Tuesday, April 5, 2016

African Studies Initiative Inaugural Public Symposium: Rethinking African Studies

The African Studies Initiative (ASI), a University of Minnesota Title VI African Studies National Resource Center funded by the U.S. Department of Education, will host an inaugural public symposium on the topic Rethinking African Studies at the University of Minnesota, April 7–8, 2016. The Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change (ICGC) will cosponsor.
The symposium will take place Thursday, April 7 in the InFlux Space, Regis Center for Art and Friday, April 8 in 120 Andersen Library. Please register using button above - attendance is free but registration is strongly encouraged!

Our intent in this symposium is to deconstruct and to pluralize the idea of “Africa” that subtends both African Studies as such and Africanist scholarship in the humanities and social sciences, as these fields are conceived in the U.S. academy today.

Equally important, we seek to deconstruct and to pluralize the notion of “study” that informs African Studies in the United States:  that is, to consider how we might decolonize the intellectual geography of Africa in the U.S. university by shifting away from constructions of knowledge about Africa, transacted largely through the epistemological eye of the global North, toward more dynamic co-creations of knowledge with African scholars and African scholarship.

This ASI inaugural public symposium will bring together faculty and students across many disciplines—within and beyond African Studies, the ASI and ICGC communities, and the University of Minnesota and other institutions—to engage transformative work.  We will consider the challenges posed to African Studies by questions of form and context, by the critique of history and of other forms of disciplinary reason, by postcolonial approaches, and by theory from the South.
For more information, please visit http://africa.umn.edu
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