Symposium: Urban Africa: multidisciplinary approaches to the African city
5th symposium of the Ghent Africa Platform
The world is undergoing the largest wave of urban growth in its history. With the half of the world’s population living today in urban centers, urbanization (and rurbanization) has become one of the mayor challenges of this century. The fastest urban growth is taking place in sub-Sahara Africa. It is estimated that between 2005 and 2030, the urban population of sub-Saharan Africa will double. In this context, development programs have increasingly shifted their focus from the rural to the urban setting. For example, where ‘poverty’ has long been perceived as a mainly ‘rural’ phenomenon, development programs today have taken into account the fact that the majority of Africa’s poor people live in cities. Further, also academic research on Africa in general has gained an increasing urban focus, in all kinds of disciplines. The African city has become the scene of extensive anthropological literature, socio-political analyses and economic studies.
This conference takes the African city as its central focus and seeks to approach this African urban context from a wide range of thematic domains: political sciences and anthropology, linguistics and agriculture, history and medicine, etc…
Challenges of fast urban growth in Africa
Role of the urban scale in national, regional and global politics
The urban factor of violent conflict and war
African cities & social protest in a context of neo-liberalization
Rural-urban migration: the city as a zone of opportunity/centre of poverty?
Agriculture in the city as livelihood option
Health in the city
Transnational migration: culture, community and identity in urban diasporas
Multilingualism in urban environments
Language innovation in the city
The transformation/appearance of cultural practices in the city
Paper proposals (max. 300 words, in English or French) should be submitted before 1 September 2011 to the GAP secretariat (Gap-at-UGent.be), mentioning “GAPSYM5 – proposal”. By 1 October the scientific committee will notify which papers have been accepted.
GAPSYM5 offers doctoral students and other researchers the opportunity to present their research projects by means of a poster. Posters do NOT have to refer to the theme of the symposium. Through these poster presentations GAP seeks to give an overview of all current, Africa-related projects and doctoral research at the Ghent University Association. Researchers who would like to submit a poster should also send in an abstract of this poster (before 1 September 2011). The posters (A0 format) should be delivered to the GAP secretariat (Dominique Godfroid, Department of Geography, Krijgslaan 281, S8, Ghent), by Monday, 28 November 2011.
The 2012 autumn edition of our international and peer-reviewed journal Afrika Focus will largely be devoted to the theme of GAPSYM5. Regular speakers as well as guest speakers are invited to submit their papers for publication in this special issue of Afrika Focus. The deadline for submitting the manuscript is 1 March 2012. If, after peer-review, the paper is accepted, it will be published by December 2012.
Download the full CFP here or see it on the conference homepage.