International Conference - “Africa Multiple: Conversations and Building Networks”
October 30-31, 2019 (with BIGSAS Journalist Award, October 29, 2019 - see link below)
Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, University of Bayreuth
The Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, established at the University of Bayreuth in January 2019, takes a new approach to the study of heterogeneous and mutually influential African ways of life and world-making by focusing on the multi-directional and multi-layered processes of relating in which they emerge. It is based on a new conceptual framework that foregrounds multiplicity and relationality in order to rethink notions of diversity, plurality, and connectivity, thus shifting the focus from diverse, discrete entities that have connections towards the continuous relational processes involved in their continuous production and reproduction. As the main concepts of the Africa Multiple Cluster, multiplicity and relationality raise questions about knowledge production in a wide range of themes and contexts, connected with different interests and priorities.
Although based at the University of Bayreuth, the cluster is conceived as a large network of research partners in Africa and beyond. While some institutions have been partners of the Institute of African Studies at the University of Bayreuth or of the Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies for a long time, fostering cooperation in research, joint activities, and the training of young researchers, others have joined the cluster only recently. The latter include four universities that have been selected as locations for our African Cluster Centers: the University of Lagos (Nigeria), Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya) and Rhodes University (Grahamstown, SA). They will contribute to the cluster’s agenda in substantial ways, participating in the development of concepts, theories and methods while defining research questions that are of relevance in different contexts. Other preferred partners of the cluster include the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), the Point Sud Centre for Research on Local Knowledge, the Collaborative Research Centre “Future Rural Africa” (Universities of Cologne and Bonn, Germany), the Merian Institute for Advanced Studies in Africa (University of Ghana, Legon), the research center Les Afriques dans le Monde (LAM) in Bordeaux (France), the African Studies Program at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN, USA), and the Centro de Estudos Afro-Orientais (CEAO) at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (Salvador de Bahia, Brazil).
The conference planned for October 30-21, 2019 is designed as a venue to start conversations between representatives from the various institutions that form part of the cluster’s network. The themes selected for the conversations are high on the cluster’s agenda and also at the heart of debates in African Studies today: the premises of knowledge production, African Studies and the question of diasporas, gender and diversity in African Studies, and African Studies in the digital age. The format will first offer a platform for exchange between a presenter and two discussants and subsequently open the conversation to the audience, with the objective of fostering exchange between different disciplinary approaches as well as between the partners of the cluster’s network.
The conference will be preceded by the award ceremony of the coveted BIGSAS Journalist Award on October 29 and conclude with a closing event where we celebrate the cluster together with our guests and a fusion concert featuring musicians from three continents.
Tuesday, October 29 (Campus, RW II, H24 & Foyer)
18:00 - 19:30 BIGSAS Journalist Award
Wednesday, October 30 (Campus, RW II, H24 & Foyer)
9:00 - 10:30 Opening and Welcome
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 13:00 Conversations Part 1: Premises of Knowledge Production
13:00 - 14:30 Break
14:30 - 16:30 Conversations Part 2: African Studies and the Question of Diasporas
16:30 - 17:00 Break
17:00 - 18:00 Keynote
Thursday, October 31 (Campus, RW II, H24 & Foyer)
9:00 - 11:00 Conversations Part 3: Gender & Diversity in African Studies
11:00 - 11:30 Break
11:30 - 13:30 Conversations Part 4: African Studies in the Digital Age
13:30 - 14:30 Break
Closing Event: Celebrating the Cluster, Margravial Opera House
19:00 - 20:00 Opening Addresses
20:00 Fusion Concert