Rupturing Colonial Legacies: Colonialisms and Decolonizations in Africa and the African Diaspora


“Rupturing Colonial Legacies: Colonialisms and Decolonizations in Africa and the African Diaspora”

Call For Papers
17th Annual Africa Conference at the University of Texas at Austin

March 31-April 2, 2017 Austin, TX

Convened by: Dr. Toyin Falola, Department of History, UT Austin

“Rupturing Colonial Legacies: Colonialisms and Decolonizations in Africa and the African Diaspora”
While overt colonization ended with the official independence of African and Asian countries during the twentieth century, contemporary forms of imperialism and globalization perpetuate colonial inequities and structures of power, epistemology, subjectivity, and visuality. The political-economic/social/intellectual hierarchies that were first implemented through historical colonialism continue to govern the lived experiences of people of African and Afro-indigenous descent both within and across nation states. Global critiques and responses to historical and contemporary colonialisms have taken on many names and theoretical strategies, including but not limited to decolonial, anti-colonial, post-colonial, and indigenous intellectual, artistic, epistemic, political/economic, and religio-spiritual genealogies of thought and activism.

The goal of the 2017 Africa Conference is to problematize historical and contemporary colonial and neo-colonial power structures in relation to Africa and the African Diaspora, as well as to (re)imagine and map out alternative futures both within and outside of these global matrices of power and domination. Thus, we invite proposals for papers, panel presentations, roundtables, and artistic works/performances that critically engage the seen and unseen, named and unnamed global constellations of colonialism and neo-colonialism in Africa and the African Diaspora of past, present, and future.

As in years past, participants will be drawn from around the world. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present papers. The conference will provide time for scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Additionally, selected papers will be published in book form. Submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical location. Panel proposals (of 3-5 presenters) are especially encouraged. We invite submissions that include but are not limited to the following sub-themes and topics, treated in either historical or contemporary contexts:

Political and Economic Colonialisms:

International and transnational politics and political movements.
International trade agreements and their discontents.
Development, underdevelopment, and poverty.
Natural resource management and development via extractive economies.
Property, property rights, and land reform (including agrarian policies).
Education policies.
Urbanization and gentrification.
International agencies (African Union, U.N., World Bank, IMF, UNESCO, etc).
African political and economic relationships to the Americas, Asia, and Europe.
Transnationalism, immigration, and citizenship.
Migration and memory.
Formal and informal economies (including transnational labor and remittances).
Reverse migrations.
Forms of national and transnational protest.
Police brutality.
Human rights and contemporary forms of slavery.
Ongoing Black and Indigenous genocide/epistemicide.

Responses to Intellectual, Epistemic, and Cultural Colonialisms:

Modernity/transmodernity and coloniality/decoloniality.
Pluriversalism in Africa and the Diaspora.
National and transnational postcolonialisms.
Afro-pessimisms and Afro-optimisms.
Afro-futurism and the Afro-imaginative.
African and Afro-Caribbean political thought.
African and African Diaspora Marxisms.
Historical and contemporary Black nationalisms.
Historical and contemporary pan-Africanisms.
Epistemicide and epistemic resistance.
Linguistic colonialisms.
Orality, oral histories, and non-written cultural transmissions.
Endangered languages and language revitalization.
Kinship networks.
Radical pedagogies.
African and African Diaspora critiques of Social Science and Humanities theories/methodologies.
Local and transnational networks of cultural and knowledge production.
New social movements and social media.
Visuality, media, and cultural representations.
Gastronomic and culinary cultural transmissions.

Responses to Racial, Gendered, and Sexual Colonialisms:

Historical formations of race and gender and their contemporary legacies.
Afro-Indigeneity, Afro-Latinidad, and Afro-Asian experiences and theories.
Race and identity politics.
Women’s movements in the global south.
Reproductive rights in Africa and the African Diaspora.
Blackness, sexualities, and sexual politics.
Gendered labor and poverty.
The role of colonial gender norms and sexual violence in colonization.
The role of gender and sexual justice in decolonization.
Transnational women of color and third world feminisms (including their relationship to first world and white feminisms).
African and African Diaspora feminist, Queer, and Trans theories and epistemologies.
Transnational Black feminist, Queer, and Trans theorizations of the nation-state.
Alternatives to the heteropatriarchal nuclear family.
Non-binary, ambiguity, alterity, and/or fluidity of gender identities.

Visual Colonialisms and Artistic and Performed Decolonizations:

Musical, literary/poetic, and dramatic expression.
New media and social media.
African and African Diaspora cinema and film.
Public art (both state-sanctioned and informal).
Plastic arts and artistic livelihoods.
Dance and popular cultures.
Traditional and ancestral musical and artistic expression.
Artistic and performed critiques of modernity and the nation-state.
Cultural and artistic tourism.
Cultural and artistic appropriations.
The politics and economics of musical and artistic production.
Music, art, and political/social movements.
Music, art, and gender and sexuality.
Body art and bodily modification.

Religious Colonialisms and Religio-Spiritual Decolonizations:

The role of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in historical and contemporary colonialisms.
Challenging the narrative of secular modernity.
Religious political movements.
Indigenous and ancestral African religions.
Syncretic religions of the African diaspora.
African, African Diaspora, and Indigenous religio-spiritual critiques of the nation-state and modernity.
Islam in Africa and the Diaspora.
African and African Diaspora Judaisms.
African and African Diaspora religions and gender/sexuality.
Religious and religio-spiritual art, music, and cultural production.
Religious and religio-spiritual healing traditions.

Biomedical/Technological Colonialisms and Embodied Decolonizations:

Western biomedicine and colonization.
Western biomedicine and racial/gendered/sexual violence.
Forced sterilizations and scientific experimentation.
Historicizing and decolonizing biology.
Traditional and ancestral medicinal practices.
Embodied knowledges and bodily transmissions of knowledge.
African and African Diaspora critiques of the Cartesian mind/body divide.
Pediatrics and infant mortality.
Food crises, hunger, and malnutrition.
Substance abuse.
Intergenerational trauma, memory, and affect.
Communicable disease management and public health.
Histories of medical violence.
Decolonizing psychological sciences.
Genetic ancestry testing.

Each individual proposal must include: 1) title of the work, and an abstract of 250 words. 2) name of the presenter (with the surname underlined) 3) mailing address 4) number phone 5) email 6) institutional affiliation 7) three to five keywords that best characterize the themes and topics relevant to your submission.

Proposals for panels (3-5 presenters) must include: 1) title of the panel and a collective summary of 300 words on the panel’s theme, including the title of each individual work 2) a 250-word abstract for the presentation of each speaker 3) mailing address 4) phone number 5) email and 6) institutional affiliation of each presenter. Panels with four presenters or less may be completed with other relevant presentations.

Proposals will be accepted now through the final deadline of November 30, 2016. A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $150 for scholars and $100 for graduate students must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the abstract. This conference fee includes conference t-shirt and bag, admission to the panels, workshops, and special events, as well as transportation to and from the hotel and conference events. Registration also includes breakfast all three days, dinner on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, a banquet with DJ and open bar Saturday evening, and a closing celebration at Dr. Falola’s house including dinner and DJ. All participants must raise the funding to attend the conference, including registration fee, transportation and accommodation. The conference and the University of Texas at Austin does not provide any form of sponsorship or financial support, however the Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake will have a special rate for conference participants, and transportation between the hotel and the university is included. Contact conference coordinators Farid Leonardo Suárez and Dr. Kenneth E. Kalu for questions and more information:

Trespassing the Borders: Redefining Postcolonialism from Peripheral Experiences


Trespassing the Borders: Redefining Postcolonialism from Peripheral Experiences: Call for papers

Deadline: 30 September 2016

A one-day interdisciplinary conference

University of Warwick – 11 March 2017

Keynote speakers:

Professor Gurminder Bhambra (Warwick/Linnaeus)
Professor Lucy Riall (EUI/Birkbeck College)

Postcolonialism, conceived of as a critique of colonial empires in their political, social, and cultural epistemologies, is reassessing its methodologies in order to confront the challenges of the contemporary global context. Intensified flows of people and capital, border crossings, multiculturalism, and new conceptions of citizenship and belonging are encouraging a redefinition of concepts and methods in the study of subjectivities, societies and cultures. Within this framework, the focus on countries that have been considered for decades ‘peripheral’ cases in terms of the colonial/decolonial experience offer an important contribution in rethinking how we approach these subjects. Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, alongside other ‘peripheral cases’, could be regarded as peculiar case studies due to the singularity of their colonial pasts, the complexity of their processes of decolonization and their histories of migrations that are also shaping current political and social issues. These phenomena will be studied from a multi-disciplinary perspective, which encourages new understandings of contemporary citizenship and belonging, and of related representational practices. The conference will also foster comparative approaches in order to highlight interconnections, differences and the peculiarities of these cases.

Trespassing the Borders will not approach the ‘postcolonial’ solely from a theoretical perspective; rather, it will engage more politically-charged and possibly compromising terms, such as imperialism, neo-colonialism and racism, in order to analyse the complexity of the present in both its historical and ontological roots. This approach is intended to encourage the multifaceted study of crucial concepts such as colonialism and decolonization, global history, mobility, subjectivity and identities, from a transnational perspective.

Trespassing the Borders welcomes different disciplinary perspectives, multiple and intertwined methodologies, and innovative approaches/case studies. Themes and topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Rethinking Theories and Methodologies
– Postcoloniality/Decoloniality
– The Porosity of Disciplinary Borders
– Investigating ‘Peripheral’ Colonial/Decolonial Experiences
– Deconstructing Representational Practices and their Historical Roots
– Transnationalizing Histories
– The Elaboration and Negotiation of Subjectivities and Identities
– Images of Mobility, Citizenship and Belonging
– Social Exclusion and Racism

Please submit by 30th September 2016 a proposal with

– Name
– Affiliation
– Email Address
– Paper title
– 250-word abstract (for 20-minute papers).
– Short biographical notes (100 words)

To (object: ‘Proposal – Trespassing the Borders Conference’).

Accepted speakers will be expected to pay the conference fee and fund their own travel.

For info and details:



METHOD(E)S: Call for Papers

Deadline: 30 October 2016

African Review of Social Sciences Methodology/Revue africaine de méthodologie des sciences sociales

Epistemological Fractures in a Globalized World: Normalizations, Debates and Alternatives in the Social Sciences

Editors :

Fernanda Beigel, Professor, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo – CONICET, Argentina
Jean–Bernard Ouédraogo, Research Director, CNRS, LAIOS, IIAC, EHESS, Paris,
Raewyn Connell, Professor Emerita, University of Sydney, Australia

The recurrent allusion to the “globalization of the social sciences” validates the idea of the dominance of Western scientific norms and practices over those of “the rest of the world”. The triumph of the “connected world”, aligned with the Western world, seems indisputable and this “self-evident fact” often mutes the expression of ”other” epistemologies. Instead, such knowledge from “elsewhere” is often dismissed as mere folkloric fiction; “pastoral reveries” used to satisfy a certain, seemingly obsolete indigenous pride. Linked to political and economic domination, the resulting imbalance in the scientific communities rarely allows for such dissonance to be heard in its own right. This project of scientific hegemony, based on a strong tendency towards standardization and “normalization” (Stephen Hawking, 2007) of knowledge on societies is, however, far from complete. In contrast with dominant epistemological doxa, a large epistemic diversity is brewing under the hegemonic surface, and current cultural and technological measures resulting from the acceleration of exchanges are, paradoxically, encouraging the assertion of epistemic identities from the periphery and thereby exacerbating contradictions in the political realm as well as in the social scientific community.

In preparation for the next issue of Méthod(e)s, we invite colleagues to critically engage with the production of hegemonic methodologies, epistemologies, and ontologies in the social sciences: their enlargement and/or constriction, while taking into account the assertions of autonomous, and even counter-hegemonic movements from within or without these sites of power, to be understood as important moments of particular historical materialist contexts. We support the hypothesis that, however powerful this contemporary hegemonic tendency may be, it is contested on various levels by different epistemic communities. Throughout the world, concurrent scientific and autonomist spaces present scientific and political challenges to this dominant scientific order. Upon close examination, multiple poles of resistance and of alternatives to the dominant scientific discourse are active throughout the world, leading to some authors considering seriously the advent of a “post-hegemonic” era (Jon Beasley-Murray, 2010). This issue of Méthod(e)s will put forth critical reflections on the forms and interactions of these scientific movements that challenge the dominant scientific order. Recognition of larger political projects (neoliberalism, decolonization) and their structuring effects on scientific proposals is essential to an understanding of struggles for epistemological hegemony, as the tension internal to political arenas provides a referential normative framework for the production and circulation of scholarly knowledge. What role do the social sciences play in these political battles that may either subjugate or liberate the social groups and communities with whom we work? What consequences do these clashes add to the cognitive and technical order on which the science is based? We should keep in mind that the history of human societies provides us with numerous examples of scientific hegemonies, and retracing their trajectories will give us an invaluable perspective on the conditions of the appearance and disappearance of past and present epistemological communities. Scholarly spaces are also born, live and die.

It would be relevant to revisit the various moments demonstrating phenomena of hegemony and counter-hegemony on more “local”, “less global levels”: continental, regional, even national and disciplinary. Assertions of scientific autonomy demonstrate an epistemological fracture, a conceptual, methodological and even ethical break with the dominant scientific order. Although this conflict with the dominant science is concealed depending on the asserted epistemic distance, we should closely examine the normative divergences which appear in the very content of knowledge, in the intrinsic logical origins and social values in confrontation at the core of the process of construction of scientific knowledge. This analysis of the form of knowledge is only complete when closely linked to the nature of the political regime which imprints upon it its essential characteristics. This is why we feel it is important to always clearly identify the political framework in which the structures of knowledge are emerging, whether it be oppositional or hegemonic. From the articulation of these levels of domination, we can suggest a better refined understanding of the process of normalization and arguments of all sorts constructed to this end. A final line of questioning will deal with the way in which methodological concepts and instruments contribute to establishing domination or challenging it. These points of dominating or oppositional meeting are numerous and run throughout the process of knowledge production and use: a) in referential quotation and discussion; b) in the order of exposition and argumentation; c) in the choice of subjects; d) in the choice of the relevance of identification and manipulation of facts.

In this volume, the editors would like to feature articles that explore modes of domination and resistance i n the social sciences. The upcoming issue of Méthod(e)s will contain the following sections:

The section Thematic Dossier welcomes analytical articles dealing with the question of scientific hegemony in line with the multiple dimensions put forward above (70,000 characters, spaces included);
The section Issues in the Field will allow us to revisit or expound on the empirical experiences of the roll-out of a hegemonic or counter-hegemonic choice in a specific area of research (50,000 characters, spaces included). The editors are particularly interested in seeing contributions based on experiences in the field, using empirical materials in the Issues in the Field section;
The section Varia remains open to editorials with an original point of view on one of the aspects of scientific hegemony (40,000 characters, spaces included);
The section Guest Papers will debate a classic text dealing with or expressing one of the scholarly forms of hegemony. Colleagues from different geographical, political and intellectual backgrounds will discuss the main text in short texts (40,000 characters, spaces included);
On this critical issue of hegemony, we are looking for texts capable of carrying a wide-ranging discussion, beyond the usual narrow disciplinary, national, continental and linguistic frames.
The Critical Notes will offer one or two articles which examine one or several significant works on methods related to this issue’s theme. These critiques will highlight the importance of issues raised in the work discussed (40,000 characters, spaces included);
In the section Reviews, colleagues are invited to write critical comments on recent publications in the framework of ongoing discussions (15,000 characters, spaces included).

Proposals for articles will be examined until the end of June and articles are due by the end of October 2016.

All correspondence should be sent to Chloé Faux:


METHOD(E)S : Appel à contributions

Dates limites 30 octobre 2016

African Review of Social Sciences Methodology/Revue africaine de méthodologie des sciences sociales

Fractures épistémologiques dans un monde globalisé :normalisations, contestations et alternatives dans les sciences sociales

Editeurs :

Fernanda Beigel, Professeur, Universidad Nacional de Cuyo –CONICET, Argentine ;
Jean–Bernard Ouédraogo, DR au CNRS, LAIOS, IIAC, EHESS, Paris, France ;
Raewyn Connell, Professeur Emérite, University de Sydney, Australie.

L’usage récurrent du terme « globalisation des sciences sociales » tend à entériner l’idée d’un processus de domination achevé, de la clôture d’une extension globale des normes et pratiques scientifiques occidentales ; nous assisterions ainsi à un achèvement de la domination, désormais sans partage, des institutions, des pratiques et des théories scientifiques de la zone atlantique nord sur le reste du monde. Le triomphe de cette hégémonie sur un « monde connecté », pris dans le giron occidental, semble incontestable et écrase, de fait, toutes les velléités d’expression de trajectoires épistémologiques originales, réduites à n’être alors que de simples fictions folkloriques, des « rêveries pastorales » qui servent à contenter certaines fiertés indigènes obsolètes.

Adossé à la puissance de la domination politique et économique, le déséquilibre dans le domaine scientifique est tel qu’aucun écho dissonant venant des marges de l’empire n’est entendu dans sa singularité propre. Cette hégémonie scientifique qui repose sur une forte tendance à la standardisation, à la « normalisation » (Stephen Hawking 2007) des savoirs sur les sociétés est pourtant stérile et loin d’être totale. Derrière la puissance répétitive du mot, la réalité du monde qu’il exprime jure avec la représentation qui en est donnée ; en contrepoids du discours performatif de la doxa épistémologique dominante, une grande diversité épistémique couve sous la tentative d’englobement hégémonique. Les dispositifs culturels et techniques actuels induits par l’accélération des échanges favorisent paradoxalement l’affirmation des identités épistémiques et exacerbent ainsi les contradictions dans le domaine politique comme dans celui de la production des sciences sociales.

Pour le prochain numéro des méthodes, nous invitons les chercheurs à analyser, dans le domaine des sciences sociales, les processus d’avènement des espaces hégémoniques,, leurs élargissements et/ou rétrécissements, ou au contraire l’affirmation d’autonomies voire de mouvements contre-hégémoniques de l’intérieur ou de l’extérieur des lieux de pouvoir. Toutes les instances hégémoniques savantes, comme celle de l’Occident qui s’impose aujourd’hui, sont à envisager comme des moments particuliers de la dynamique historique du monde au sein de laquelle toutes s’inscrivent. Nous défendons l’hypothèse selon laquelle, pour puissante que soit cette tendance hégémonique contemporaine, celle-ci est contestée à des échelles variées par de nombreuses communautés épistémiques. De par le monde, des espaces scientifiques concurrents ou simplement autonomistes posent des défis scientifiques et politiques à cet ordre scientifique dominant. À y regarder de près, de multiples pôles de résistance voire d’émergence d’alternatives à la science dominante sont actifs à travers le monde. Certains auteurs (Jon Beasley– Murray 2010) envisagent même sérieusement l’avènement d’une ère « posthégémonique ». Il s’agira alors, dans ce numéro, de faire une radiographie critique des contours et des interactions de ces mouvements scientifiques qui contestent l’ordre scientifique dominant.

La reconnaissance de l’origine politique et ses effets structurants sur les propositions scientifiques nous paraissent essentiels à la compréhension des luttes pour l’hégémonie épistémologique, car la tension interne aux arènes politiques sert de cadre normatif référentiel à la production et à l’usage offensif des connaissances savantes. Quel rôle jouent les sciences sociales dans ces batailles politiques pour l’asservissement et pour la libération des groupes sociaux ? Quelles conséquences ces combats entraînent-ils sur l’ordre cognitif et technique qui fonde la science ? Il faut garder à l’esprit que l’histoire des sociétés humaines nous fournit de nombreux exemples d’hégémonies scientifiques dont une documentation précise des trajectoires nous donnera un précieux éclairage sur les conditions d’apparition et de disparition des communautés épistémologiques du passé et du présent. Les espaces savants aussi naissent, vivent et meurent.

Il nous paraît pertinent de revisiter les différents moments manifestant des phénomènes d’hégémonie et de contre-hégémonie à des échelles variées, moins globales : continentale, régionale, voire nationale et disciplinaire. Les affirmations d’autonomie scientifique manifestent une fracture épistémologique, une rupture conceptuelle, méthodologique et éthique avec l’ordre scientifique dominant. Quand bien même cette opposition avec la science dominante est latente et graduée suivant une distance épistémique revendiquée, il faudrait examiner de près les divergences normatives qui apparaissent dans le contenu même des connaissances, dans les origines logiques intrinsèques et les valeurs sociales en confrontation à l’intérieur même du processus de fabrication des connaissances scientifiques. Cette analyse de la forme des savoirs n’est complète que si elle est reliée étroitement à la nature du régime politique qui lui imprime ses caractéristiques essentielles. C’est pourquoi il nous paraît important de toujours bien identifier le cadre politique dans lequel émergent les structures des savoirs qu’ils soient oppositionnels ou hégémoniques. De l’articulation de ces échelles de domination nous pouvons proposer une compréhension plus affinée du processus de normalisation et des arguments de toutes natures construits à cet effet. Une interrogation ultime portera sur la manière dont les concepts et les instruments méthodologiques contribuent à asseoir la domination ou à la contester. Ces points de rencontre dominatrice ou oppositionnelle sont nombreux et courent tout le long du processus de production et d’usage des savoirs : a) dans la citation et la discussion révérencielle ; b) dans l’ordre de l’exposition et de l’argumentation ; c) dans la désignation des objets ; d) dans le choix de la pertinence de l’identification et de la manipulation des faits.
Les éditeurs du numéro souhaitent voir s’exprimer dans ce volume les différents aspects manifestant le phénomène hégémonique. En effet, toutes les rubriques de la revue Méthod(e)s sont d’excellentes occasions pour mettre en lumière des types d’expression de la domination et de la contre-domination dans les sciences sociales.

Le dossier thématique accueille les articles analytiques traitant de cette question d’hégémonie en suivant les multiples dimensions que nous venons d’exposer (70,000 caractères, espaces inclus).

Les questions de terrain permettront de revisiter ou d’exposer sur un espace de recherche précis, les expériences empiriques de déploiement d’une volonté hégémonique ou de contre-hégémonie (50,000 caractères, espaces inclus). Les éditeurs sont particulièrement intéressés par des contributions basées sur des expériences de terrains, utilisant des matériaux empiriques et pouvant être classées dans la rubrique Questions de terrain.
La rubrique Varia reste ouverte aux textes de fond proposant un point de vue original sur un des aspects de l’hégémonie scientifique (40,000 caractères, espaces inclus).
La rubrique, Guest Papers mettra en débat un texte classique traitant ou exprimant une des formes d’hégémonie savante. Le texte central sera discuté dans de courts textes par des chercheurs issus d’horizons géographiques, politiques et intellectuels différents (40,000 caractères, espaces inclus). Sur cette question cruciale de l’hégémonie, nous sommes à la recherche de textes pouvant porter une discussion large, dépassant des cadres étroits habituels disciplinaires, nationaux, continentaux et linguistiques.
La note critique proposera un ou deux articles qui examinent un ou plusieurs travaux importants sur la méthode en relation au thème de ce numéro. Ces critiques devront mettre en évidence l’importance des questions soulevées dans l’ouvrage considéré (40,000 caractères, espaces inclus) ;
Dans la rubrique Compte rendu, les chercheurs sont invités à écrire des commentaires critiques des publications récentes dans le cadre des débats en cours (15,000 caractères, espaces inclus).

Les propositions de contributions sont attendues pour le 30 octobre 2016.

Les correspondances sont à adresser à Chloé Faux :