African Cultural Studies Seeks Proposals for “Futuring Africa” Conference

UW-Madison’s African Cultural Studies Students Association is currently accepting proposals for their conference on April 11, 2019 titled, “Futuring Africa.”


What do you envision when prompted to imagine “the future” of Africa? Is the future tomorrow, next year or 100 years from now? Across disciplines the continent has been defined through this teleological timeline: pre-contact, the slave trade, colonialism, independence, postcolonialism and now this precarious state of neocolonialism and international development. What happens
when we as scholars of Africa refuse this timeline? What new possibilities does this act of refusal create for imagining Africa’s past, present and near future?

A survey conducted by the United Nations shows that by 2050 the African continent will be inhabited by 2.5 billion people. With this massive demographic growth, the continent will be home to the largest market with the youngest population on earth. This trajectory will require drastic political, economic and cultural adjustments by national governments and African societies. How are leaders within the continent framing questions about the future? Should we think rather of futures for Africa, rather than the future? What new research questions can these futures inspire for emerging scholars of Africa?

The African Cultural Studies Students Association (ACSSA) invites papers that critically examine the existing (re)presentations of the African future(s) from various fields. The goal of this conversation is to engage with everyday practices and processes within the continent and beyond, including the Diaspora, through which possible futures are constructed, conveyed, contested and negotiated.

Topics of interest:

Diaspora, globalization, memory, nation and statehood, borders, migration and movement, colonial and postcolonial imaginaries, citizenship, language and ideology, education, gender and sexuality, womxn, power, identity constructions, modernity, archives, digital orality, sound, silence, performance, Afropolitanism, Afrofuturism

Guide for authors:

Abstracts are due on January 31, 2019
Submit your abstract to