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Communities and Transformations in Africa and African Studies

Call for Papers

"Communities and Transformations in Africa and African Studies"
CAAS Annual Conference 2009
Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS)
Queens University
Kingston, ON (Canada)
4-7 May 2009


Striving for community is at the heart of ubuntu, the
African philosophy that stresses mutual obligations and
responsibility. From far-flung kinship networks, artisan
guilds and women's informal associations to regional or
pan-African political movements, Africans across the ages
have looked to communities to give meaning to their lives
and to resolve conflict or find protection. Community is
also close to the heart of Africanist scholars and activists
outside of Africa who seek to support each other and to
express solidarity with African colleagues. Yet
dysfunctional communities such as gangs, cliques, and
tribalist groups have been a bane to efforts to develop and
democratize. New media are rapidly changing the ways that
communities cohere and the ways that scholars and activists
relate and research them.

The Canadian Association of African Studies invites
proposals for papers that consider transformations in the
many different types of communities and community-building
initiatives in Africa and among Africanists. As well, we
invite papers on other changes that reflect both great
potential and risk to Africa. Nature and beauty, for
example, abound on the continent yet have also resulted in
harmful stereotyping and exploitation through sex tourism
and the expropriation of indigenous communities in
conservation efforts. Talent abounds as well: in the arts,
in scholarship and in economic and political leadership. How
can African beauty and talent be understood, appreciated,
and harnessed without reproducing destructive relationships,
but rather imagining and moving towards stronger, healthier

Abstract due date: February 2, 2009.
Please submit electronically to: caas at ualberta.ca


Louise Rolingher
Canadian Association of African Studies
4-17E Old Arts Building
University of Alberta
Edmonton, AB T6G 2E6
Email: caas at ualberta.ca
Web: <http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~caas/>http://www.arts.ualberta.ca/~caas/