Africa's Indian Ocean littoral - from the Red Sea to the Cape of Good Hope - has long been a place of passage: seamen and migrants, traders and scholars from across the Indian Ocean came to work, settle, do business, teach, and convert, both on the coast and in the hinterland.
Likewise, Africans moved outwards with similar aims and intentions, taking ideas and their material culture with them. For centuries, slaves were exported, but others moved of their own free will, and continue to do so, in increasing numbers: scholars and pilgrims to the Arabian Peninsula, traders and labourers to China and Japan, migrants and refugees to Australia. In a contemporary world, they come not just from the Swahili coast but from all over the continent.
How do these Africans negotiate encounters across the region? How are links maintained with homelands, and how do contemporary forms of technology shape practices and worldviews? What are the political, social, and economic implications of these transnational networks? How do these movements, the diversity of experiences of those who move, the multiple encounters with different ideas, practices and cultures, shape those who are touched by them, directly or indirectly - those who move as well as those who do not? This panel calls for papers that explore African endeavours in the greater Indian Ocean region, including but not limited to the personal and collective initiatives that prompt movements, the networks that sustain them, and links with the homelands as well as activities in the host countries.
"African Connections" is the theme of the conference of the Association of African Studies in Germany (Vereinigung für Afrikawissenschaften in Deutschland/VAD e.V.) from 27 to 30 June 2018. The conference is hosted by the Institute of African Studies and the Centre for Area Studies at the University of Leipzig. Both institutions participate in the university's research profile area on "Global Connections and Comparisons".
Please follow the link to submit a paper proposal and abstract (max 250 words): https://vad-africanconnections.de/panels/
Please note that although proposals should be submitted by 30 November 2017, given the short lead time proposals will be considered until 31 January 2018.
This panel is convened by the AEGIS CRG Africa in the Indian Ocean.
Preben Kaarsholm, Roskilde University
Didier Nativel, Université Paris Diderot Manuel Ramos, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa Iain Walker, Martin-Luther-Universität Halle