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

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Working Formats

The Knowledge Lab (KL) provides the cluster with a portfolio of formats at the outset, to be developed and expanded in the course of ongoing research and debate. This pragmatic approach will allow formats to be tailored to suit specific projects and their needs, including those of research partnerships. Alongside classical academic lectures and seminars interactive formats are developed. Performances and other artistic production form part of the KL’s portfolio, along with joint writing and reading sessions, the method studio, policy relevant formats, and clashing theory seminars.

The Digital Research Environment (DRE) under construction will progressively allow for virtual participation in ongoing sessions as well as access to archived lecture and seminars. Lectures will be livestreamed and archived, while selected seminars may be streamed as webinars, and live workshop sessions are offered online. The DRE thus enables all cluster members’ continuous access to its activities and working formats.

In addition to the numerous activities organised and carried out within the cluster’s Research Sections (RS), such as guest lectures, workshops, and seminars, the KL offers two core meeting formats: the cluster’s colloquium, which meets weekly during term-time, and a two-day retreat at the end of each term. Thematically, the colloquium alternates between the three fora (Theory, Reflexive African Studies, and Methodology), and lectures offered by each of the Research Sections, short seminars and readings focussed on the cluster topics. The two-day retreat concluding the colloquium at the end of each term enables participants to learn more about each other’s research, deepen their understanding and push ongoing debates forward.

The Knowledge Lab (KL) is also designed to be the locus of flexible, decentralised meeting formats. Such meetings take place ad hoc on the initiative of members, and are either self-organised or organised at their request. They support in particular early career researchers in developing skills in research, academic writing and publishing, as well as clarifying project-related issues, for which external lecturers may be invited.

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