International Conference: The Cluster of Excellence welcomes its network partners in Bayreuth
From October 30 to 31 2019, the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence will host the international conference “Africa Multiple: Conversations and Building Networks” at the University of Bayreuth inviting all its network partners to a valuable exchange. Topics will include 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 two-day conference will be preceded by the award ceremony for the BIGSAS Journalist Award while a special concert will conclude the event on Thursday evening.
When the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence started its operations in January 2019 it has set out to develop a special approach to the study of heterogeneous and mutually influential African ways of life and world-making. Based at the University of Bayreuth, the cluster is conceived as a large network of research partners in Africa and beyond with the paramount goal of creating synergies in research and the production and transfer of knowledge. At the end of October, representatives of these network institutions will come together in Bayreuth for the first time in an international conference hosted by the Cluster of Excellence.
Cluster Network comprises esteemed partner institutions
At the core of the Cluster’s network there are four universities that have been selected as locations for the Cluster’s African Cluster Centers: the Université Joseph Ki-Zerbo (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso), Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya), the University of Lagos (Nigeria) and Rhodes University (Makhanda/Grahamstown, South Africa). Other 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).
Starting conversations within the Cluster
The conference taking place on October 30 to 31, 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.
Award ceremony and concert framing the conference
The conference will be preceded by the award ceremony of the coveted BIGSAS Journalist Award on October 29 and conclude with a celebratory closing event – a fusion concert featuring renowned musicians from three continents at the impressive Margravial Opera House in Bayreuth, a UNESCO world heritage site. (sg)