This is the first call for papers and participation for the 7th Northeast Workshop on Southern Africa (NEWSA). We encourage scholars from all disciplines who are currently working on southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe) to submit proposals. The meeting will be held at the Bishop Booth Conference Center in Burlington, Vermont (US), April 13-16, 2007.
The NEWSA conference is organized around intensive discussion of pre-circulated papers. There are also many opportunities for informal conversation of work-in-progress. Located on 130 acres of forest with its own secluded beach, the center is an ideal location for discussion and conversation. Drawing on the successful precedents of the former Southern African Research Program at Yale and the Canadian Research Consortium on Southern Africa, this program is designed to give southern Africanists the opportunity for close and intensive discussion of work across a wide variety of scholarly fields. We encourage the presentation of previously unpublished work, and submissions from graduate students and junior faculty in particular.
- - - 2007 Conference Themes - - -
We aim to encourage and prioritize scholarship, regardless of discipline or topic, that is grounded in an analysis of African language and concepts, and which elucidates local worldviews and experience.
We want especially to encourage discussion of the following three topics across disciplines:
1. Migration / Displacement. Migration has been a long standing feature of the southern African social landscape, predating the rise of large-scale labor migration beginning in the late 19th century. In recent decades, however, the directions and scales of population movements have been shifting in novel ways, with implications for socio-economic change and the course of the regional HIV/AIDS epidemic. Political changes in South Africa, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe, as well as points further north (e.g. Burundi and Congo/Zaire) have led to unprecedented patterns of movement. Large scale infrastructure projects (e.g. the Lesotho Highlands Water Project), the creation of new trans-border protected areas, and the continuing effects of civil conflicts (including the recent clearance of informal settlements around Harare) have also involved large-scale population displacement. In South Africa and Botswana in particular, new migration has given rise to xenophobic anti-immigrant reactions that highlight tensions between nationalism and universalist notions of human rights. The demographics of existing migration channels are also changing; women are no longer those 'left behind', but are themselves migrating for work, both in the formal and informal economies.
2. Environment. Papers in this theme may offer new perspectives on established topics pertaining to the environment in southern Africa, such as the social consequences of soil conservation programs and veterinary interventions, the creation of protected areas, and drought and coping strategies. We also seek papers related to underresearched aspects of the environment, areas of innovation in policy and practice, and unprecedented issues. Topics might include local/indigenous environmental movements, environmental justice, pollution and toxins, urban environmental issues, efforts to decentralize / community-based natural resource management, and/or climate change. Papers on other topics related to the environment are welcome.
3. Music. The musical heritage of southern Africa is diverse, rich and dynamic. Recent decades have seen the rise of kwaito and the indigenization and transformation of hip-hop and house, paralleling the local reconfiguration of jazz, country and gospel musics earlier in the 20th century. The unprecedented popularity of Y-FM has also highlighted the cultural and economic significance of African youth. At the same time, the rise of inexpensive computer-based recording technology has begun to break the stranglehold that the recording industry has long held over local artists. We particularly seek papers that examine music in its social contexts, in relation to political, economic and cultural change.
We especially encourage participation from professionals, scholars and graduate students in Africa as well as those located in North America and Europe. If you are interested in attending please contact Gary Kynoch (gkynoch at dal.ca) by email. Indicate whether you would like to:
a) present a paper for one of the regular panels
b) serve as a discussant
c) attend the workshop
The deadline for proposals is December 15, 2006. Send proposals to Gary Kynoch (gkynoch at dal.ca).
If you wish to give a paper, your proposal should include a title and one- to two-paragraph abstract. Completed papers, not to exceed forty pages, will be due March 15, 2007, so that the papers can be pre-circulated on a conference website ahead of the meeting.
If you wish to serve as a discussant, your proposal should indicate the areas of southern African studies on which you are most prepared to comment. Once the conference participants are selected and organized into panels, each panel will be assigned a discussant. Discussants thoroughly read the pre-circulated papers by the participants in their session, and at the conference give a 10-15 minute constructive criticism/comment on the papers individually and collectively. Discussants also coordinate discussion of the papers amongst those attending the panel.
- - - Accommodation, Registration and Travel - - -
All participants are housed at the Bishop Booth Conference Center , which offers inexpensive accommodation and meals in a beautiful setting. The conference facility can sleep up to a maximum of 50 people. Single and double rooms are extremely limited and most rooms sleep 3 people with shared bathrooms.
The estimated costs are as follows:
Double: $40 per night
Triple: $30 per night
All meals for the weekend (Friday lunch – Sunday breakfast, excluding Saturday night dinner): $50
Full time faculty at North American or European institutions: $110
Graduate Students at North American or European institutions: $30
Attendees traveling from Southern Africa are not required to pay registration.
Burlington is easily accessible. By car it is 90 minutes from Montreal, 3.5 hours from Boston and approximately five hours from New York. In addition to its airport Burlington is served by AMTRAK (train) and several bus lines.
- - - For Further Information - - -
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