A Call for Papers: The 4th International Toyin Falola Annual Conference (TOFAC): Durban, South Africa: 3rd- 5th July, 2014
Theme: Culture, Democracy and Development
Venue: Blue Waters Hotel: Durban
Host: Alexius Amtaika: The University of the Free State,
The University of the Free State (South Africa) in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin (USA) and the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) invite scholars from around the world to submit papers for the 2014 Toyin Falola Annual Conference (TOFAC) to be held in Durban South Africa from 3rd to 5th July, 2014, under the theme: Culture, Democracy and Development.
The Conference is named after Professor Toyin Falola, The Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the US as well as the Vice President of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO's Slave Route Project. Professor Falola is the Series Editor of five monograph series and sponsors and funds manuscripts for publication for scholars from both developed and developing countries. Please see the following URLs for more information: http://www.toyinfalola.com; http://www.utexas.edu/conferences/africa.
This is the first time that the Conference will be held in Southern Africa, in spite of the fact that it has been held annually in West Africa since 2011 and at the University of Texas at Austin since 2002. Prof. Falola and the TOFAC Board have agreed to partner us in hosting this Conference in South Africa to promote scholarship and publication of books in the US publishing houses. As such, the conference has a commitment to professional development which will be fostered through workshops in writing, publishing, and conference presentation. The conference will also provide ample time for professionals from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedbacks. Young academics and graduate students from across the globe are especially encouraged to attend and present papers and will be partnered with a senior scholar to encourage their own growth as scholars.
While the conceptual and programmatic connection between democracy, culture and development may not be apparent, we are convinced that there is a vast field of play between them, and that they inform and blend into one another. For instance, some scholars have written on the concept of a “culture of democracy” or “democratic culture,” and the extent to which democracy, or democratization, is culturally determined in theory and practice remains open to debate. Also, scholarly and popular debates on the causal and symbiotic relationship between democracy and development have intensified since the dawn of post-Cold War era of democratization.
The question of whether development undergirds democracy or promotes democratic impulses calls for more debate and investigation. Conversely, the causal link between democracy and development, once taken for granted, is now widely debated. The rise of China and of other developmental models outside the liberal democratic frame has introduced new wrinkles into the tenuous neoliberal consensus that democracy conduces to development.
Moreover, what exactly is meant by “development” and “democracy” is up in the air, often debated but rarely resolved. Nor is culture, dynamic and fluid as it is in the era of increased global flows, an entity to be compartmentalized or understood in fixed terms.
Paper proposals may use culture as a point of departure to explore political, economic, and social phenomena. They may also use the notion of culture to interrogate development and democracy, and vice versa.
However one defines development, can culture assume a deterministic or influential role in it? One could also ask whether development, marked by tangible signs or a set of ideas, visions, and claims, can determine the contours of culture. Proposals may take up these questions from any disciplinary or multidisciplinary perspectives.
In addition to being real things that signpost or denote group and institutional practices, democracy, culture, and development are claims with ideological power. Claims about who is cultured, democratic, or developed presuppose vertical relationships between persons, peoples, and societies and make assumptions based on systems of valuation. These claims produce power-laden paradigms and positions, as well as disempowered or devalued others. They also produce inclusion, exclusion, and competition for resources and recognition among groups.
But these three concepts are not just hegemonic constructions; they do not have power outside economic, social, and political relations. The ways in which African and Africa-descended peoples and groups negotiate and contest cultural, democratic, and developmental systems of meaning and praxis have the capacity to confer substance or empty abstractness on them. We therefore welcome papers that examine these three grids in relation to the lived experiences of African communities in Africa and the diaspora—papers that examine the dynamic relationships between everyday experiences of African peoples and the assumptions and meanings that inhere in these concepts.
We also anticipate papers that question these three concepts and claims while clarifying them in relation to the lives, predicaments, hopes, and anxieties of Africans and Africa-descended peoples.
Proposals and papers may explore one of more of the following subthemes and topics, and prospective presenters may construct their own topics from the questions and issues outlined above:
i. Sub-Themes on Culture
Cultural Patrimonies; Cultural artifacts; Cultural conflicts; Culture and Power; Culture and identity; Aesthetics; Cultural monument; Intellectual culture; Myths and memories; Oral and written cultural texts; Tradition and modernity; Globalization and culture; Cultural imperialism; Cultural flows; Youth and culture; African Popular cultures; Diaspora African cultures; Cultural economies; The politics of culture; Political cultures.
ii. Sub-Themes on Democracy
Democratization; Elections; Election crises; Democratic models; Political theory; Theories of democracy; Constitutionalism; Political traditions; State-making and statecraft; Political histories; Democracy and Ethnicity; Political Parties; The politics of development; Democracy and development.
iii. Sub-Themes on Development
Culture and development; “Developmental dictatorship”; Development agencies; Development discourse, NGOs; Histories of Development; Modernization and development; Economies of taste; Development and democracy; Development and neoliberalism; Globalization and development; Development debates; Biographies; Case studies; External Impact
Conferences papers will be published in Four Edited Volumes.
The deadline for submitting paper proposals is April 30th, 2014. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and title, as well as the author's name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation.
Registration Fee: A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $200 for scholars and $100 for graduate students must be paid immediately when an abstract is accepted. This conference fee includes admission to the panels, conference packages, workshops, the buffet (supper, dinner, drinks) breakfast for three days, and the banquet.
The organizers do not provide participants with any form of funding support, travel expenses, or boarding expenses. If the conference obtains enough outside funding this will be used to help subsidize graduate students' accommodations on a competitive basis but it is not guaranteed.
Hotel rates per night: The 2014 rates have not yet been determined but will not exceed $85 USD per night
Arrangement for pick up: There will be a shuttle to and from King Shaka International Air Port and will cost about $7 USD per person.
Local organizing committee,
Alexius Amtaika, University of the Free State, South Africa
Nyawo Gumede, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
Mogie Subban, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Costa Hofisi, North West University, South Africa
Kenneth Dipholo, University of Botswana, Botswana
Kwame Asmah-Andoh, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University South Africa
Alexius Amtaika (Alex):
University of the Free State
South Africa Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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