Seeking ASA Panelists for "Youth, Precarity, and Expressive Culture: Creative Practices and Adaptations of Africa’s Youth"

Karl Haas's picture

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Call for Papers
November 16, 2017 to November 18, 2017
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Black History / Studies, Dance and History of Dance, Fine Arts


Hello all,

I'm looking to fill out a panel tentatively entitled, "Youth, Precarity, and Expressive Culture: Creative Practices and Adaptations of Africa’s Youth." Ethnographic and historical approaches invited on any topic relating to expressive practices of marginalized/disenfranchised youth in Africa.  A draft of the preliminary panel abstract is below:

"The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that the number of unemployed youth worldwide is in excess of 70 million, and that number is growing. Worse still, nearly 40%, or 156 million, of working youth live in poverty. (ILO 2016). This panel takes up the issue of precarity, viewed through the lens of expressive culture practices among young people throughout the continent. Defined as the “politically induced condition in which certain populations suffer from failing social and economic networks” (Butler 2009, 25), precarity refers not only to uncertainty but also marginality. This panel examines local reactions to the increasing marginalization of youth under millennial capitalism, foregrounding the role of expressive culture in providing social and economic relief to the youth unemployment crisis. Practices examined may include, but are not limited to: music, dance, visual arts, literature theatre, and may include digital arts, performance practices, and intangible cultural heritage.

This panel intervenes in emerging discourses of both precarity and youth disenfranchisement, probing the often uneasy relationship between expressive practices and neo-liberalism, while highlighting struggles for personal agency as young Africans creatively labor for a better future."


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