The 7th European Conference on African Studies will take place in Basel, Switzerland, from 29 June to 1 July 2017.
The theme of the conference arises from the convenors’ view that “Africa may be becoming urban but it will remain a rural continent for a long time.” The central question is said to be “how urbanization processes in Africa transform conventional objects of African Studies and how do scholars of Africa gear up to face such changes?” Thus, it is contended, there is a need “to explore rural-urban entanglements on the continent and encourage researchers with a strong research record in rural Africa to bring their expertise to bear on how the changing face of the continent is impacting their own object.”
There is something queer happening in the call, evident for instance in at last sentence. If I had been one of the convenors I would have brought it to the group’s attention that there is a missing phrase in that sense: “and/or urban”. It is strange that there is drag towards the rural given the focus on the ‘urban’ and the notions of encounters and entanglements. It reminds one precisely of how colonial, racist, and apartheid anthropology used to write about urban Africans, urban Negroes, urban blacks. It’s as if even though there is now some recognition of the force of urbanisation, there is a residue of the real African as rural.
Nevertheless, the call for panels will be circulated from 1 March 2016 and the time frame for the submission of panel propositions will be from 1 March 2016 to 30 June 2016.
Read all about it here.