ASA 2023 CfP New Youth Spaces: Reconfiguring Africa’s Urban Futures

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New Youth Spaces: Reconfiguring Africa’s Urban Futures

In African cities, young people are on the move in search of new opportunities to better their lives. In addition to the research on conventional urban spaces (e.g., streets and neighborhoods) that young people have been navigating, this panel calls for attention to new spaces created and used by African urban youth. For instance, with transnational flows of people, technology, capital and ideas, various Internet platforms have opened up new landscapes of possibility with regards to youth identity and mobility in cities. Also, some everyday spaces, including but not limited to cinemas, concerts, and communities for makers or hackers, are performatively endowed by young people with new forms and meanings of sociality. This panel therefore explores some of the new ways in which young people are negotiating their identities and futures through new conceptualizations of urban space and socio-spatial practices among them. We welcome proposals on how unpacking these new youth spaces leads to the new notions of spatiality which are introduced by emerging technologies, platforms, and institutions. The panelists thereby explore how these new spatialities are reconfiguring the futures of urban youth and urban places in Africa. These questions can be interrogated through various approaches and will contribute to shedding light on the pathways taken and not taken by urban youth, as main trajectories and arteries may have been blocked by global disturbances.

If you are interested in joining this panel, please send your proposal, including title, abstract, name, and institutional affiliation, to Allen Xiao (National University of Singapore, allenxh@nus.edu.sg) by March 30, 2023. The proposal abstracts should follow the ASA guidelines, with a maximum of 200 words. Please make sure you will also submit your abstract and register at the ASA platform (https://africanstudies.secure-platform.com/a/organizations/main/home) before April 2.

Note: I am delighted to announce that Garth Myers (Trinity College) will be the discussant. Depending on the quality of submissions, we will consider organizing a special issue.