IU Graduate Symposium – Call for Proposals

Indiana University’s Graduate Students in African Studies presents its Seventh Annual Graduate Symposium: “Global Africa: Dynamic and Connective Scholarship.”  February 24 – 25, 2017.

Featuring as keynote: Dr. Sean Jacobs Associate, Professor of International Affairs, The New School, New York City Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country

Indiana University Graduate Students in African Studies (GSAS) invite proposals that explore the strategies and products of researching Africa within diverse global contexts.

The discourse of crisis surrounding neoliberal Africa in popular media and academic scholarship, as some scholars have noted, masks the subjective experiences of Africans negotiating membership in the global order. However, as James Ferguson (2006) discusses in Global Shadows, the constructed category of Africa as a “place-in-the-world” has utility for examining the very real consequences of the relationship between Africa and the West. This conference seeks to examine the many ways Africanist researchers address these perspectives—the category of Africa as a “place-in the world” and the practical reality of “being-in-the-world” (Makhulu et. al. 2010)—through theoretical, methodological, and topical approaches that create dynamic and connective scholarship.

How can and do researchers address the everyday lives of African men and women within the evershifting global, political, economic and social orders? How can scholarship of Africa as a place-in-theworld contribute to broader theories and methodologies of research? Can scholarship take new forms— through new media, literature, technology, or art—to address complex realities and combat traditional rhetoric? What kinds of sources, including ethnographic, archival, oral histories, and material culture among others, are used to interrogate the relationships between Africa and the West? How can scholarship of Africa be both particular and global in scale?

Given the scope of these potential inquiries and the conference theme, this symposium encourages paper proposals from a wide variety of methodological, theoretical, and disciplinary backgrounds.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:

  • postcolonial studies and theories;
  • artistic and cultural representational practices;
  • history and historiography of Africa;
  • the politics of place, studies and theories of exchange;
  • literature, media, and communication
  • language as a connective force
  • dynamics of mobility.

Submission Guidelines: Please submit a 200-300 word abstract and current CV to: iu.gsas.symposium@gmail.com by January 9, 2017