The SOAS Centre of African studies (CAS) hereby calls for contributions for the first SOAS Africa Conference to be held on 20th and 21st of July 2017. Imagining Africa’s Future marks SOAS’ centenary, and in order to celebrate a century of African studies we look forward to examine future key trends, changes and debates that are likely to shape the African continent over the coming century, drawing from a broad range of disciplines and perspectives in a truly inter-disciplinary conference.

The conference will bring together academics and practitioners from different disciplines to discuss and analyse contemporary issues affecting the continent and its diaspora through groundbreaking contributions in the form of academic papers, films and other audiovisual media, performances, poetry and debates. The format will be interactive and diverse, with panel discussions and workshops, screenings performances and small discussion groups mixing not only different media but also different perspectives. We are therefore seeking contributions from academics activists, performers, artists, public speakers, journalists, researchers, NGO practitioners, civil servants and diplomats, among others. Contributions from academics in African institutions would be highly welcome. Africa has changed rapidly over the last century, and the pace of change in the 21st century already promises huge transformations to African societies, economies and cultures.

We want to seize the occasion of our centenary to explore and imagine not only what the impact of these transformations could be, but also how our research, policies, political action and visionary thought can shape Africa’s future. The 2-day conference seeks contributions addressing issues relevant to five broad, cross-cutting and interconnected themes: a. Language and linguistic inclusion b. Law, governance and economy c. Production and transmission of knowledge and skills d. Development, aid and trade e. African media, cultural representation and production. The organising committee will group together contributions based on the combination of different perspectives on these broad themes, not according to disciplinary or regional foci, but in view of breaking up disciplinary ghettos and regional schools of thought to foster exchange across these boundaries.

Please submit a 500-word abstract of your contribution and state which of the broad themes listed above it addresses by the 10th of December 2016 by email to cas@soas.ac.uk . Contributions may respond to one or more of the above themes.

Abstracts need not to be limited to academic papers, but can also include performances, media, talks, and debates. If you do not plan to deliver a paper, please describe your contributions in up to 500 words and submit accompanying media. Notification of selected contributions will be on 30th January 2017.

Registration fees (includes meals and attendance to evening performance at the end of first day): Standard – £50 per day/ £80 for 2 days Concessions – £25 per day/£40 for 2 days SOAS students – £5 SOAS Alumni – £10 per day/£15 for 2 days

The conference convenors are SOAS/CAS members: Prof Mashood Baderin, Prof Friederike Lupke, Dr Lucy Duran, Mr Paul Asquith.

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