Panel proposal for the Biannual Conference of the Southern African Historical Society (SAHS), to be held 27-29 June 2013 in Gaborone, and hosted by the History Department at the University of Botswana.
Call for Papers:
As other academic practices, modern historiography has been closely associated with national projects, and has often performed the narration of geographically bounded national spaces. In recent decades, however, we have been witnessing the emergence of a number of approaches committed with doing histories “beyond the nation” (Balanchandran, 2010). As historians have found out, regional, oceanic, continental or even global spaces have proven to be feasible and challenging objects of historical inquiry. However, to accept these supra-national spaces as naturally given or theoretically unproblematic would mean to reify other forms of “imaginative geographies”, which, as Said (1987) informs us, are never innocent. This panel takes “Southern Africa” as both a loose point of departure and an object of critical inquiry. Rather than assuming the existence of a Southern African history, it precisely seeks to investigate how the very idea of Southern Africa “came into being” in different historical theatres.
We will be mostly interested in challenging the boundaries of imperial or national imaginations, by proposing a path of inquiry into the dangerous liaisons and entangled histories of the Portuguese Empire in and as Southern Africa. More than proposing an international or diplomatic history of the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa as two separate and bounded entities, this panel proposes the study of the Portuguese Empire (and more precisely Angola and Mozambique) and Southern Africa as a same analytical field. We seek contributions in any field of inquiry that deals with historical processes in Southern Africa across political boundaries and in different scales, and particularly papers dealing with the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa as mutually constituted. We would be particularly interested in, but not limited to, the following topics:
-The imagination of “Southern Africa” in Portuguese thought, and the imagination of “Portuguese Empire” in Southern Africa;
-Relations and connectivity between particular spaces in the Portuguese Empire and particular spaces in Southern Africa;
-Transfers, exchange and mobility between/in the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa;
-Forms of cooperation between private or public institutions in the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa;
-Related, shared, entangled historical processes taking place in the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa;
-Comparative analysis on the relations between decolonization in the Portuguese colonies and struggles against white minority rule in Southern Africa;
Papers on any other topic relating the Portuguese Empire and Southern Africa are also welcome.
Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be sent to Caio Araújo (firstname.lastname@example.org), by the 10th January 2013. Please include your full name, title, affiliation and email address.
Caio Simões de Araújo
Department of International History
Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva Email: email@example.com
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