Global Africa: African and African Diaspora Studies in the 21st Century

March, 12, 2019 - March, 14, 2019

Africa Hall, Sharjah, UAE

March 12, 2019 | 10.00–18.30
March 13, 2019 | 11.00–18.30
March 14, 2019 | 11.00–18.30

Global Africa: The State of African Studies in the 21st Centuryis of Solidarity : Landmarks, Platforms, Futures

Ibrahim El Salahi, Funeral and the Crescent, 1963, 101.8 cm x 94.9 cm, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University. Gift of the artist, through Mariska Marker, Photography courtesy of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University


Event Information

Theme and Goals:

The Africa Institute is organizing Global Africa: African and African Diaspora Studies in the 21st Century, an international conference, to be held on March 12-14, 2019 in Sharjah, UAE. The three-day conference will be the first to take place in the newly rebuilt Africa Hall, originally constructed in 1976 as a first class venue for showcasing African cultures, theatre, dance and musical performances. In addition to celebrating the announcement of the newly established Africa Institute, the Global Africa conference aims to assess the current state of African and African Diaspora studies and to interrogate new theoretical approaches through a range of interdisciplinary perspectives. The conference welcomes scholars in African and African Diaspora studies from across the globe to present papers in their respective disciplines and specializations towards the shared goal of appraising their fields in their past, present, and future iterations. We seek to foster conversation about what lies ahead for African studies, especially in the context of increased globalization and migration caused by the crisis of the postcolonial state in Africa, compounded by rising xenophobia and draconian anti-immigration policies in Europe and North America. The intention is to provide a platform for conference participants to document and provide a critical understanding of the major transformations and theoretical shifts in African and African Diaspora studies. Our expectation is that the invited participants will present new, unpublished papers, which will serve as the basis for a subsequent publication of the conference proceedings.

In recent decades, African and African Diaspora studies has increasingly engaged with postcolonial studies as well as race, gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. Central to these developments is rising interest in the contributions of several pioneering African/Black diasporic intellectuals such as Frantz Fanon, Aimé Césaire, Edouard Glissant, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Leopold Sedar Senghor, who played pivotal roles in the formation of schools of thought such as Pan-Africanism and Negritude, in addition to to contemporary influential theorists and scholars such as Angela Davis, Sylvia Winters, and Kimberle Crenshaw among others. Recent contributions by scholars and activists with interests in gender, feminist and sexuality studies have shifted the field towards more intersectional analysis in which the imperatives of gender, race, and class, among other factors, are taken into consideration. Inspired by these interventions within the field, a new generation of Africanist scholars have produced a body of work critical of patriarchy, Euro-centrism and other hegemonic paradigms.

In particular, the last two decades have also witnessed rising scholarly interests in the study of new frontiers of African Diaspora studies. These include other aspects of the African Diaspora in the Spanish speaking Caribbean (such as Cuba and Puerto Rico) and Latin America including Brazil, in addition to the Black British experience and recent African migrations and diasporas in Europe and the Middle East. These developments will certainly play a part in reconfiguring the field and expanding its scope—and by extension the scholarly focus and curricula of the new Africa Institute. The Africa Institute will engage with and shape these new paradigms of thought in ways that will ensure its place at the forefront of African and African Diaspora studies for years to come.

The conference will consist of nine panels arranged across three days.

Speakers
  • Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman (Brown University)
  • Hisham Aidi (Columbia University)
  • Jean Allman (Washington University in St Louis)
  • Awam Amkpa (New York University)
  • Akosua Adomako Ampofo (University of Ghana)
  • Kehinde Andrews (Birmingham City University)
  • Akosua Adomako-Ampofo (University of Ghana)
  • Susan Buck-Morss (Cornell University and CUNY Graduate Center)
  • Kassahun Checole (Africa World Press)
  • Ebony Coletu (Pennsylvania State University)
  • Naminata Diabate (Cornell University)
  • Manthia Diawara (New York University)
  • Mamadou Diouf (Columbia University)
  • Chouki El Hamel (Arizona State University)
  • Elizabeth Wolde Giorgis (University of Addis Ababa)
  • Catarina Gomes (Catholic University of Angola)
  • Ousmane Kane (Harvard University)
  • Premesh Lalu (University of Western Cape, South Africa)
  • Zine Magubane (Boston College)
  • Fouad Makki (Cornell University)
  • Sandy Prita Meier (New York University)
  • Natalie Melas (Cornell University)
  • Sarah Nuttall (WiSER, University of the Witwatersrand)
  • Tejumola Olaniyan (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
  • Carina Ray (Brandeis University)
  • Ahmad Sikainga (Ohio State University)
  • Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò (Cornell University)
  • Benjamin Talton (Temple University)
  • Dagmawi Woubshet (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Paul Teyimba Zeleza (United States International University-Africa, Nairobi)


Programme PDF

Co-organised by

Hoor Al Qasimi (The Africa Institute and Sharjah Art Foundation)
Salah M. Hassan (The Africa Institute and Cornell University)
Carina E. Ray (Brandeis University)

Conference Sessions:

Day I: March 12, 2019

10:00-11:00 AM: Coffee and Registration
11:15 AM: Welcoming Remarks
11:30 AM - 01:30 PM: Session I: Africa and African Diaspora Studies - The State of the Discipline:
02:30 AM - 04:30 PM: Session II: African/a Philosophy and The Black Intellectual Tradition
04:30 PM - 06:30 PM: Session III: African and African Diaspora Literature, and Performing Arts

Day II: March 13, 2019

11:00 AM - 01:00 PM: Session IV : African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Studies
02:30 PM - 04:30 PM: Session V: New Directions in African and African Diaspora Historical Studies
04:30 PM - 06:30 PM: Session VI: Revisiting Afro-Arab Histories and Relations

Day III: March 14, 2019

11:00 AM - 01:00 PM: Session VII: African Studies in Africa and the Diaspora: The Critical Humanities
02:30 PM - 04:30 PM: Session VIII: African Studies in Africa and the Diaspora: The Critical Social Sciences
04:30 PM - 06:30 PM: Session IX: Knowledge Production and Institution Building in Africa

Closing reception 7 PM - 9 PM

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