Call for Papers for UCLA African Philosophies of Language Conference

Sheila Breeding's picture
Call for Papers
November 16, 2020 to December 7, 2020
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Humanities, Languages, Linguistics, Philosophy

Call for Papers
UCLA Philosophies of African Languages Conference
February 18 - 19, 2021

Abstract deadline: December 7, 2020
Sponsored by the UCLA African Studies Center

Why do African languages matter to philosophy, and to the human and social sciences more generally?  In pursuing this question apropos specific African languages, we invite explorations of indigenous ideas about discourse, grammar, meaning, agency, invocation, incantation and language use.  From multiple disciplinary perspectives including linguistics, philosophy, anthropology, art history, literature, religious studies, cultural studies and education, our conference addresses explicit ideas about speech and illocutionary force often associated with ritual power and secrecy in Africa.  We will also engage implicit notions of time, number, place, person, gender, thinghood, narrative, and poetic/pragmatic function embedded in grammars broadly construed.

Motivating our collective effort are the linked convictions that African philosophies of language are rich intellectual and cultural resources from which we have much to learn; that they have been systematically marginalized and overlooked by the western academy; and that meaningful inquiry into their reflexive frameworks requires a renewed commitment to the pedagogy of African languages.

Keynote Speakers:
•    Souleymane Bachir Diagne is a Professor in the Departments of French and Philosophy and Director of the Institute of African Studies at Columbia University.
•    Olufemi Taiwo is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Georgetown University.

Guidelines to submit: 
1.    Please submit a 150-250 word abstract by December 7, 2020 to
2.    Please use (upper case) “APL CONFERENCE” in the subject heading and include your name, email, position and institutional affiliation.

Conference organized by Andrew Apter and Harold Torrence.
•    Andrew Apter is a Professor in the Departments of History and Anthropology and Interim Director of the African Studies Center at UCLA.
•    Harold Torrence is an Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics at UCLA.

Contact Info: 

Sheila Breeding
UCLA African Studies Center
323.335.9965 phone