20th Annual Africa Conference: Call for Abstracts

Chukwuemeka Agbo's picture
March 27, 2020 to March 29, 2020
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Slavery, Social History / Studies, Social Sciences, Sociology, Women's & Gender History / Studies
20th Annual Africa Conference at the University of Texas at Austin
Current realities in Africa confirm that this theme is a round peg in a round hole. From terrorism to extremist religious ideologies, resource conflicts, political highhandedness, poverty, corruption etc. it is important for us to interrogate a theme that touches on almost every aspect of issues in contemporary Africa.
Next years conference would also mark the 20th Anniversary of the Annual Africa Conference. Indeed, Professor Falola has bequeathed an indelible legacy for African studies. The conference, therefore, presents us with the opportunity to, among other things, share knowledge, exchanges ideas, meet old friends, and make new ones, as well as celebrate Professor Falola's legacies.
So please, begin to send in your abstracts, write your papers, and prepare for another exciting and intellectually enriching time in the last week of March 2020 in Austin. Kindly see the conference announcement and all necessary details below. If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact me. I look forward to receiving your abstracts and welcoming you to UT Austin next spring.
Chukwuemeka Agbo

20th Annual Africa Conference at The University of Texas at Austin

March 27-29, 2020

Department of History, UT Austin




Africa’s histories and politics reveal trends of nationalism in response to colonial conquest, anti-colonial resistance, movements of liberation, neo-colonialism, and post-colonial developments, as well as the emergence of African nationalist theories. Used in social, political, and economic spheres, nationalism and its effect augment dimensions of heightened complexity. The 2020 Africa Conference intends to critically examine the highly intricate and contested processes of nationalism and its significance for African societies and for African diaspora across the Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Indian Ocean.


The primary aim of the conference is to reflect on the varying and varied forms of nationalism and the manner in which they have developed. Simultaneously, the conference intends to create an intellectual space for examining the politics and economics of nationalism that marginalize, exclude, disempower, and denude certain groups, while giving privilege, authority, and power to others. Beyond the specific emphasis on Africa, the overarching focus of the conference is to engage with different theoretical inflections that have emerged in the existing scholarship on nationalism as well as to probe the ways in which they have been challenged and reformulated within the circles of academic and policy discourses.


Scholars are invited to examine diverse aspects of nationalism in Africa, at the level of the state and communities, as well as within the African diaspora. The conference intends to address core questions of how nationalism and its theories developed, their postcolonial and global significance, and their connection to other movements, with attention to the specific practices of diverse social, linguistic, religious, and ethnic nationalisms that can be observed in the African continent and diaspora today. Participants are invited to critically analyzed the hidden texts of nationalist narratives, analyzing the role of women and other minorities and intersectional identities in nationalist formations. The conference will address the impacts of nationalism on economics and foreign policy, as well as its influence on social relations and interactions within the African context. Contemporary issues such as those citizenship, identity politics, refugees and conflicts caused by movements of nationalism will also be foregrounded. Furthermore, the conference will engage with how emergent and resurgent nationalisms in other world regions such as Europe and the Americas shape the discourses and movements of contemporary African nationalism. The objective of such dialogues is to pluralize the narratives on certain assumed and ambiguous positionalities in African societies.


Following the tradition of past years, the conference will provide a platform for scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Submitted papers will be assigned to various panels according to the similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical focus. Thematically focused panel proposals (with 3-5 participants) are highly encouraged. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present paper. The broader goal of the conference is to publish selected papers in a series of book volumes.


We invite submissions on the following sub-themes, in addition to other ideas that the participants may have:

  • Ethnic nationalist politics in Africa
  • Precolonial nationalist formations
  • Nineteenth century state formations (e.g., the jihads, Mfecane, Yoruba wars, etc.)
  • Race and Nationalism
  • Citizenship, nationality, and migrant workers in Africa
  • Minoritarian nationalism in Africa
  • Migration, xenophobia, and nationalism in Africa
  • Conflicts, refugees, and national identities in Africa
  • Borderland, migration, and citizenship in Africa
  • Linguistic identities and nation-state in Africa
  • Interactions of nationalist movements
  • Histories of nationalist movements in Africa
  • Movements of African nationalism
  • Cosmopolitanism, hybridity, and African pluriversalism
  • Globalization, Afropolitanism, African futures
  • Religious expressions of nationalism in Africa
  • Post-colonial and liberation nationalism in Africa
  • Movements of Pan-Africanism
  • Women in African nationalism
  • Nationalism, Gender, and Power in Africa
  • LGBTQ+ Identities and Movements
  • Intersectionality and National Identity
  • Nationalist movements by countries
  • African theories of nationalism
  • Contemporary understandings of liberalism and nationalism
  • Economic nationalism and processes of development
  • Africa and European nationalisms
  • Africa and American nationalisms
  • Africa and the global resurgence of populist-nationalist movements
  • Nationalism and its intersections with Sports, Entertainment, and Leisure
  • Cyber-nationalisms
  • Artistic expressions of nationalism
  • Theorists (e.g., Frantz Fanon)


Each individual proposal must include: (1) title of the work, and an abstract of 200 words (2) name of the presenter (with surname underlined) (3)mailing address (4) phone number (5) email (6) institutional affiliation (7) three to five keywords that best characterize the themes and topics relevant to your submission. Participants are expected to follow these guidelines.


         Proposals for panels (3-5 presenters) must include: (1) title of the panel and a collective summary of 250 words on the panel’s theme, including the title of each individual work (2) a 200 word abstract of each individual speaker (3) mailing address (4) phone number (5) email (6) institutional affiliation of each presenter.


         Proposals will be accepted by email: toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu, the conference email: africaconference2020@gmail.com, and on the official conference website from mid-June to 15th December 2019 (http://www.utexas.edu/cola/africa-conference). Participants who require visa to enter the United States must submit abstracts and register early as it may take six months to book visa appointments.


         A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $150 for scholars and $100 for graduate students must be paid immediately upon acceptance of abstract. This conference fee includes conference t-shirt and bag, admission to the panels, workshops, and special events, as well as transportation to and from the hotel and conference events. Registration also includes breakfast for all three days, dinner on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, a banquet with DJ and open bar Saturday evening, and a closing celebration at Dr. Falola’s house including dinner and DJ. All participants must raise the funding to attend the conference, including registration fee, transportation, and accommodation.


         The conference and the University of Texas at Austin do not provide any form of sponsorship or financial support. However, the Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake will have a special rate for conference participants, and transportation between the hotel and the university is included.


         If you have questions, contact Toyin Falola or the Conference Coordinator: Chukwuemeka Agbo. All correspondence including submission of abstracts, panel proposals, completed papers, and all kinds of inquiries must go through designated emails as listed below: