Environmental scholars and practitioners with African research interests are invited to submit proposals for papers, panels and roundtables for the 45th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association (5-8 December 2002 in Washington, D.C.). The deadline for submissions is March 15, 2002. Proposals should be sent directly to the African Studies Association (ASA). Guidelines regarding submissions and conference registration may be found at the ASA website.
This multidisciplinary conference addresses a broad range of thematic interests including human-environment interactions. A description of the environmental sub-theme is as follows:
“The evolving character of the African environment, real and imagined, has long been a subject of debate among scholars and practitioners. At the dawn of the new century, we find a segment of the research community concerned that the continent is ever-engaged in a downward spiral of environmental destruction, poverty and population expansion. Other scholars suggest that we have inappropriately blamed local people for environmental problems that are better understood within the broader context of globalization, national versus and local interests, and excessive consumption in Northern countries. How to best manage the environment for the benefit of local people is, and will continue to be, a contentious nut to crack. Elucidating this conundrum is likely to require, among other things, closer collaboration between biophysical and social scientists (an underdeveloped facet of a yet, truly interdisciplinary African Studies). The increasingly global nature of environmental discourse will also impact, and be influenced by, African practice and scholarship. One example of this is the Rio+10 conference (to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, September 2002) that will again focus global attention on the theory and practice of sustainable development, an approach closely associated with contemporary environmental policy and programs in Africa.
This sub-theme welcomes proposals for papers, panels and roundtables addressing a wide array of environmental topics (e.g., water resources, biodiversity, wildlife and forest conservation, ecotourism, sustainable agriculture, urban environments and land degradation) and employing a range of analytical approaches (e.g., political ecology, cultural ecology, political economy, environmental history, cartographic and biophysical analysis, etc.). Given the overall conference theme of “Africa in the Information and Technology Age,” submissions regarding social, technical and managerial aspects of the use, or abuse, of technologies (e.g., geographic information systems, remote sensing) in the environmental realm are especially encouraged.”
I hope you will consider this excellent opportunity to interact with other Africanist scholars in an interdisciplinary atmosphere. While all proposals should be submitted directly to the African Studies Association, I am willing to entertain questions regarding the environmental sub-theme.
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