CFP Developing Africa: Development Discourse(s) in Late Colonialism
Workshop at the University of Vienna (Austria) / Department of African Studies
January 13-15, 2011
Due July 31, 2010
"Development" played various and at times contradicting roles in the discursive and non-discursive practices of late colonialism. It both served to legitimize European control and to underpin African endeavours for social and political emancipation.
This workshop aims at exploring discourses of development during the period when development first came to play a central role in shaping the relations between Africa and
Europe, that is between the end of World War I and decolonization (1918-ca.1960).
We invite contributions which explore how various actors - both European and African - conceptualized development in an African context. Contributors are encouraged to discuss a wide range of sources, from fictional and academic texts to political statements and administrative documents, from mass media to letters and diaries. The intended geographical scope is similarly open, including the whole of Africa and
the respective colonial empires (British, French, Portuguese, Belgian, Italian, and Spanish). Both metropolitan and colonial angles on development discourses are welcome.
Preferably, contributions should try to take a longer-term perspective instead of restricting themselves to a short period of time. They should map changes within development discourse and try to arrive at a preliminary periodisation. Contributors are invited to compare their findings to the widely held assumption that development in the early decades of the 20th century, probably up to the 1930s, was mainly used in a narrow economic sense, closely related to the exploitation of natural resources, whereas later, development turned into a more extensive concept enabling and justifying the profound penetration and transformation of colonial societies.
The questions that will guide our workshop are the following:
1) How did the meaning of development change over time?
2) How were discursive and non-discursive social, cultural, and political practices related to each other?
3) Who were the subjects of the discourse (both in the sense of those who shaped the discourse and those who were defined by it)?
We hope that answering these and related questions will enable us to analyse and compare various discursive representations of development - and possibly to get a clearer idea of how closely the various discursive strands were related to each other and, in turn, whether their commonalities justify speaking of development discourse in the singular.
Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the workshop are welcome to submit a 500-word abstract stating their topic, their geographical focus, the time-span they cover, the sources and methodology they use for their analysis, and preliminary hypotheses regarding the above questions. The abstract and a short biographical sketch should be sent
to firstname.lastname@example.org by 31 July 2010.
Participation will be confirmed by 31 August 2010. Draft versions of the papers to be presented have to be submitted by December 15 2010.
Limited funds are available to subsidize scholars' participation at the meeting.
The contributions to this workshop will be published in 2011.
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