Call for Papers: The Sixth J. A. Atanda Lectures and Conference

Olusegun Olopade's picture
Call for Papers
June 21, 2021 to June 23, 2021
Subject Fields: 
African American History / Studies, Urban History / Studies, Local History, Literature, Indigenous Studies

Pan-African University Press in collaboration with Babcock University

The Sixth J. A. Atanda Lectures and Conference

Yoruba Culture and Society

Babcock University

June 21 – 23, 2021



Call for Papers

Conveners: Professor Bola Sotunsa, Babcock University

                   Toyin Falola, the University of Texas at Austin

Culture shapes all human civilizations while defining the core of every society. With changes over time and across regions, culture as a whole has an inseparable relationship with the societies in which it lies. To explore just such a connection, the 2021 Atanda Conference intends to examine a culture's role in shaping society. The primary aim of the conference is to reflect on the various facets of Yoruba culture and analyze their interactions with one another and other cultural influences in a global context. To this end, the conference will discuss the dynamic nature of culture, society, and technology. Simultaneously, the conference intends to create an intellectual space for examining how pan-Yoruba culture has developed and evolved. Additionally, the conference seeks to explore the histories of ethnic and sub-ethnic divisions and alliances. Beyond the specific emphasis on the Yoruba, the overarching focus of the conference will also be to engage with the effects of Yoruba culture and society on the world at large. 

The conference is in honor of Professor Joseph Adebowale Atanda, a distinguished historian who was a major participant in developing studies on Yoruba history. Prof. Atanda's scholarship provided a springboard for reshaping and expanding knowledge about the Yoruba and their cultural epistemology.


Scholars and practitioners are invited to examine diverse aspects of how culture is practiced, including festivals, customs, art, and traditions. The 2021 Atanda conference intends to address core questions of decolonizing society in the contemporary context. For instance, how can the African (Yoruba) culture grow its influence, transmit values, and play decisive roles within current realities? How has the language been used since the nineteenth century to define Yoruba culture, mediate colonial modernity and globalization, and develop post-colonial urban cultures?

Further, conversations surrounding cultural taboos, hierarchies, and oppressions will be tackled. Themes of gender and sexuality will also be addressed in this conference, mainly regarding their perceptions and change over time. The objective of these dialogues is to pluralize the narratives on Yoruba society, culture, and their various dimensions.

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

  • Archival repository of culture
  • Technology and the production of cultural works
  • Pan-African cultural development
  • African modern society
  • Cultural Encounters with the West
  • Cultural Encounters with the Arab/Islamic World
  • The Yoruba and their neighbors
  • Changing Social Institutions
  • Cultural divisions of ethnicities
  • Gender in society
  • Cultural taboos
  • International Yoruba cultures
  • Sexuality and expression across cultures
  • Decolonization in Yoruba society
  • Cultural hierarchies and oppressions
  • Yoruba intellectual traditions
  • Role of religion in society
  • Technology's role in cultural exchange
  • Cultural economic practices
  • Art, tradition, and customs
  • Festivals and celebrations
  • Politics in contemporary Yoruba societies
  • Behaviors and psychologies of culture
  • Nature, Environment, and Culture
  • Mythologies and folklore
  • Yoruba cultural icons
  • Cultural (r)evolutions, mutations, and hegemony
  • Music and popular culture
  • Traditional Medicine in the age of pandemics
  • Yoruba gods and goddesses
  • Yoruba cultures and colonial/national boundaries



Abstract Submission:

Contributors are invited to send a short abstract of no more than 250 words on any of the above subject areas as well as a short bio by email to:


Olusegun Olopade


Bola Sotunsa

Toyin Falola:



Abstract Submission: March 30, 2021

Acceptance of abstracts: Latest by April 20th, 2021


Contact Us:

Direct all queries to:

Professor Mobolanle E. Sotunsa : + 234 7060947611)

Professor Toyin Falola:


 The official conference website will feature additional information.

Registration will commence on April 20th, 2021



Contact Info: 

Direct all queries to:

Professor Mobolanle E. Sotunsa : + 234 7060947611)

Professor Toyin Falola: