Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Conference: Call for Papers

Message from:
Dr. Clive Gabay
Lecturer in International Politics
School of Politics and International Relations
Queen Mary University of London
Tel: 020 7882 5832

Apologies for cross-posting:

‘Post-post’ independence? African political thought, contemporary protest and the international

19th-20th July, Queen Mary University of London.

In the past year anti-government protests have broken out in a number of sub-Sahara African countries, including Cote D’Ivoire, Malawi, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ethiopia, Swaziland, Uganda and Mozambique. Some of these protests have emerged recently, whilst others have longer histories but have only recently come to international prominence. Responses from western countries and donors, and the western media have tended to view these as ‘post-post independence’ phenomena, that is, as a rejection of the failures of the post-independence political leaders and settlements, and an embracing of Western discourses on individual rights. This workshop seeks to explore the political economy and genealogies of these protests in order to question how far this wave of protests, as well as other contemporary protest and social movements in sub-Sahara Africa, should be seen as a ‘coming of age’ awakening to western discourses on rights. Instead, the workshop will explore the enduring legacies of independence-era political promises and contemporary forms of African radical political thought.

Potential paper-givers are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 200 words addressing any or all of the following themes, or any other theme pertinent to the overall workshop aims:

i) The continuing resonance and reworking of independence-era
political promises and thought through contemporary sub-Sahara African protest and social movements, including variants on African social democracy, Afro-socialism, nationalism and pan-Africanism;
ii) The influence of contemporary African radial political thought on
current protests and social movements
iii) How protesters mediate western discourses on rights through
locally-generated independence discourses;
iv) The deployment of independence-era thought in government responses
to protest, be that rhetorical or through social and economic programmes.
v) The ways in which western actors interpret protest in sub-Sahara
Africa, and the extent to which differences emerge between regional and global interpretations of the protests and how different conceptions of ‘Africa’ emerge from these interpretations.

Potential paper-givers are also encouraged to give thought to relevant non-academic speakers who might contribute to the value of the workshop, in particular activists and public intellectuals engaged in some of the struggles addressed by the papers, whether from exile and ex-pat communities in the UK, or from Africa. Please note that this is not an essential condition of workshop participation.

Please submit paper abstracts of no more than 200 words, and suggestions for non-academic speakers to by Friday 24th February 2012


Dr. Clive Gabay