The Toyin Falola @65 Conference: African Knowledges and Alternative Futures

Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso's picture
Call for Papers
January 29, 2018 to January 31, 2018
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Humanities, Political History / Studies, Social Sciences

The Toyin Falola @65 Conference:  African Knowledges and Alternative Futures

29-31 January, 2018

 The University of Ibadan, Nigeria





What makes alternative knowledge systems possible? How can new knowledge manifestoes be produced? How will cultural imperialism be demolished? Must Africa be bound by the logic of neoliberal capitalism? Must globalization be a one-sided Western agenda? These and other questions relating to how knowledge is produced, circulated and converted to policies will constitute the core of the conference, which is meant to critically interrogate the state of knowledge production in Africa, and to review the state of cumulative knowledge about Africa. The objective of the conference is to insert Toyin Falola, one of Africa’s most prolific and profound scholars, into the discourse that relates knowledge to policies, and thereby suggest ways to move Africa forward. Toyin Falola’s scholarship is significant because he has not only been a major theorist of the historical, philosophical and socioeconomic forces and factors that have created the African predicament, but he has also vigorously enunciated a critical Pan-Africanist alternative agenda that could serve as the basis for reinventing the continent.  


Knowledge production in the post-Enlightenment era has been a reflection of the interests, values, and epistemologies of the dominant powers, undoubtedly represented by the Euro-America hegemonic world. In this context, pluriversality was replaced with a universalist framework in which the cultural matrices of the dominant powers became the standard elements for defining the universal, with regard to the construction of concepts, theories, and methods. The Euro-American Empire denies or undervalues the existence of other legitimate forms of knowledges, especially those that come out of Africa. Hiding under racist anthropological and philosophical discourses and ideologies, leading scholars and intellectuals in Europe, including early figures such as Kant and Hegel, denigrated the personality of the black race, denied and rejected  Africa’s knowledge systems and dehumanized the entire black race. The colonial project in Africa was constructed around the “civilizing” and “modernizing” missions meant to bring light to what Joseph Conrad characterized as the “Heart of Darkness.” In order to achieve this objective, the West has sustained centuries-long epistemic violence against Africa. Colonial education itself obliterated anything that was local or indigenous to Africa both in the design of curriculum and in the language of instruction.  Institutions of higher learning that were established during the colonial era were based on the epistemology of the West and were designed to produce graduates who saw the West as the standard and the ultimate in the production of knowledge. With few exceptions, post-colonial Africa has maintained this trajectory of epistemic inferiorization both in the design and execution of education policy. However, historical evidence shows massive knowledge systems in pre-colonial Africa, which influenced the organization of the society through the establishment of political institutions, justice system, agricultural practices, and so on.


Over the past thirty years, Professor Toyin Falola has broken the boundaries of disciplines, undermined existing orthodox narratives and reconstructed knowledge production on Africa.  No one has been able to match Falola: be it in his own work, the energy he puts into advancing the careers of others, unprecedented work in creating publication platforms, unparalleled and tireless efforts in bringing people together, and placing African voices at the table, and policy-oriented efforts to attain peace and development. As he turns 65 on January 1, 2018, the conference and festschriften around the theme of the global politics of knowledge production in Africa, organized in his honor, will provide a unique opportunity to critically engage with his oeuvre through the re-interpretations of their contexts and impacts on historical and contemporary realities of the African continent and its peoples, including in the Diaspora.


The Conference will be held from January 29-31, 2018 at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The theme of the Conference will focus on the following areas of knowledge production to which Toyin Falola has made significant contributions:


  • Global Politics of Knowledge Production: Theories and Concepts
  • Indigenous knowledge systems
  • Indigenous systems and policies
  • Pre-Colonial Political Economy 
  • Trans-Atlantic Slavery and Africa
  • African epistemologies
  • (Re-)Writing African History and Politics
  • The Yoruba from their origins to the present
  • Colonial education systems
  • Colonial knowledge production
  • Colonial knowledge and politics
  • Women and knowledge production in Africa
  • African Political Economy
  • Post colonial education
  • African languages and knowledge systems
  • History of Nigeria
  • Women in African history and politics
  • Africa in the Global system
  • Africa and its Diasporas
  • Gender Politics and Politics of Gender in Africa
  • Ethnicity, Identities and Nation Building in Africa
  • Borders and Identities in Africa
  • Bureaucracy and Development in Africa
  • Pan-Africanism and African Citizenship
  • Migration and Development in Africa
  • Intellectuals and African Development
  • African Arts and Cultures
  • Resistance, Social Movements and Development in Africa
  • African Security in a Unipolar World
  • Development issues
  • Other pertinent topics


Contributors are invited to send a short abstract of no more than 250 words on any of the above subject areas or current aspects of their research as well as a short bio by email to Upon acceptance of an abstract, a registration fee is required before the date of close of registration: N15,000.00 (participants from Nigeria), and $100 (participants from outside Nigeria).

For your conference-related matters, please address any of the following:

The Toyin Falola @65 Conference Committee (Conveners):

Dr. Samuel Oloruntoba:

Dr Adeshina Afolayan:

Dr  Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso:

Mr ‘Wale Ghazal:


Chair of Local Organizing Committee:

Dr. Adeshina Afolayan:


For Conference Updates:





Professor Adigun A. B. Agbaje, Professor of Political Science, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Prof Kwabena Akurang-Parry, Director, Kwabena Nketia Center for Africana Studies (KNCAS), African University College of Communications (AUCC), Adabraka- Accra, Ghana

Professor Yvette M. Alex-Assensoh, Professor of Political Science & Vice President, Equity and Inclusion, University of Oregon

Professor Molefi Asante, Chair, Department of Africology, Temple University

Dr Nemata Blyden, Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, Department of History & Interim Director, Women's Studies Program, George Washington University, USA

Professor Malami Buba, Sokoto State University, Nigeria & HUFS, Korea

Dra. Rina Cáceres, Chair in African and Caribbean Studies, Cátedra de Estudios de África y el Caribe Universidad de Costa Rica

Professor Ademola O. Dasylva, Professor of African Literature, Department of English & Coordinator, Ibadan Cultural Studies Group, University of Ibadan & Convener and Board Chair, TOFAC International

Professor Vusi Gumede, Director, Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South Africa

Professor Bessie House-Soremekun, Associate Dean and Professor of Political Science, College of Liberal Arts, Jackson State University

Professor Paul Lovejoy, Department of History, York University, Toronto, Canada

Professor Sabelo Ndlovu-Gatsheni, Director, Change Management Unit, Office of the Principal, University of South Africa



The Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Cátedra de Estudios de África ye le Caribe (CEAC), Universidade de Costa Rica

Lukenya University, Kenya

City University of New York, Staten Island

Department of Africology, Temple University

Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute, University of South Africa

Lead City University, Nigeria

Adeyemi College of Education, Ondo

University of Texas at Austin

Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Nigeria

African Studies Institute, University of Georgia, Athens

Carolina Academic Press, USA

Africa World Press, USA

Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures, University of Florida

Pan-African University Press

The Department of History, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Gender and African Studies Group, Babcock University (BUGAS)

The Tubman Institute, University of York, Canada

Department of History, Benue State University, Makurdi

Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria

Department of Africana Studies, University of Carolina, Charlotte

The Museum of Natural History, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife

Caleb University, Nigeria

Department of History, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal da Bahia

(Federal University of Bahia), Brazil

Nucleo de Estudos Sobre E Africa Brasil (Nucleus of Studies on Africa and Brazil, NEAB), University of Pernambuco, Brazil

Postgraduate Studies in History Program (PPGH) Department of History, Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas, Universidade Federal da Bahia

(Federal University of Bahia), Brazil




(African Studies Center at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil)

Centro de Estudos Afro-Orientais - CEAO

Faculdade de Filosofia e Ciências Humanas

(Center for Afro-Oriental Studies (CEAO) of the School of Philosophy and Human Sciences at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil)

Adekunle Ajasi University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria



Contact Info: 

Olajumoke Yacob-Haliso,

Babcock University, Nigeria