The Gambia Since Independence: Reading the Past, Writing the Future

Pierre Gomez's picture
Type: 
Call for Papers
Date: 
November 15, 2020 to April 10, 2021
Location: 
Gambia
Subject Fields: 
Contemporary History, Indigenous Studies, Graduate Studies, Humanities, Social Sciences

Gambia Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (GJHSS)

Special Maiden issue to highlight new research on the Gambia: Rationale and Justification

Call for Papers
From a democratic form of government, under the leadership of Gambia’s first President, Sir Dawda Jawara, to a dictatorial government of former President Yahya Jammeh, and now to a coalition government, led by President Adama Barrow, the Gambia provides an intriguing case study, which needs to be fully explored in research, and set in the wider context of African politics. There needs to be an understanding of how the country has transformed, since gaining independence from Britain in 1965. Therefore, from this perspective, research is important in understanding how the Gambia has thrived, or suffered, under these different political periods. And it is hoped that the proposed maiden issue of the Gambia Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (GJHSS) would provide an opportunity to explore some of the country’s frontier issues that have continued to confront the new Gambia. When the Gambia held Presidential Election on 1st December 2016, Adama Barrow emerged victorious (against Yahya Jammeh); and by all means, this was seen as a turning point for the country.
Scholarship on the Gambia, following independence in 1965, has seen a gradual increase. However, civil liberties and in particular, academic freedom, enjoyed during the first republic, were usurped on 22nd July 1994, when a military coup toppled the democratic government of Sir Dawda Jawara. The military governed from July 1994 until December 1996 when nominal democracy was restored in January 1997, after controversial Presidential Election, in which the military leader, then Lieutenant Yayha Jammeh, turned himself into civilian Head of State. These sequences of events did little to significantly attract research interests and academic engagement with The Gambia. Although some scholars conducted research which explored the period of military rule and its aftermath, yet this research had not been sufficient to inform about the
political, economic, and social frameworks of the Gambia during these periods. In particular, studies in other important areas have remained thin and far between.
To this end, it is felt that in order to better understand the events and changes that have occurred in the Gambia since 1965, more research needs to be conducted because there are still areas that have been overlooked. In effect, further research can help in addressing some of the themes related to the country’s political journey beginning from when it gained independence to the present. This will provide an opportunity to gain a better understanding of the new Gambia, in terms of its social, political, and economic environment. Some of the issues that further research would address include, but are not limited to - the environment, gender issues, youth bulge and Gambia, migration, development, media, the state of Gambia’s healthcare system in a post-Covid context, foreign and economic policies, the agricultural sector, relations with other countries in the African continent, particularly Senegal, transitional justice, and the state of Gambia’s security sector. It is therefore, hoped that the maiden issue of the Gambia Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences would provide the opportunity to engage a broad expanse of possible research areas that have been either under-represented or virtually ignored. In sum, one of the key objectives of the maiden issue is to highlight new research on the country, in a bid to broaden the discussion beyond what is already known, and to spark further research and critical thinking.
Over the past decades, the Gambia has undergone a substantial transformation and these diverse changes – ranging from economic, social to political - need to be properly explored, from an academic perspective, in order to understand the current state of the country and be able to predict its future. Perhaps the impacts of these changes on the country can be better understood after some more well-grounded research has been conducted. Although some of the issues related to Gambia have been explored in the media, yet their nuances in the context of Gambia’s present and future require critical exploration. As such, the proposed maiden issue will seek to cover a wide range of interdisciplinary research themes ranging from gender, foreign policy, transitional justice, law, politics, governance, development, society to globalization. The maiden issue of the journal can, therefore, help to address several issues related to the country which have been largely ignored. The lamented paucity of academic discourse on The Gambia, especially during the Jammeh years, provides basis for some kind of intervention and it is natural that this new journal takes the lead. The maiden issue would therefore, go a long way in mitigating these inadequacies; and it is in light of these and related factors, that this Gambia-specific maiden issue is being proposed.
Consequently, the Journal’s editors would like to invite both established and emerging scholars, especially women, to make submissions of articles with a maximum word count of 7000 latest by 10th April 2021 which MUST address some aspects of Gambia’s social, legal, linguistic, economic, political, historical and other substantive concerns. The title of the special maiden issue is: “The Gambia Since Independence: Reading the Past, Writing the Future.” Again, the editors of the Journal would be interested in themes related to foreign policy, particularly Senegal-Gambia relations, education, transitional justice, gender, globalization, history, military, media, literature, and development, among others. It is expected that these articles would provide a proper insight into some of these under-researched aspects related to Gambia.
Prospective contributors are invited to first submit proposals for articles in the form of a 400-500-word abstract by December 30, 2020. If the abstracts are accepted, the authors would be notified by 5th January 2021. For authors whose abstracts have been accepted, the strict deadline
of the submission of the draft articles is 15th April 2021. Abstracts to be submitted should be titled, including the following on a separate page: the full name of the author, university or work affiliation, title of the abstract, mailing address and telephone number. All submissions and queries regarding the maiden issue should be directed to the Editor-in-chief: Professor Pierre Gomez at email address: pgomez@utg.edu.gm
The referencing style related to the Journal would be based on the Chicago Manual of Style and it is recommended that the prospective contributors adhere to this style. However, if they have questions related to the style, they can easily be provided with the Manual. All articles should be submitted double-spaced with text within standard margins of 1.5”. All papers should be in 12-point font and contributions should have endnotes (not footnotes) that appear at the end.

Contact Info: 
Professor Pierre Gomez, Ph.D., HDR
Ag. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic
The University of The Gambia
Peace Building, Kanifing Campus
M.D.I Road, P.O. BOX: 3530
The Gambia

West Africa

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