The Institute of African Studies is planning to publish two books on Africa in 2011 as part of its efforts to expand the frontiers of knowledge and knowledge production on the continent. The main rationale for rethinking Africa, in this manner, is the mounting developmental crises in the continent. Amongst many other things, the continent is the least developed in the world and the burgeoning political, economic, health, environmental, educational and ethical crises around it suggest that the future of Africa is already compromised. The main issues in the underdevelopment of the continent today include political corruption and lack of altruism in the public sphere; other equally compelling features are economic decline, diseases, environmental degradation, armed conflicts, proliferation of small arms and light weapons, declining educational standards, brain drain and poor leadership, among others. It was once a welcome tradition to blame these African developmental crises wholly on outsiders (most especially colonialism and international conspiracy) but it must be noted that the African elite is equally responsible for undermining the development of the continent. In other words the task of reconstructing Africa must start from within and the first step is to generate precise knowledge on what must be changed and identify those responsible for bringing about this change.
The second stage is to dialectically audit the available resources for bringing about the needed change. For instance, it is imperative to interrogate how Africa could use its vast cultural, political, economic and environmental resources for reclaiming its endangered position in the comity of nations? What external resources are available for reconstructing Africa and how well is the continent taking advantage of these opportunities? How appropriate are these external resources? What forms of collaboration are desirable between African and external actors for developing Africa? Scholars are invited to provide assistance in answering these and other relevant questions in the book Critical Discourses in African Development to be co-edited by Prof. I.O. Albert, Prof. Babatunde Agbaje Williams and Dr. Nathaniel Danjibo of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The book welcomes contributions on the past present and future of the African continent from the perspectives of social sciences, humanities, and sciences. Submissions could be regional, sub-regional, national or local so long as they have some lessons for rebuilding Africa.
The twin publication titled Critical Discourses in African Studies will be co-edited by Prof. I.O. Albert, Prof. Dele Layiwola, and Dr. Sola Olorunyomi. The focus of the publication will be on how Africa is studied by researchers and taught to students of African Studies worldwide. We are also interested in the history of African Studies. “African Studies” in this context is broadly defined to capture all academic and non-academic programmes that concern themselves with the collection and dissemination of information on Africa whether within or outside the African continent. Is African Studies necessarily cultural studies? Is African studies development-relevant? Who owns African studies? To what extent does African Studies, as organized in Africa, accommodate Diaspora studies? Is African Studies poised to learning from the rest of the world? What are the themes preferred by those studying or teaching Africa and why this emphasis? What are the critical issues in African development that researchers are actually not studying or teaching? Why are these issues ignored and what are the implications? How easily available are the resources for studying Africa? What are the competing methods for researching and teaching Africa? In other words, this second publication will focus on epistemological, methodological, philosophical and theoretical/praxis issues in African studies. We also welcome case studies.
Contributors to this book project should send a 250 word abstract of their papers latest by June 15, 2011 indicating the particular publication they want. It is possible to contribute to the two publications. The main papers are expected in on August 15, 2011. They should be double spaced, not more than 20 pages and accompanied by a 100 word biodata of the author. Electronically generated footnotes should be used throughout the papers. The final draft should be sent to the under-listed:
Prof. I.O. Albert email@example.com
Professor I.O. Albert, Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
+2348033834639 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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