The Federal University, Otuoke, in collaboration with Onyoma Research, is organizing an academic colloquium on inter-group relations in Nigeria. Our concern is to bring more light to and remove much heat from the debate among the intelligentsia on the future of Nigeria and the future of the Niger Delta within it. The colloquium would hold from Sunday 17 to Wednesday 20 November 2013 at the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
The issues to be discussed cover a long time span and a vast area. We will begin outside Nigeria, from the dawn of history, tracing the migration to Nigeria of the ancestors of the people whose descendants became Nigerians. The topics will then narrow down to Nigeria, treating the emergence of the ethnic identities of the peoples of the country today and inter-group relations among them in the pre-colonial era. The next series of topics will focus on the Niger Delta. They will treat the histories of settlement and migration, relations among its peoples and political entities, and relations between its peoples and their neighbours, and with the Nigerian state.
Theme A: General
The origins and dispersal of the Human Race from Africa
Making sense of the Babel: What our languages tell us about our history
The Peopling of Nigeria: Aborigines v Later Settlers
Theme B: Defining the Niger delta
Geographical, Political and Cultural definition
Theme C: Pre-Colonial Period
The Peoples of the Niger Delta: origins and migrations
The Ijaw and their neighbours in the pre-colonial era
(Themes under this heading include the following: the Atlantic slave trade, legitimate trade, domestic slave trade, assimilation of slaves and migrants, the evolution of languages of wider communication, conflict resolution, and cultural exchanges)
Theme D: 20th and 21st centuries
Boundary delineation and disputes
Political Rivalry over Indigenes and Non-Indigenes in Urban Areas
The Ijaw and the Campaign for More Regions/States in the Niger Delta
The Ijaw and the Nigerian Civil war
The Struggle for Derivation and/or Resource Control
i) civil approach, and b) militant approach
Ijaw Politics (view/positions on national and regional issues, voting in national and state elections, political culture)
Popular culture and the creative arts
Women in Ijaw History and Culture
The Jonathan Presidency: Impact on the Niger Delta
Willing participants - scholars, politicians and policy makers - are encouraged to present a paper at the conference.
To participate, send your 250 word abstract by email to any of the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com on or before 15 September 2013. Authors of accepted abstracts will be so informed by 30 September 2013.
Please, help give press coverage to proceedings of the colloquium.
We look forward to seeing you at Otuoke.
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