Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)

General enquiries

Leeds University Centre for African Studies
c/o POLIS,
Social Sciences Building,
University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Tel: 0113 343 5069
african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

LUCAS Schools Project coordinator

Richard Borowski
R.Borowski@leeds.ac.uk

The Battle of Algiers: Screening and Symposium

The Battle of Algiers (1966)

From ‘Yesterday’s Mujahiddin’ to today’s Postcolonial Classroom

A screening and symposium at the University of Leeds

Friday 4 May 2018

Hosted by the Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures (CWCDC) and the Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam.

The event is free and all are welcome. However, space is limited for the afternoon session, so please sign up (afternoon session only) on the Eventbrite page at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-battle-of-algiers-1966-from-yesterdays-mujahiddin-to-todays-postcolonial-classroom-tickets-44631242247?aff=es2

Times and venues

Morning session (screening and discussion) 09:30-13:00: Roger Stevens Lecture Theatre 14: http://www.leeds.ac.uk/campusmap?location=5162
Afternoon Session (academic presentations and roundtable) 13:00-17:30: Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), 29-31 Clarendon Place:http://www.leeds.ac.uk/campusmap?location=5099

Programme

 Morning session: screening and discussion (Roger Stevens Lecture Theatre 14)

Participants are asked to read Nicholas Harrison’s article ‘Yesterday’s Mujahiddin: Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers’, in R. Weaver-Hightower and P. Hulme (eds), Postcolonial Film (London: Routledge, 2014), pp. 23-46. The article is available to download here:https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jXOYr2NmbxJqLbBt7xUXDzKzyJTW10gE/view?usp=sharing

09:30   Introduction

09:45   Screening of new restoration of The Battle of Algiers (Cult Films 2018)

12:00   Discussion: Islam in The Battle of Algiers

Chair Dr Mustapha Sheikh (Co-director Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam, Leeds)

Discussants

Dr Fozia Bora (Lecturer in Middle Eastern History and Islamic History, Leeds)

Prof Nicholas Harrison (Professor of French and Postcolonial Studies, King’s College London)

Prof S Sayyid (Professor of Social Theory and Decolonial Thought, Leeds)

Afternoon session: academic presentations and roundtable (LHRI)

13:15   Buffet lunch (provided)

13:45   Introduction

14:00   Presentations

Chair Dr Tajul Islam (Co-director Iqbal Centre for the Study of Contemporary Islam, Leeds)

14:00     Presentation 1 Prof Alan O’Leary (Professor of Film and Cultural Studies, Leeds): ‘The Battle of Algiers and the Orientalist Tradition’. RespondentProf S Sayyid (Professor of Social Theory and Decolonial Thought, Leeds)

14:45     Presentation 2 Dr Neelam Srivastava (Reader in Postcolonial and Comparative Literature, Newcastle): The Battle of Algiers in the Postcolonial Classroom’. Respondent Beatrice Ivey (Postgraduate Researcher in French, Leeds)

15:30     Presentation 3 Dr Carl Vincent (Principal Lecturer of Classical Music, Leeds College of Music): ‘East and West: Music in The Battle of Algiers’.Respondent TBC

16:15   Coffee break

16:30   Roundtable

                Chair Dr Neelam Srivastava (Reader in Postcolonial and Comparative Literature, Newcastle)

Participants

Dr Laura Ager (Co-director/programmer, Leeds Film Fringe)

TBC Prof Martin Evans (Professor of Modern European History, Sussex)

Prof Nicholas Harrison (Professor of French and Postcolonial Studies, King’s College London)

Prof John Mowitt (Leadership Chair in Critical Humanities, Leeds)

Prof S Sayyid (Professor of Social Theory and Decolonial Thought, Leeds)

17:30   End

This event has been generously supported by the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies (Leeds), and the Society for Italian Studies. It has been convened by Alan O’Leary in consultation with Neelam Srivastava and organised with the assistance of Rachel Johnson (Postgraduate Researcher, Leeds).

This entry was posted in Film, Journal, Leeds, Symposium.

CfP: Women of the Global South and its Diasporas: Rights, Representation, Activism Symposium

From the Women’s Paths Research Group:

Call for Papers

Women of the Global South and its Diasporas: Rights, Representation, Activism Symposium

5th of June 2018

Deadline for abstracts: Monday April 16th 2018

Women’s Paths is a research group based at University of Leeds. It was established in 2015 by feminist researchers from a variety of disciplines to bridge the gap between women’s issues in the community and feminist scholarship. This year’s focus is to promote intersectional feminism and issues that particularly effect BAME women. Our seminar series has explored transwomen and feminism, violence against women and Caribbean feminisms thus far.

Women’s Paths’ symposium aims to explore how feminist scholarship and practice might coalesce to create real change for women of the Global South, including in the diaspora. This symposium is an important platform to hear and discuss urgent issues, challenges, initiatives and achievements which are significant to the lives of women of colour. We bring together scholars researching across a range of disciplines to form a multidisciplinary approach to how we might cooperatively confront a multiplicity of experiences and issues. The scope of this symposium includes, but is not restricted to the following topics:

· Global Feminist Theories, Politics and Activism

· Intersections of identities (i.e. religion, disability, gender- particularly trans and non-binary)

· Discrimination and human rights violations

· Environmentalism and sustainable development

· Development and decolonisation

· Sexuality and reproductive rights (LGBTQIA, sexual health, cultural, social and economic issues)

· Resistance through creativity (performance, art, literature, spirituality, love, Afrofuturism, black joy)

Abstract Guidelines

We invite academic papers, practise-based reflections, and creative performances responding to the theme. If you wish to present a paper, we invite you to submit an abstract. The length of the abstract should not exceed 250 words. It should be written in English, in format Times New Roman, pt. 12 and submitted via email: (to Amber Lascelles: enall@leeds.ac.uk and Ope Adegbulu: lwoad@leeds.ac.uk)

In the abstract header, please include a short bio.

The abstract should contain the following elements:

· The subject of the paper

· The aim of the paper

· Themes that would be covered by the paper (3-4) key words)

Deadline for abstracts: Monday April 16th 2018

Our symposium is funded by the Postcolonial Studies Association, the British Sociological Association’s Migration, Diaspora and Transnationalism Study Group, and the School of Law at the University of Leeds. A number of travel bursaries will be provided.

Women’s Paths look forward to bringing people together for a pertinent symposium addressing women’s rights. We hope to build lasting connections between academics, PhD researchers and activists to inspire action and create change.

This entry was posted in Conferences, Leeds, Symposium.

Justice for Christopher Alder campaign statement

Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign

STATEMENT

February  2018

COMMEMORATION PROTEST

20 years since Christopher Alder died in police custody at Queens Gardens Police Station, Hull

Assemble 1 pm Saturday 31st March 2018 (Easter Saturday)

Queen Victoria Square, Hull

Called by the Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign 

20 years ago Christopher Alder died in custody in Queens Gardens Police Station, Hull.  He was a fit and active 37 year old black man who had served as a paratrooper in the 1980’s.

He died slowly, surrounded by police officers, and on camera in the early hours of 1st April 1998.  The custody suite video records him being dragged in unconscious from a  police van in the back yard and placed face down with hands cuffed behind his back, and his trousers and shorts pulled down.  His belt is missing and there is mud on his legs.  The tape records his breathing getting slower and more laboured as his life slips away.  Police officers can be heard laughing and joking and later on monkey noises can be heard nearby.  Eventually Christopher’s condition cannot be ignored any more and paramedics are called but it is too late to save him.  Eleven minutes have elapsed since he was dragged in.

Christopher’s death had followed a night out at the Waterfront Club near his home and an altercation outside the club with a man he knew called Jason Paul, which culminated in a punch which knocked Christopher down, striking his head on the cobbles.  An ambulance is called and Christopher is taken to Hull Royal Infirmary for treatment.  He is conscious but disturbed by his head injury and the situation he is in.  Police officers who have come to the hospital to follow up the assault on Christopher and take a statement end up arresting him and dragging him out backwards to be taken away in a police van.  Christopher, at this point, is lucid and standing and speaks to the hospital security guard before stepping unaided into the police van.  The police claim the journey of a few minutes duration to Queens Gardens was uneventful and uninterrupted, but Christopher’s unconscious condition and disarrayed clothing on arrival suggest otherwise.

From the moment of Christopher’s death a police cover-up kicks in.  The officers involved are able to confer amongst themselves and by the time Jim Elliott from the Police Complaints Authority, arrives on the scene on the morning of the 1st April they have a story for public consumption.  The version of events they give out is that Christopher must have died as a result of the punch in the street and that his death in police custody was unforeseen and in no way the responsibility of any police officer.  Later that day Jason Paul goes to the police to find out what has happened and is arrested on suspicion of murder and is sent out of Hull to a bail hostel in York for a month.  Subsequently he is freed without charge (not even assault) and he is eventually compensated for wrongful arrest.

Meanwhile the police stage an elaborate pantomime of looking for Christopher’s missing tooth outside the night club.  Years later unreleased police station video appears to show the tooth being picked up from the custody suite floor after his death.

It also emerges in the course of the inquest, that the police van in question was cleaned out on the afternoon of the 1st April, and recent blood stains which were seen on the morning of the 1st had disappeared by the time the van was properly examined forensically.  It also emerges that Christopher’s clothes were destroyed in the weeks after his death.  Superintendent David Holt of  West Yorkshire Police, leading the police investigation of the death, admitted at the inquest to ordering the destruction of  the clothes rather that preserving them in evidence bags pending future enquiries  and court cases.  Other mysteries, still unexplained, were the question of why Christopher’s flat was taped off like a crime scene for days after his death, and his computer hard drive was analysed.  Why?  And the question of CS gas canisters, and whether any had been discharged?  It appears very likely from the subsequent exchange of empty canisters that at least one was used.  Plus there is the question of why the uniforms   of those police involved were sent to be cleaned as soon as possible?  Two of them went to hospital for treatment for minor injuries, which were never explained.

At no point were the scenes relevant to Christopher’s death treated like crime scene nor was potential evidence preserved for proper forensic analysis.

Also not adequately explained was the crucial question of why Christopher’s body was removed to Sheffield for the post mortem which was attended by 11 people, including senior police officers.  No family members were present or legally represented as was their right.  This would not have happened if it was believed that Christopher’s death was just the unfortunate outcome of a fight in the street.

Years later Christopher’s heart was found in a drawer at the Sheffield Pathology laboratory despite a request from the Alder family that all the body should be returned for burial.  Why did this happen?

About 2 weeks after his death Christopher’s sister, Janet, is notified at her home in Burnley.  The policeman who calls late in the evening to give her the news gives a vague and confusing version of what may have happened.  Janet then travels to Hull the next day to find out more and the hostile and defensive reaction of Humberside police officers to her questions convince her that she is not being told the truth and when they follow and watch her in central Hull she is certain they have something to hide.

Janet then tells this story to sympathetic friends and supporters in Burnley and by July 1998 the “Justice for Christopher Alder Campaign” is launched.  It carries Janet’s quest for the truth and justice out into the world – to Hull and the rest of Britain and to campaigners and trade unionists that will support her.

Neville Lawrence, Stephen’s father, meets Janet and makes a statement backing her in October 1998.

From the beginning the press and broadcasting media take a great interest in the case.  The immediate outcome of the campaigning is that five police officers are suspended and charged with “misconduct in public office”, a relatively minor charge, but proceedings are adjourned until after the inquest.

The inquest, in July and August 2000, was unusually long, hearing more than 70 witnesses and involving detailed questioning of pathologists and forensic witnesses but the police officers facing charges all declined to answer questions about what had happened. Citing rule 22, which allows anybody charged over a death to refuse to answer questions put to the them at an inquest.  The inquest was a major event in Hull and was attended by many friends and relatives of Christopher and many supporters of Janet’s campaign for the truth.

The coroner sat with a jury of Hull citizens and when the jury gave its verdict that Christopher had been unlawfully killed, it made the front pages of several national newspapers.  It should have followed that the unlawful killing verdict would lead to a renewed investigation and a serious attempt to bring those responsible to justice.  This did not happen.

It’s true that Janet Alder’s vigorous campaigning did push the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) into adding gross negligence manslaughter charges to the indictment against the 5 police officers already charged with “misconduct in public office”.  But when the case came to court in 2002, it was sent to Middlesbrough, inconveniently far for the Alder family and the witnesses, and it was out of the focus of a lot of the mainstream media.  Also the move to Middlesbrough virtually guaranteed an all–white jury.

In the event the case was badly presented by the CPS with deliberately conflicted expert witnesses and no attempt to put racism, institutional or otherwise at the heart of the case.  Not surprisingly, the judge threw the case out at the halfway stage, and the 5 defendants walked free having still not answered any questions in public about the death of Christopher Alder.

Later the European court found in Janet’s favour – Christopher Alder had been unlawfully deprived of his right to life – a damning indictment for the British legal system.

It should also have followed that when the inquest verdict in 2000 cleared the way for the Alder family to go ahead with a public funeral for Christopher in  November 2000 it would be an event that commemorated Christopher properly and give the family some sense of closure.  Not so.  In 2011 Christopher’s body was discovered in a Hull morgue; the wrong body having been sent to the funeral in 2000.  The body of Grace Kamara, aged 77, had been sent instead.  The body swap could not have been accidental but no-one has been charged with anything in relation to this prevention of a lawful burial.

Not only was the alleged racist motivation of some of those involved in the burial process not followed up, but also it emerged that Christopher’s body whilst in storage between 2000 and 2011 had been exhibited to police trainees when they went to the mortuary as part of their training.  No-one has been charged in relation to this.  It also became clear that the non-burial of Christopher’s body was known as a fact or a rumour to a number of people in Hull, including some who were of enough standing to have blown the whistle and got the whole issue exposed.  The body swap only came to light because the family of Grace Kamara insisted on seeing the body before burial.

Another outrage that came to light in 2011 was the fact that was admitted by Humberside police that Janet Alder and some of her supporters had been under surveillance during the inquest in 2000.

Police disciplinary proceedings are pending on this, but no criminal charges have been brought against them for treating a grieving relative at an inquest like a criminal suspect.

The injustice of Christopher Alder’s death in the custody of Humberside police is still unresolved, as are the injustices visited on Janet Alder in her campaign for Justice:-

  • The cover-up of evidence
  • The flawed police investigations
  • The failed prosecution by the CPS
  • The institutional racism of the CPS in their dealings with Janet
  • The swapping of Christopher’s body (probably at the morgue)
  • The surveillance of Janet and her supporters
  • The failure to identify racism in individuals and institutional racism in all the organisations dealing with the case.All these are still unresolved issues, which is why the 20th Anniversary of Christopher’s death will be commemorated by a protest gathering at 1pm on Saturday 31st March 2018 ( Easter Saturday).

NO JUSTICE                 NO PEACE

This entry was posted in Yorkshire.

In conversation with Mustapha Benfodil

In conversation with Mustapha Benfodil.  

Time and venue: 5.10pm Wednesday 7 March in Quaker Hall, Quaker Meeting House, 188 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9DX (300 m up Woodhouse Lane from Parkinson Steps – note new location off campus) 

French at Leeds and International Writers at Leeds are delighted to welcome the Algerian journalist, writer and visual artist Mustapha Benfodil, who will read from some of his poetry, novels and journalism in English translation. These readings will be followed by a discussion in English and French facilitated by interpreters.  

Born in the western Algerian city of Relizane in 1968, Mustapha Benfodil is one of Algeria’s most prominent journalists, working for the leading daily newspaper, El Watan, recently the subject of a documentary (Contre-pouvoirs) by Malek Bensmaïl (2016). Mustapha Benfodil is part of an emerging generation of avant-garde Algerian writers and artists of the post-civil war era and is known for his blending of the boundaries between literature, art and political activism.

His novels include Zarta! (Barzakh, 2000), Les Bavardages du Seul (Barzakh 2003) – winner of the prize for the best Algerian novel in 2004 – and Archéologie du chaos [amoureux] (Barzakh, 2007; published in France by Al Dante, 2012). He is the author of five plays, including Clandestinopolis (2005; staged at the Avant-scène théâtre, Paris, 2008); Les Borgnes (2011); and Le Point de Vue de la Mort (Al Dante, 2013). Mustapha has also published in book form his experiences as war reporter in Iraq: Les six derniers jours de Baghdad: journal d’un voyage de guerre (2003). An English translation of his poetry is forthcoming in 2018 (Cocktail Kafaïne). This year also sees the publication of L’AntiLivre that maps the social and political evolution of Algeria over several decades based on Mustapha’s personal diaries. 

For more information about this event, please contact Dr. Jim House: j.r.house@leeds.ac.uk

This entry was posted in Leeds, Research.

CGD / POLIS seminar – Prof Stephen Brown on aid effectiveness

Centre for Global Development / POLIS Research Seminar

 

“Applying the Aid Effectiveness Principles: Experiences from Mali, Ghana and Ethiopia”

Prof. Stephen Brown, University of Ottawa

 

Date: Monday, 26th Feb 2018

 

Location: Social Sciences Building 10.05, 4pm-5.30pm

 

—–

Abstract: In 2005, foreign aid donors and recipients formally endorsed a few basic but far-reaching principles that had the potential to revolutionize global development cooperation. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness – with its emphasis on putting recipients in the proverbial driver’s seat, donors aligning their aid with recipients’ national development strategies and harmonizing among themselves – promised to transform the way donors and recipients worked together, especially how they designed and implemented aid, in the interest of greater effectiveness. Using the cases of Mali, Ghana and Ethiopia, I address the following questions: To what extent have the Paris Principles been applied? What explains this degree of commitment? What has been the effect on the donor-recipient relationship? What do these findings suggest regarding the future of the Aid Effectiveness Agenda?

—–

Stephen Brown is a professor of political science at the University of Ottawa and currently a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Advanced Studies. His research focuses mainly on the intersection of the policies and practices of Northern countries and other international

For further information, please contact Dr. Simon Lightfoot s.j.lightfoot@leeds.ac.uk

This entry was posted in Leeds, Research, Seminars.

LUCAS Postgraduate Race workshop

LUCAS Postgraduate Race Workshop 

Monday 5 February, 5-7pm, Workshop Theatre

DO YOU IDENTIFY AS A BLACK AND/OR AFRICAN POSTGRADUATE STUDYING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF LEEDS IN THE FACULTIES OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND CULTURES AND EDUCATION OR IN SOCIAL SCIENCES AND LAW?

WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN MEETING WITH OTHERS FROM A SIMILAR BACKGROUND TO DISCUSS THE POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF YOUR EXPERIENCE AT LEEDS IN A FRIENDLY, CONFIDENTIAL SETTING?

LUCAS (Leeds University Centre for African Studies) is conducting confidential research into the experiences of black and/or African post-graduates studying at the University and would like to invite you to a workshop/discussion as co-investigators to understand how well you feel you are supported, academically and pastorally, while studying in Leeds. To begin this process we are inviting you to a two hour workshop on

Monday 5th February, from 5-7pm in the Workshop Theatre.

The workshop will give you an opportunity to meet others in different Schools, to exchange views, take part in some ice-breaking workshop activities, discuss and partake of some light refreshments. Nothing said in the workshop will be recorded and it will be entirely confidential. It will also be up to those attending to decide if further meetings or activities will be helpful. LUCAS staff; Richard Borowski, Jane Plastow, Akin Iwilade and Winnie Bedigen will be working with you to facilitate open and productive debate.

If you would like to attend there is no need to register, just turn up on the day. However, if you would like to ask anything more about the workshop feel free to email Jane Plastow at j.e.plastow@leeds.ac.uk.

The Workshop Theatre is just near the main entrance to the University on Woodhouse Lane (number 61 on the campus map). As you come in at the side of the Parkinson steps the first building on the other side of the road is a large ex-church, The Emmanuel Institute. The next building as you walk into the campus is what looks like a smaller stone church but over the door it says WORKSHOP THEATRE. Come in and go upstairs to the first floor studio. (Don’t worry it’s not an acting session!)

ALL WELCOME

This entry was posted in Leeds, LUCAS, Workshop.

LUCAS Spring Seminar series 2018

 

Professor Birgit Meyer (Utrecht) – ‘Studying Religion in and from Africa’.

[Co-sponsor – Centre for Religion and Public Life]

Thursday 25 January, 5pm, Parkinson Building B.09

 

 

David Clayton (York), ‘Development and

Decolonisation? Radio Broadcasting in Northern Rhodesia, 1942-1953’

Monday 5 February, 5pm, Michael Sadler Building 311

 

Akin Iwilade (LUCAS), ‘Everyday youth mobilisations in the Nigerian oil delta’

Friday 2 March, 5pm, Michael Sadler Building 311

 

Branwyn Poleykett (Cambridge), ‘Visual materials and public health in Africa: Healing, Holism and the Image World of Senegalese Hygiene’

This has been cancelled – we hope to rearrange this in the Autumn 2018 term at a date TBC – apologies

 

Winnie Bedigen (Leeds), ‘Youth (Monyomiji) and Conflict Resolution in South Sudan’

Tuesday 24 April, 5pm, Michael Sadler Building LG.17

http://lucas.leeds.ac.uk/events/

For more details, or to join the LUCAS mailing list, please contact   african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

 

This entry was posted in LUCAS, Seminars.

Cfp: ASAUK – African Literature stream

Call for proposals for papers or panels to the ASAUK 2018 conference (11-13 September 2018, University of Birmingham UK). The conference celebrates the diversity and interdisciplinarity of the study of Africa.

The deadline for submitting abstracts and proposals is 16 February 2018.

Rachel Bower (Leeds) is co-convening a literature stream with Jared Zimbler (University of Birmingham): http://www.asauk.net/african-literature-communities-collaborations-crafts-crossings/– they would love to read your proposals.

STREAM: AFRICAN LITERATURE: COMMUNITIES, COLLABORATIONS, CRAFTS & CROSSINGS

Jared and Rachel would like to invite panels and papers which consider the ways in which literary works and their authors have moved within, across, into and out of Africa’s literary environments and domains. We seek to consider national, pan-African and transnational collaborations (and conflicts), as well as connections between different located literary communities, whilst seeking to address literary practices and materials, as well as the technologies and institutions of production by which they are governed and from which they emerge. One of the aims of this stream is to facilitate an exploration of the relevance to scholars of African verbal arts of recent attempts to theorize literary production and circulation at scales other than the national.

There is more information about the CFP and how to register/ submit abstracts/ panel proposals here: http://www.asauk.net/call-for-papers-and-panels-asauk-2018-now-open/

 

This entry was posted in Conferences, Research.

CfP: Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures

 

CALL FOR PAPERS

Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures”

Three-day International Conference

31 August – 2 September 2018 – University of Leeds

At a time when new dynamics are emerging around the issues of justice (transitional, reparative, etc.), mourning and commemoration in Africa and its diaspora, the conference “Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures” seeks to consider the current historical conjuncture and the extent to which it reveals new questions about memory in the historical, temporal and social contexts of slavery and imperialism. For example, how do the growing calls for reparations and the urge to restructure or challenge the politics of commemoration within imperialist societies point to the emergence of new “conceptual-ideological problem-spaces” (Scott, Conscripts of Modernity) in how African-Atlantic postcolonial communities engage with historical memory? How will an analysis of these dynamics, of the gaps they point to, and of the urgencies they highlight, foster new understandings of the stakes that the particular memories of slavery and imperialism bear within the spaces marked by this history, including the imperialist societies themselves?

In tackling these questions, we wish to consider the valences of performance in the contemporary moment and the extent to which they are cross-fertilising and mediating the most urgent issues in Africa-Atlantic memory. We wish to reflect on how spaces and modes of performance – including, but not limited to, theatre, dance, literary texts, music, visual art and sports – are being used to energise both the particular and the entangled concerns of aesthetics, politics and epistemology within the memories linked to African-Atlantic colonialism and slavery. Are contemporary performances of memory, particularly those that point to African and Afro-diasporic alternatives to Euro-Western modes and models, reflecting historico-political and cognitive shifts in how the relationship between African-Atlantic pasts, presents and futures is conceived?

The three-day international conference “Memory and Performance in African-Atlantic Futures” seeks to approach these issues from a vigorously cross-/inter-disciplinary perspective. We invite scholars, artists, curators and other professionals within fields as varied as literature, theatre and the performing arts, visual art, history, law, anthropology, cultural studies, to engage in a conversation around the dynamics of memory within the historical framework of African-Atlantic slavery and colonialism and the political, aesthetic and epistemological specificities that they engage in the current moment. We hope to underscore how these dynamics, too often overlooked in the critical and theoretical sites of memory studies, are currently shaping, reshaping and (re)mediating the global flows of memory.

We propose two main axes of investigation:

Shapes and forms of memory

How do we think the forms and effects of the enfleshed, material memories of slavery, colonialism and their afterlives and the ways in which these are enlisted in the spaces of performance, be they physical (theatre, dance, ritual, oral performance, etc.) or textual (the different performative manifestations of the written word)?

This question necessarily involves a consideration of how African diaspora time-senses fashion modes of performance of memory and how oral and ritual performance forms impact, shape, record and encode memory in the context of colonial violence. Can African and diasporic forms of embodied memory become tools that combat imperialism? How can the performance of post-slavery/ post-Empire memory shed new light on Western theories of memory that emerge from Holocaust studies or on Western theories of haunting, trauma and mourning?

Epistemologies of memory

What challenges do African diasporic modes of memory bring to Euro-Western epistemologies of justice, History, and the human? How does postcolonial memory call into question the social deployment of memory within the nation and across nations? At a time when the movement for reparations for slavery in the African diaspora is achieving unprecedented momentum, we invite contributions that question settled understandings of the triad of time, history and justice and those that address postcolonial engagements with memory through “corrective” performance practices of justice, “truth-telling” and witnessing. Additionally, in considering institutional marginalization, suppression, and exclusion of postcolonial memories, we seek contributions about practices that challenge the order of remembrance in official commemorations, museums, schools, archives and discourses.

 

Papers may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

·      media and memory

·      institutions of memory

·      performance of memory

·      memory and the law

·      memory and reparations

·      memory and colonial enlightenment

·      memory and ‘the human’

·      new ‘problem-spaces’ and memory

·      memory and futures

·      decolonising memory

·      decolonising the museum

·      decolonising the curriculum

·      citation as a politics of memory

 

Presentations should last no longer than 20 minutes.

Submission Guidelines

 

Abstracts in English of no more than 300 words should be sent to afroatlanticfutures@gmail.com by Friday, 2 March 2018. Please send abstracts in PDF or Word format, accompanied by the title of the paper and a short biography. ­­­­­­

 

The organising committee will communicate acceptance decisions no later than 9 March 2018. Please consult the conference website (https://www.africanatlantic.net/) where further details will be posted.

 

Conference Convener

Dr. Jason Allen-Paisant (University of Leeds)

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Dr. Louise Bernard (Museum of the Obama Presidential Center)

Prof. Lubaina Himid (University of Central Lancashire)

Prof. Tavia Nyong’o (Yale University)

Enquiries should be addressed to Dr. Jason Allen-Paisant (J.Allen1@leeds.ac.uk)

 

This entry was posted in Conferences, Leeds, Research.

POLIS seminar with Winnifred Bedigen – 16 November 2017

 

As part of the University of Leeds School of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) research seminar series, you are warmly invited to a presentation by Dr Winifred Bedigen (University of Leeds):

 

Title:                     Understanding Empowerment through a Cultural Theory Lens: Women in the Horn of Africa

Date:                    Thursday 16th November

Time:                    4.15 – 5.45pm

Location:             Social Sciences Building 14.33

 

This paper seeks to clarify some of the misunderstood issues in current African women’s empowerment and development messaging. Some western scholars, by theorising women’s empowerment through western lenses, have found African women to be distinctively different, and yet have gone ahead to design and implement empowerment programs regardless. Others, though, point to high levels of women’s marginalisation in the Sub-Saharan region and the urgency to act. These are efforts to increase women’s involvement in peace and development work as they have become more mainstreamed by international institutions like the United Nations (UN), World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). This work explores African (the Horn) socio-cultural versions and emphases on women’s empowerment, pointing to their strengths, weaknesses, and what these might mean for policy and development practice.

This entry was posted in Seminars.

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