Submissions are invited for this workshop, to be held in Sheffield in the United Kingdom, which will provide a forum for the presentation of new research on the history and contemporary experience of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Rejecting intellectual approaches based on the nation-state as the singular unit of analysis, the research to be presented will analyse the salience of local, cross-border regional and global factors and influences in shaping Congolese history. The workshop emphasises the importance of Congolese agency in complex interactions with external forces and structures, rejecting the notion that Congo and its people have simply been the victims of external exploitation.
Congo, both historically and in the contemporary period, has stereotypically exemplified the worst of Africa: warfare mounted for material gain, human rights abuses, dictatorship, political corruption, the global exploitation of mineral wealth and the neglect of its people’s aspirations and lives. Whilst this suffering is undeniable, Congo, contrary to its presentation in popular culture and western media as a ‘place apart’ or even the ‘heart of darkness’, is best understood as a place central to both the global and African experience. Recent research has shed new light on the ways in which Congolese people, individually and collectively, have sought to shape their own lives, societies and nation in ways similar to their counterparts elsewhere on the continent.
If you would like to present a paper, or to receive further information about this event, please contact Dr Miles Larmer:
firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide a title for your paper, an abstract of no more than 300 words, and biographical details of the speaker(s) of no more than 100 words.
This event is generously funded by the UK Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and hosted by the University of Sheffield, in cooperation with the Yorkshire African Studies Network (YASN) and the Congo Research Network. Limited funding is available for transport within the UK and the EU, but participants are in general expected to cover their own transport and accommodation costs.
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