence in Latin America. 300-word abstracts by 28 February 2013 to Professor Dipo Salami: afroidentityoau50(AT)gmail.com
‘Colonial and Postcolonial Urban Planning in Africa’, International Planning History Society (IPHS) and Institute of Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Lisbon, Portugal, 5–6 September 2013. This conference re-examines the history of colonial urban planning in Africa and its legacies in the post-independence period, to learn from contemporary African scholarship, and to discuss how postcolonial urban planning cultures can actually address these urban challenges and contribute effectively for the development of resilient and sustainable cities in Africa.
The Conference will explore two key themes in the history of urban planning in Africa: ‘19th and 20th Century Colonial Urban Planning in Africa’, and ‘Postcolonial Urban Planning in Africa’. In both themes the organisers welcome country and cross-country approaches, studies of individual cities, and the comparison of African cities with one another. The organisers invite researchers, planners and postgraduate students to present critical analyses of the multifaceted urban planning experience in Africa, and hope the conference will also provide the opportunity for the development of an inter-disciplinary and inter-generational research network which might help to advance critical thinking about urban planning in Africa. Up to 500-word abstracts by 31 January 2012 to Carlos Nunes Silva: urbanplanningafrica(AT)gmail.com
‘American Art in Dialogue with Africa and the African Diaspora’, 4th Terra Symposium on American Art in a Global Context, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC, USA, 4–5 October 2013. Since the beginning of the transatlantic slave trade, Africa has played an important – albeit shifting, contested, and often unseen – role in the history of art of the United States. American artists of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds with various agendas have imagined and depicted Africa and African peoples in their work or turned to African cultures and art objects for inspiration. Anthropologists and art historians have scrutinized African American visual production in search of cultural retentions, while many modern and contemporary black and Latino artists have alternately highlighted or occluded reference to Africa or African Diasporic cultures in their work. Artists from the US who have travelled to the continent or engaged first hand with international African Diasporic communities have often found themselves and their work altered by these experiences in significant and unexpected ways. More recently, globalization and the growth of international biennial exhibitions have facilitated multi-directional exchange and brought contemporary artists from Africa and the Diaspora increasingly into contact with the mainstream US art scene.
Supported by a generous grant from the Terra Foundation for American Art, and organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in partnership with the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art and the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the conference seeks original, innovative scholarship investigating heretofore unexamined aspects of this transatlantic dialogue, from the visual culture of slavery and abolitionism to American modernism; from the Black Arts Movement to the contemporary art world. Papers engaging with a wide range of visual art media including performance art, decorative arts, folk art, and craft are welcome. 300-500-word abstract and short CV by 30 January 2013 to Amelia Goerlitz: AmericanArtSymposium(AT)si.edu
‘Media and the Portuguese Empire, 18th to 20th Centuries’, Instituto Ciências Sociais, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal, 1–2 November 2013.With an enlarged perspective of the media, which embraces the physical structures of transport, as well as all forms of symbolic communication (rumour, mail, press, cinema, radio, television, theatre, literature, and advertising), the organisers encourage the presentation of papers focusing on the articulations and tensions between these media and the establishment and maintenance of a Portuguese Empire in Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, São Tomé e Príncipe, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, India (Goa, Damão, and Diu), East Timor, and Macau. The organisers welcome multiple disciplinary approaches, as the conference encompasses studies in journalism, communication, history, literature, sociology, geography, anthropology, and art history, among other domains of the humanities and the social sciences. These studies should contribute to a better understanding of the complex interactions established between the media and Portuguese imperial policy from the 18th century until the 1970’s.
The organisers welcome studies which embrace a broad perspective, comprising both centre and peripheral regions or/and emphasizing the interactions between communications, policy, economics, society, cultural and national identities. Contributions are accepted on topics such as: the connections between transport and communication in imperial dynamics; relation between exploratory missions, cartography, communication infrastructures, and the establishment of an Empire; media and public celebrations; press, propaganda, public opinion, and imperial domination; imperialism and popular culture; media in the colonies (press, radio, cinema, and literature), resistance, and the constitution of national identities. The conference languages are English and Portuguese. 600-word abstracts and short CV by 1 April 2013 to: mediaeimperio(AT)gmail.com
‘Society and Politics in Africa: Traditional, Transitional, and New’, 13th International African Studies Conference, Institute for African Studies and the Institute for Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, 27–29 May 2014. Organised by the Research Council for the Problems of African Countries and the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the conference would like to encourage the submission of three paper panels focusing on any particular topics related to the Conference’s umbrella theme. The list of prospective paper-givers with their particulars is desirable. The working languages are Russian and English. 500-word panel proposals by 31 March 2013 to Natalia Bondar: conf2014(AT)gmail.com