Call for Papers
Africa in Policy, Practice, and Popular Representations
Sixth Annual Michigan State University Africanist Graduate Student Conference
October 19-20, 2012, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan
The 6th annual Africanist Graduate Student Research conference at Michigan State University is seeking graduate student presenters to report on new and innovative ways of addressing the study of Africa and the African Diaspora. The conference provides an opportunity for graduate students to discuss their research, receive constructive feedback, network with other students and scholars, and sharpen their presentation skills within a constructive and supportive colloquium.
The organizing committee invites papers from all academic disciplines and from all approaches to the study of Africa, Africans, and the intersections of the continent and the global diaspora. Our topic challenges student scholars to consider African as well as Africanist policies, practices, and popular representations from a wide array of perspectives and disciplines. We invite scholars to explore how their various research focuses may affect determinative policies and practices that pertain to the African continent. Scholars may consider, for example, how political and social entities such as news media, national governments, and international agencies challenge or affirm conventional notions of Africa as a marginal place and Africans and their descendants as marginalized peoples. Scholars may also consider how such a study can elucidate the ties that link policy, practice, and representation. Focus on representation also encourages us to question how forms of cultural expression such as visual art, film, and fiction have envisioned and challenged popular depictions of Africa. Limiting representations of Africa such as those promoted in Kony 2012 underscore the need for such critical dialogue. In an effort to produce relevant as well as reflexive research, we also encourage scholars to respond to the question of how Africanist scholarship informs Africa in policy, practice, and representation. The committee calls for innovative research proposals, research designs, dissertation or thesis chapters, methodological models, works in progress, outlines of dissertations, preliminary research findings or poster presentations from any academic discipline within African studies.
We are also looking for experienced graduate students to serve as discussants for the panels. Interested discussants willing to provide insightful, integrative responses to panel presentations should be ABD.
Michigan State University Africanist Graduate Student Association
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