/ Forschung

Call for Papers: Practising African anthropologies, reimagining African universities (Lisbon, 21-24 July 2020)

Conference "New anthropological horizons in and beyond Europe"

This NCN panel invites papers, in English and French, that engage with the economic conditions, political entanglements and epistemological possibilities of practising anthropology in Africa. The 'virtual' panel format, with pre-recorded presentations and 'live' online discussion will maximise participation and engagement from colleagues working in higher education across the continent (including North Africa). The aim is to developing a collective ethnography of anthropological knowledge production (through pedagogy and research) within postcolonial universities. Powerful critiques of the African university as a 'marketplace' (Mamdani), a 'multinational corporation' (Mazrui), or a 'shadow' (Ferguson) within a global university system, have led to radical alternatives, including conceptualisations of epistemically-open 'pluriversities' (Mbembe). Beyond critique and prefiguration, this panel documents and explores existing genres of African anthropological practice. A key focus will be on existing and emergent approaches to teaching and research that challenge historical precedents and reinvent institutional templates. The panel welcomes papers that draw on anthropological debates and ethnographic insights to explore:

  • The emergence and future of postcolonial anthropology within African higher education
  • Private universities and their implications for disciplinary knowledge
  • The cultural politics of curriculum reform and disciplinary decolonisation
  • Student activism and challenges to academic authority
  • Massification and the demands of widening access
  • The impact of scholarly mobility on knowledge production
  • Sustaining and developing research cultures and cultures
  • The role of doctoral studies in shaping university futures