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Announcing Africa in the World: Shifting Boundaries of Knowledge Production

The African Studies Association has partnered with the American Anthropological Association to host the joint conference, "Africa in the World: Shifting Boundaries of Knowledge Production" in Johannesburg, South Africa, May 25-28, 2018.

Who speaks with authority about Africa’s contemporary successes and failures? Is “the African Library” restricted to “europhone” scholarship? To what extent is post-colonialism a relevant lens through which we regard contemporary patterns, processes, and institutions? What is the state of African Studies? Is post-colonialism still a relevant framework for studying Africa’s contemporary successes and failures? Who is allowed to theorize Africa? Are “Europhone” intellectuals the only scholars of Africa? These are just a few of the questions framing Africa in the World: Shifting Boundaries of Knowledge Production, a conference dedicated to exploring new theoretical and practical approaches to the study of Africa’s past, present, and future. This three-day conference will bring together some of the most eminent, dynamic, and engaged scholars who will address important topical themes in African Studies across the humanities and social sciences, from historiography, literature, linguistics, anthropology, politics, and technological transformations to art and popular culture.

The conference will open with an evening keynote lecture on African philosophical and didactic traditions and their relevance to contemporary challenges and theories of social justice and rule of law. On days two and three there will be roundtables, panels, posters, and flash presentations engaging critical topics, ranging from migration to climate change. In addition to panels on urbanization, tours of the area will be available, highlighting regional cultures, histories, politics, and infrastructure. Optional hands-on workshops will engage small groups in exchanging practical ideas that participants can take back to their home institutions.

We welcome paper proposals related to the panel themes from emerging and established scholars and from professionals working in the non-academic world. In addition, we welcome proposals for poster and flash presentations.

You can find the conference theme here.

Submissions are due by January 31, 2018. You can submit your proposals here.

Register here.

If you have additional questions, please contact the ASA at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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