CFP: African Places, African Spaces (UK) 2019

Call for Papers

African Places, African Spaces

Finding Africa Seminar Series

University of Leeds

2019

 

In light of contemporary concerns with decolonisation and meditations on the meaning of the continent of Africa, both within the academy and beyond, we invite papers concerned with African Places, African Spaces as part of our 2019 seminar series hosted in collaboration with the Leeds University Centre for African Studies and Leeds School of English.

For this series, we are interested in papers that address the ways in which Africa is figured as a place and how it occupies space in global thought. This interrogation involves questions about African ontologies, epistemologies, philosophies and literatures comparatively within the continent itself, in relation to other postcolonial contexts, and in terms of its contentious relationship with ‘the West’ or ‘North’.

Proposals can also address the primary question in relation to any of the following:

  •      What place does Africa have in global literature?
  •      What are the material aspects of life in African cities and villages as depicted in  literature?
  •      How do explorations of these spaces inform how we view the relationship between individuals and their communities, and between the ‘local’, ‘regional’, ‘national’, ‘continental’, ‘diasporic’ and ‘global’?
  •      How does Africa occupy discursive, cultural and material spaces?
  •      How does Africa travel in film, journalistic, academic, literary and online spaces?
  •      Can we think of contemporary African travel writing (e.g. Noo Saro-Wiwa’s Looking for Transwonderland, Sihle Khumalo’s Dark Continent, My Black Arse & Chibundu Onuzo’s Welcome to Lagos) as examples of reflecting on the spatiality of Africa? 

We are accepting proposals from any discipline and especially interdisciplinary work in this area. Proposals must be a maximum of 300 words (in Word format) and submitted to findingpocoafrica@gmail.com by 15 January 2019.

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On the African Intellectual Mobilities Colloquium

Rebecca Jones ‘We need new critical paradigms’: Reflections on researching a literary history of Yoruba travel writing’ © Imke van Heerden
Rebecca Jones ‘We need new critical paradigms’: Reflections on researching a literary history of Yoruba travel writing’ © Imke van Heerden

Finding Africa is delighted to have had the opportunity to co-host and participate in the recent colloquium of African Intellectual Mobilities at the University of York. Centred around a questioning and broadening of the travel writing genre and the movements of writers, the colloquium registered the significance and extent of travel writing by African and black diaspora authors and intellectuals. Such a revisiting of the genre reveals the potential for research that seeks to reposition travel and the many types of texts and voices that have been marginalised within this tradition of writing.

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