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Call for Contributions: Conference "Regions and Borders in Africa" (Cinfães, 2nd-3th October 2020)

Centro Estudos Africanos Universidade do Porto

To consider African borders as artificial and African States as a colonial heritage has become a commonplace in the specialized bibliography and in political speech for decades. Yet, not much attention has been paid to recent case studies: attempts to (re)organize African regions within former States, new forms of federal or regional organizations and especially national movements of secession within older states.

Where is the line dividing inter-state and intra-state conflict in Africa? Only 11% of the African borderlines were drawn taking into consideration former political, language or other cultural differences (in Europe, these stand for 50% 0f the borderlines). The hidden wars in Western Sahara, Southern Cameroon, Togo, South Soudan, Somalia, Kivu are the most recent consequences of such old and forced configurations. Fifty years later, does the Cairo conference recommendation (1964) urging the new states to preserve colonial borders remain feasible?

This Conference expects to discuss these issues in interdisciplinary mode as well as to give a broad overview on the much different situations that have emerged throughout the continent.

On the other hand, even in the non-disputed African borders (as well as in  others around the world) issues like control, legal and illegal migrant fluxes, or of those arising out of border working as a waiting /business line have increasingly shaped the social dynamics.

An evaluation on the concepts and maps produced by borderlines is surely a priority for Social Sciences today. This Conference intends to contribute to highlight a hidden but decisive issue in the African politics of today.

Organisation and schedule of the conference

  • Call for panels – 28th February - 31st  March 2020
  • Call for papers – 1st April - 31st May 2020
  • Validation and notification of acceptance – up to 15th June 2020

Guideline for proposals

  • Panels (minimal number of 3 participants for panel),
  • Papers (maximum 300 words, abstracts in English or in two languages being one of them English).
  • Proposals should be sent to CEAUP: ceaup@letras.up.pt

Working languages (for panels and paper proposals)

  • Portuguese / English / French