The 2017 ASAA Conference
Global politics today, whether how we experience the unequal structures of power in our daily lives, or how international relations are presented in classrooms and learning communities; whether we look at the movement of bodies, products and services or the discourse around emigration, immigration or migration; there can be no question that the study of African societies and lives from an Africanist perspective is more imperative than ever before. Recent events and reforms in Africa in the direction of political pluralism, sustainable development and democratic consolidation have revitalized global interests about African cosmologies—repositioning Africa in world affairs and African axiology—the values we place on our cultures, education, development and institutionalisation of democracy.
Global politics, despite differentiations in political systems of the world, present a convergence of ideas, practices, institutions, and events because of the interconnectedness of domestic and international political economy, cultures, precepts and norms. Neoliberalism, marketization, democratic consolidation, human rights issues and good governance have global appeal and Africa is a strong member of the global village. Yet, Africa’s democratic consolidological endeavours and development, which have a teleological foundation, for instance, are assessed with questionable tools imbued with implicit biases in the Global North. This argument provides us with fertile ground and a sense of urgency to continue to address the way Africa is viewed in global spaces.
Certain global events present special challenges and portend particular futures for Africa. The fact that a significant segment of Africa’s population is composed of our youth presents challenges such as young men stranded on boats in open sea as they seek new homes in Europe, or the spectre of young women seeking greener pastures in the Middle East and South East Asia. Our youth are also increasingly likely to be victims of trafficking or sucked into terrorist organisations such as ISIS and Boko Haram. However, the youthful population also presents a demographic dividend evidenced in hip hop cultures, film and music industries, and international football, business and skills gains.
Brexit and the election of Donald Trump have brought discussions of right wing movements, governments and racist agendas into sharp focus. What does the free movement of goods, people and ideas mean in such a context, and how are questions of citizenship, race, ethnicity and religion conflated here? Simultaneously, movements such as Black Lives Matter in the US and Europe, and the Decolonizing Intellectualism and Educational Movements in parts of Africa have gained ground and thrown the teaching of African(a) Studies in Historically White Colleges and Universities (HWCU) in the Diaspora into sharp relief.
The key global economic issues that drive processes call us to examine big institutions and their commitment, or lack thereof, to an African agenda. Much progress is being made by continental and regional financial and other corporate institutions, such as with mobile banking, which has revolutionized small business transactions and social relations through money transfers. At the same time, there are also still many challenges around money and financing in Africa, such as with exchange rates and foreign transfers, raising capital for SMEs, and the role of the central and commercial banks.
The African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA) invites you—intellectuals, academics, and practitioners—to collaborate with us to engage in this important undertaking about the global African condition, the quality of life of Africans on the continent and the African Diaspora, and the effects of global socio-politics on Africa and African people around the world.
The conference will also provide opportunities to attend pre-conference workshops and view films by award-winning African film makers. Well-respected African keynote speakers are expected and the conference will climax with a banquet presenting the best of West African cuisine and live music.
Participants will also have the opportunity to watch the energetic Chief Moomen’s original, musical drama “Wɔgbejɛkɛ: Birth of a Nation”. Moomen is a young artistic entrepreneur whose Wɔgbejɛkɛ (we have journeyed far) has become one of the most vivid lenses through which to encounter the centuries that carry our stories.
The 2017 Biennial Conference of ASAA invites proposals for individual paper presentations and panels under the following themes, but not limited to them:
- African Agency in International Relations
- Democratic Consolidation and Discourses of Development
- Global Terrorism, Counter-terrorism and African Lives
- Cyber security, fake news and Prospects for Indigenous African Democracies
- The movement of African peoples and Citizenship(s)
- Refugee Crises in War-torn Regions
- Social Movements, Social Media and Talking Back
- International Cooperation and the Challenges of Pandemic Diseases
- Pan-Africanism, African Unity and the African Union
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Africa’s Agenda 2063
- New Right-wing movements and Racism in Europe, America and Asia
- Africans in the Trump Era
- Debt, Reparations, Aid and Trade
- Contemporary Religious Movements
- Health, Vulnerabilities and Healing
- The Paris Agreement, Climate Change, Droughts and the Environment
- Humanitarianism and the White Saviour Complex
- A Sexuality Agenda: Rights, Rhetoric and Citizenship
- Neo-conservatism and Women’s Leadership
- Decolonizing Intellectualism and Educational Movements.
- Internationalising Education; Impact Factors, the “Africa Campus” and Knowledge Systems
- Music, Dance and Film: Revivals and Appropriations
- Institutional and Non-Institutional Approaches to Conflict Resolution and Peace Building