CfP for the Graduate Conference: Africa's Place In A Globalizing World: Reimagining Governance, Science, Technology, Art And Culture

Sasha Artamonova's picture
Call for Papers
April 3, 2020
Illinois, United States
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Government and Public Service, Immigration & Migration History / Studies, Women's & Gender History / Studies

Conference: Friday, April 03, 2020 I Evanston, Illinois


Keynote Speaker: Dr. Godwin Murunga, Executive Secretary, Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) 

''And the green hills of Africa have come out of the past, and out of the imagination, into the present, the troubling world." James Baldwin (1962)

In his concept of "Flows," Arjun Appadurai (2000) observed that in today's globalizing world, things - "ideas and ideologies, people and goods, images and messages, technologies and techniques" - are constantly in motion and that globalization is an inherently disjunctive process that produces inequalities, injustices and problems with governance. It is in this broad understanding of globalization - the expansion and intensification of linkages and flows of people, goods, capital, ideas, and cultures across national borders - that we interrogate the position of Africa.

Our broader questions include but are not limited to:
  • What space does Africa occupy in a globalizing world?
  • Is there an African perspective on how to do science, innovation, economics, or governance?
  • Do African experiences contribute to the elaboration of global assemblages of power, infrastructure , knowledge production, or cultural innovation?
  • Does Africa remain a social laboratory in which great powers expand their economies or experiment with new techniques of governance and population control?
  • Can Africa be its own center of innovation?
  • And can Africans speak to something that is more than African-provincial?

We invite papers that address these questions in any number of ways. The papers may engage with the following themes:

Techniques of governance on the continent at the national, regional or community level
  • Religion and Politics: How has religion abated or aided sociopolitical and economic growth or disunity on the continent?
  • Gender, sexuality and identity: Do gendered discourses converge or diverge to fit a pre-assigned template? What explains dis/continuities? Where is the place of Africa in Gender and Sexuality Studies?
  • Environment, sustainability and land: In the wake of climate change concerns, is Africa still in the core-periphery system for capitalist expansion, and how can Africa assert herself in the climate agenda?
Global migration, mobilities, movement
  • Diaspora and multi-directional movement
  • Movement from , within , into the African continent: mobilities as scaled, gendered, raced, and classed; Trade, science, and infrastructure; Sino-African relations
 Infrastructure projects & nationalism & (foreign) interventionism
  • Infrastructure projects and capitalism
  • Nation-building or empire expansion
  • Dams and water infrastructure; agricultural needs within and without
  • Environmental challenges, land, and sustainability imperatives
Science and research on and off the continent
  • How does "data" circulate? Who owns samples and the meta-data attached to them?
  • What can be learned from the management of the recent Ebola outbreak for biological research , access to samples, and propriety work?
  • Ongoing hierarchies within the academy: the experience of African and Africa-based scholars within the scientific research community and citationary ethics
  • Higher Education and intellectual property, opportunities and configurations
  • Post-colonial and indigenous knowledge production
Art and articulations of cultural identity
  • How are claims to ownership and authorship voiced? By whom?
  • Questions of intellectual property
  • Questions of indigenous rights and identity
  • Global circulation and framing of African artistic and cultural projects
  • Global imaginaries of African artists and artwork
  • Appropriation, Repatriation, Custody: who owns African art and history, cultural property and heritage; African artifacts repatriation

Papers: Accepted papers will be organized into panels, with each presenter allotted 15 minutes and time for discussion and Q&A.

Posters: Poster proposals are open to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Submission guidelines:
  1. Abstracts should be no more than 300 words
  2. To submit, click this link or copy into your browser:

Submission deadline: February 15, 2020
Questions? Email: