Call for Papers:
Perspectives on African Decolonization: African Intellectuals and Decolonization
2-4 October 2008
The end of European colonialism in Africa began in 1957, when Ghana became the first nation to gain independence from Britain. This remarkable moment in history precipitated a domino effect, so that in 1960, 17 countries, representing one-third of modern African nation-states and 40 percent of the continent’s land mass, gained political independence in a single year.
This conference is the second in a series of academic conferences at Ohio University centered on the theme “Perspectives on African Decolonization,” and focuses on African Intellectuals and Decolonization. In 1958, Guinea, under Ahmed Sékou Touré, chose political independence over continued association with France. The All-African Peoples Convention hosted by Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana in the same year highlighted the links between and among Africans and peoples of African descent in the Diaspora. 2008 is also the sixtieth anniversary of the founding of the seminal journal Présence Africaine by Alioune Diop. Focusing on African intellectuals and decolonization will allow for an interrogation of all three concepts as well as an opportunity to examine the roles intellectuals have played and continue to play in contemporary African efforts at liberation from economic neo-colonialism. Additionally, this conference will provide an opportunity to highlight the cutting edge work of contemporary African philosophers, the heritors of the intellectual traditions established by the generations who fought for the liberation of Africa. The works of these scholars who are developing systems of thought rooted in African vernacular concepts will have significant implications for the Arts and Humanities and interpretations thereof as well as the (Westernized) Academy more broadly.
Featured speakers include:
• Oyeronke Oyewumi
Department of Sociology
State University of New York at Stony Brook
• Elizabeth Schmidt
Department of History
Loyola College in Baltimore
• Tsenay Serequeberhan
Department of Philosophy
Morgan State University
Conference planners invite the submission of abstracts for papers and panels from scholars and graduate students in any academic discipline. Presentations that are interdisciplinary and/or transnational in scope will be particularly welcome. Abstracts for individual papers should be 250-300 words and accompanied by a brief CV (no more than two pages). Panel proposals should include abstracts and CVs for each presenter as well as a 250-500 word overview of the panel. Topics for discussion include but by no means are limited to:
• Who is African?
• Who is an intellectual?
• What do we mean by decolonization?
• Colonialism and decolonization in Africa
• Neocolonialism and (neo)decolonization in Africa
• Women and decolonization in Africa
• Decolonizing the (Westernized) Academy
• African philosophies and decolonization
• African indigenous knowledge systems and decolonization
• The Arts and African decolonization
• African literatures and decolonization
• The Sciences and decolonization in Africa
• Conservation of natural resources in Africa and decolonization
As the conference will be held in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Guinea’s independence on October 2, 2008 we will particularly welcome panels and papers concerning Ahmed Sékou Touré, Guinea, and decolonization.
Selected papers will be published in an edited collection of essays to commemorate these significant moments in African history and to reflect upon the legacies of fifty years of “independence” in Africa.
Please submit paper and panel proposals to: . The deadline for submission of proposals is May 1, 2008. Limited travel funding is available for graduate students. Please apply for a travel stipend on the conference registration page by May 1.
A block of rooms is being held at the Ohio University Inn & Conference Center, which offers complimentary parking, complimentary hi-speed wireless internet, 24-hour business and fitness centers, Cutler’s Restaurant, and Bunch of Grapes Tavern. The OU Inn is less than five minutes from the conference venue at the Baker University Center. The special conference rate is $99.95 per room, per night plus applicable taxes (currently 12.75%). Reservations may be made via the conference registration page or by calling the hotel directly at (740) 593-6661 or accessing the link below.
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