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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Working Papers

The Cluster encourages publications with our international partners. Please see an open list of journals and series here.

We would like to invite researchers interested in establishing or enhancing connections with Brazil and the African Diaspora in Latin America to consider submitting an article to Afro-Ásia.

The Africa Multiple Cluster also publishes a Working Paper series, being part of the IAS working paper series:

Africa Multiple connects 6: "Doing ethics. An outline of a constructivist and phenomenological approach of ...Hide

Situated at the crossroads of pragmatics and interactional linguistics, the aim of the present working paper is to sketch a theoretical framework that is able to capture the linguistic and communicative facets of everyday moralities. Based on a phenomenological, constructivist and dynamic understanding which is informed by recent sociological and anthropological research, the case is made that moralities are best conceptualized as an interactional achievement, in other words, as ‘doing ethics’. Moreover, it is argued that communication plays a major role in doing ethics. Hence, moralities are explored in relation with language. The focus is on everyday moral communication and, in particular, on the verbal means and communicative practices conventionally used to signal moral meanings. The main purpose is to flesh out a conceptualization of doing ethics which opens up this domain for pragmatic and interactional approaches. Thus, theoretical considerations are prevalent in the working paper.

Drescher, Martina:
Doing ethics. An outline of a constructivist and phenomenological approach of moral communication.
ed.: Löhr, Doris ; Ayeko-Kümmeth, Jane . Institute of African Studies
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2024 . - VI, 16 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 49 ) (Africa Multiple connects ; 6)

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Africa Multiple connects 5: "Live as African : On the Relevance of Thomas Sankara’s Agenda for Economic Liberation"Hide

Abstract in English/ French

"We must accept to live as African – that is the only way to live free and dignified", said the late Thomas Sankara in his famous 1987 speech at the Organization of African Unity. "Live as African", beyond summarizing Sankara's political and ethical vision, draws an agenda for economic liberation articulated around the ideal of self-sufficiency understood both as freedom from external domination and as capacity to self-determination through reliance first and foremost on one’s own resources. In this article, I argue that this agenda is the only one sustainable both for African peoples and for the Planet once it is realized that peoples from the periphery as a whole will never be able to achieve the same consumption/waste levels as peoples in the center, as global South thinkers Celso Furtado and Samir Amin demonstrated some decades ago. Since then, a growing literature has shown why the Western development “model”, due to its ecological exceptionalism, is simply not reproducible elsewhere and why the promise of economic catch-up is illusory. Building on these findings and on the importance and implications of monetary sovereignty, I will elaborate on the principles of a Sankara-inspired economic model that could deliver a free and dignified life to all.

"Nous devons accepter de vivre africain - c'est la seule façon de vivre libre et digne", avait déclaré feu Thomas Sankara dans son célèbre discours de 1987 à l'Organisation de l'Unité Africaine. "Vivre Africain", au-delà de résumer la vision politique et éthique de Sankara, dessine un agenda de libération économique articulé autour de l'idéal de l'autosuffisance, comprise à la fois comme la liberté vis-à-vis de la domination extérieure et comme la capacité à s'autodéterminer en comptant d'abord et avant tout sur ses propres ressources. Dans cet article, je soutiens que cet agenda est le seul qui soit durable à la fois pour les peuples africains et pour la planète, une fois que l'on a réalisé que les peuples de la périphérie pris collectivement ne seront jamais capables d'atteindre les mêmes niveaux de consommation/gaspillage que les peuples du centre, comme les penseurs du Sud global Celso Furtado et Samir Amin l'ont démontré il y a quelques décennies. Depuis lors, une littérature croissante a montré pourquoi le "modèle" de développement occidental, en raison de son exceptionnalisme écologique, n'est tout simplement pas reproductible ailleurs et pourquoi la promesse d'un rattrapage économique est illusoire. Partant de ces résultats et de l'importance et des implications de la souveraineté monétaire, je vais esquisser les principes d'un modèle économique inspiré de Sankara qui pourrait offrir à tous une vie libre et digne.

Sylla, Ndongo Samba:
Live as African : On the Relevance of Thomas Sankara’s Agenda for Economic Liberation.
ed.: Löhr, Doris ; Ayeko-Kümmeth, Jane . Institute of African Studies
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2022 . - VII, 19 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 33 ) (Africa Multiple connects; 5)

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Africa Multiple connects 4: "Une étude comparative des discours sur le Covid-19 en Côte d'Ivoire et au Cameroun ...Hide

This paper presents the first results of a research project that focuses on the moral dimension of health discourse. With the emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020, we focused on the communication accompanying the evolution of the pandemic in two French-speaking African countries: Cameroon and Côte d'Ivoire. Based on data consisting of interviews, focus group discussions and media discourses collected on site between May and November 2020, our article studies the imaginary of the new disease from its discursive construction. It is based on the hypothesis that, firstly, the discourse on Covid-19 is grafted onto an imaginary that already exists in the collective consciousness by reactivating elements of a previous epi- or pandemic discourse and, secondly, that this discourse has a strong moral content. We focused on the issue of vaccines, which were still in the development phase at the time, as they were at the centre of many controversies and often provoked highly moral reactions. Using a pragmatic-discursive approach that employs qualitative analyses, we examined how Ivorians and Cameroonians position themselves in relation to what is right and wrong and how they make moral judgements about the actions and behaviour of others. This pilot study shows that the discursive practices observed in the different formats collected in the two countries are very similar. Moreover, the cross-sectional views on Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon, as well as the comparison with other pandemic discourses, enhance both a relational and multiple perspective while contributing to the question of how Africa lives and perceives this health crisis triggered by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Drescher, Martina ; Boukari, Oumarou ; Ngawa Mbaho, Carline Liliane:
Une étude comparative des discours sur le Covid-19 en Côte d'Ivoire et au Cameroun beaucoup de peur et de questionnement.
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2022 . - IV, 29 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 29 ) (Africa Multiple connects ; 4)

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Africa Multiple connects 3: "COVID-19 and (Im)mobilities in West Africa"Hide


This study examines recent developments of mobility patterns in West Africa within the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A broad understanding of mobilities is applied to account for mobilities of people, goods and capital likewise. The aim is to track changes in mobility patterns caused by the pandemic and by institutional responses to the latter. The study may herein serve to encourage more in depth and comprehensive studies of the new (im)mobilities and the regimes that shape them. Embedding the subject of mobility changes into the political-economic framework of the networks of global capitalism and taking a perspective on the formative regimes, we develop first suppositions on how to apply the concept of (im)mobility regimes to assess the newly manifested (im)mobilisations. To shed light on the bigger picture of recent developments in Western Africa, this study tackles a wide range of mobility-related topics. At first, the epidemiological situation as well as the local testing regimes are analysed in order to assess the extent to which the pandemic is scientifically captured in Western Africa in contrast to other regions. By then providing a systematic outline of the lockdown policies of the individual ECOWAS member states, a first approach to the formative regimes can be given. The manifest new (im)mobilities of people are then evaluated with a focus on public transport, migratory movements and public air travel. Thereafter, the (im)mobilities of goods are discussed with a special focus on maritime freight mobilities. Finally, (im)mobilities of capital are dealt with in order to address changes and constants in the context of COVID-19, for example in the realm of remittances. Overall, this provides a first basis for a multi-dimensional understanding of the emerging phenomena in the ECOWAS region.

Breuer, Andras ; Doevenspeck, Martin ; Donko, Kamal ; Ouedraogo, Serge:
COVID-19 and (Im)mobilities in West Africa.
Hrsg.: Maurus, Sabrina
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2021 . - XIV, 153 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 26 ) (Africa Multiple connects ; 3)

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Africa Multiple connects 2: "African Studies and the Question of Diasporas"Hide


The concept Diaspora applied to Africa is a misnomer of sorts, bearing in mind that Africa was the original home of the oldest human beings. Science has discussed how the earlier waves of emigrant Africans (humans originally domiciled in Africa) have adapted to their environment, becoming various shades as melanin presence dictated. Later groups are in India, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, the Americas: black skinned, flat nose, but with various forms of stretchered out hair. These earlier groups are not called, technically, Diaspora. Only recent migrants to the West, Europe, Asia Minor, Asia and the Americas are called Diaspora: they migrated voluntarily for various reasons or they were forced out of Africa as captives. Part of the challenges that African Studies instigate are fraught because of (a) the participation of continental Africans in slavery wars in Eastern, Central Africa, Northern and Central Africa; (b) the Middle Passage of the Atlantic and the Sahara/Pacific; (c) the empty baggage syndrome and epistemicide and, (d) the Willie Lunch Syndrome of Divide and Conquer exemplified in Obama phenomenon. African studies writ large must then encompass (a) Repairing the Breach; (b) Recovering the Heritage - Calypso, Blues and Jazz, Reggae, Rastafari, Sports; (c) Restoring Indigenous Knowledge Systems by erasing epistemicide and (d) Restoring the African humanity. These efforts must be multi/inter disciplinary and encompass all domains of human intellectual theory and practice. Recovering the human intellectual traditions and knowledge systems of continental and Diasporas would be a treasure trove of ideas to solve many of the challenges faced by humanity today; this will require transcending what Claude Ake has dubbed “Social Science as Imperialism”. In this essay, I attempt to sketch what would constitute a more appropriate, historiographically accurate and globally judicious understanding of African Studies that is holistic. My goal is to sketch an African Studies that is not segmented on the basis of the agendas of exogenous forces bent on decimating global African peoples, by playing diverse groups against each other, but one which recognizes the continuity of human heritage as primarily African heritage writ large, and one which recognizes that the African Diasporas, recent and classical, are all continuous with Africa feeding and renewing the world with humanity by virtue of being the original home of humanity. This calls for so many different approaches, but primary being the complete overhaul of the current curricula used to programme the minds of humanity, especially those emanating from European climes, to persist in negro-gaze: the objectification and exoticization of Africa and peoples of Africa globally, thereby derogating their humanities and agencies.

Bewaji, John Ayotunde (Tunde) Isola:
African Studies and the Question of Diasporas.
Hrsg.: Maurus, Sabrina . Institute of African Studies
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2021 . - VI, 16 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 25 ) (Africa Multiple connects ; 2)

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Africa Multiple connects 1: "Figuring out how to Reconfigure African Studies"Hide


This Working Paper is the revised transcript of the New Year Lecture by the dean of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bayreuth, which won the coveted funding of the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Government. The agenda of reconfiguring African Studies features not only in the lecture title, but is also prominent in the cluster's agenda. However, drafting a successful proposal is one thing; implementing the agenda is another. The paper explores the various layers, levels, and intricacies implied in the reconfiguration of African Studies, and also highlights the conceptual shift required to steer the study of Africa in new directions.

Seesemann, Rüdiger:
Figuring out how to Reconfigure African Studies.
Institute of African Studies
Bayreuth, Germany : Institute of African Studies , 2020 . - V, 15 S. - (University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers ; 24 ) (Africa Multiple Connects; 1)

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For more information, please click here.Hide

As the Working Paper Series of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, Africa Multiple connects offers a forum for research conducted and presented by researchers affiliated to the Cluster. The series also accommodates papers such as invited lectures, workshop contributions, or conference papers submitted by the Cluster’s guests and visiting scholars.

Established in January 2019 through the Excellence Strategy of the German Federal and State Governments, and building on a long record in African Studies at the University of Bayreuth, the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence pursues an innovative agenda as expressed in its subtitle, Reconfiguring African Studies. The Cluster hosts almost one hundred fifty scholars from three continents, who represent a diverse range of academic disciplines and pursue joint research interests together with partner institutions in Africa, Germany, Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Our understanding of the reconfiguration of African Studies focuses on stimulating new theore­tical approaches and includes the creation of new forms of academic collaboration. The Cluster develops and pursues research questions and theory-building in collaborative interdisciplinary projects, most notably those conducted with our African Cluster Centres (ACCs) at the Universi­ties of Lagos (Nigeria), Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Burkina Faso), Moi (Kenya), and Rhodes (South Africa).

Our key concepts are multiplicity, relationality, and reflexivity. We employ them to capture the dynamic interrelationship of diversity and entanglement that characterize African and African diasporic ways of life and world-making.

Africa Multiple connects complements the existing Working Paper sub-series published under the umbrella of the University of Bayreuth African Studies Working Papers: academy reflects, the sub-series featuring research by fellows and postdoc working groups of the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies, which is now part of the Africa Multiple Cluster; and BIGSASworks!, the platform for publishing research-related articles and edited volumes by Junior Fellows of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).

Contributions to the Working Papers can be submitted to the directly to the managing editor of the series Africa Multiple connects Dr. Doris Löhr.

For more information please contact  africamultiple-international@uni-bayreuth.de

Webmaster: Dr. Doris Löhr-Broß

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