Call for Panelists ECAS 2019 (Edinburgh): Pan-Africanism between Unity and Divergence (1950-60s)

Sakiko Nakao's picture

Please find below the abstract of our panel on Pan-Africanism, for the up-coming European Conference of African Studies in Edinburgh (12-14 June 2019):

While the African diaspora is known today as the 6th region of the African Union, the gaps and tensions laying under the Pan-Africanism are often overlooked. This panel aims to explore the complex relations between African people and people of African descent in the Americas and the Caribbean, through their conceptions of "Africa", while also taking diversities within each group into account. If Pan-Africanism brought together Africans living within and outside the "continent", it also highlighted the discrepancies among them. This was especially the case during the 1950s and 1960s when new issues became apparent at the advent of African Independent States in the Cold War context. Pan-African networks was then torn between an idealized image of African past and emerging problems of Modernity confronted by the nations-to-be. Accelerating urbanization, as well as changing life styles and social relations pointed out the ambiguity of the image associated to Africa. As the postcolonial society was being re-shaped in and around, Pan-African discourses conflicted with constraints of the nation-building. Within the new urban spaces, the emancipation of women, to whom the role of guardian of the "tradition" has been assigned, became one of the crucial issues. Special attention shall be paid to the marginalized actors, making use of Pan-Africanist ideas to transform social norms to their advantage. We also welcome papers focusing on social practices in daily lives implementing or exceeding Pan-African discourses. Sources may vary from local press, writings of activists, to iconographic, filmographic and sound archives.

Please use the link below to submit your abstract no later than 21 January 2019.

For further information, please contact Sakiko Nakao ( and Odile Goerg (