The conference “African Thoughts on (Neo-) Colonial Worlds: Steps towards an Intellectual History of Africa” brings together several interrelated domains rarely associated with our neighboring continent, mainly the history of its ideas and its thinkers. Asking for Africa`s role in shaping the world of the twentieth century and its world view, the conference connects the global historical questioning of colonialism and imperialism with the interests of intellectual history.
Intellectual history is a field still primarily connected with Western thought. During the last two decades there was a move towards a more globally informed kind of perspective which had some successes (extending its focus to include Asian thinkers), but Africa is still rarely treated in those debates and African thinkers tend to be marginalized or ignored in their originality. It is time to challenge this state of affairs, for African thinkers of the twentieth century have had a lot to say about the nature and causes of global inequality – and they still do. Contributions shall approach their topics from one of the two perspectives described below.
Selected African writers of historic stature – stemming from various African countries – should be analyzed both as makers of history in their times and as thinkers of history and interpreters of the historical process which is what makes them meaningful and influential beyond their lifetimes. The conference shall lead to a comparative view on their differing analysis of colonial and neo-colonial world orders. Additionally, analyses of specific issues relevant to African thought should offer a further layer to the debates at the conference. Therefore, we welcome contributions dealing with both particular intellectual personalities and their work, as well as interrogations of specific aspects of African intellectual history, such as the role of power and privilege in knowledge production, questions of epistemology in an African context, the role of African theoretical contributions in scientific disciplines.
African Thoughts on (Neo-) Colonial Worlds:
Steps towards an Intellectual History of Africa
06 – 07 November 2014
Department of African Studies, University of Vienna, Austria
The travel costs of a limited number of participants can be covered, at least in part. If your institution does not cover your travel and participation, please approach us. The respective selection will be done until the 31st of May, 2014.
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