UT Africa
2015

Social Movements, Religion
& Political Expression in Africa

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VENUE | The University of Texas at Austin
HOSTS | Toyin Falola, Ben Weiss, Bisola Falola

Overview

The 2015 UT Africa Conference generated interdisciplinary insights that interrogated development paradigms and intervention practices as they relate to urban space and human rights in Africa. The papers submitted examined how development, urban space, and human rights are linked with struggles to access secure and stable livelihoods; efforts to claim rights to cities and urban spaces and extend these rights beyond citizenship, ethnicity, and age; and interventions that aim to transform Africa’s development trajectory in ways that account for both social and spatial relations.

These topics are particularly timely as protests in and over urban spaces have brought attention to the need to question and rethink development strategies for Africa, and to examine all perspectives whether indigenously derived, diasporically framed, or externally influenced/imposed.

UT Africa Conference 2015

How do notions of development and human rights shape urban space in Africa?

UT AFRICA
2014

African Disaporas | Old and New

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VENUE | The University of Texas at Austin
CONVENERS | Toyin Falola, Cacee Hoyer, and Danielle Sanchez

Overview

The 2014 UT Africa conference on African Diasporas: Old and New explored topics concerning Africa and Africans throughout the world from both historical and contemporary approaches. The conference brought together a vast array of scholars on a variety of academic levels to discuss the complex experiences of African descended peoples across the globe.

Conference papers examined questions such as: What is the African Diaspora? How are old and new diasporas discussed in a variety of disciplines? How can we conceptualize the African Diaspora? What is the role of the African Diaspora in modern politics? How do various groups within old and new African diasporas conceptualize themselves in relation to others? How do diasporic voices shape conceptualizations of individual and collective identities? What will the African diaspora look like in the future?
UT Africa Conference 2014

What is the African Diaspora?

UT AFRICA
2013

Social Movements, Religion &
Political Expression in Africa

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VENUE | The University of Texas at Austin
CONVENERS | Toyin Falola, Lady Jane Acquah, and Ryan Groves

Overview

The 2013 UT Africa conference examined Social Movements, Religions, and Political Expressions in Africa. Africa is among the most socially and culturally diverse continents in the world and has traditionally been an economic and cultural highway between Europe and the Middle East. In addition to thousands of ethnic groups and languages, Africa is also a melting pot of world religions, resulting in emergent faiths and new interpretations of established religious beliefs and practices. Furthermore, events since decolonization have shown that Africa is in a constant state of redefinition, with protest, dissent, and revolution a standard in political, cultural and social spaces.

Therefore, the goal of the conference was to generate an interdisciplinary dialogue about the historical and contemporary roles of Africa in fostering social, cultural, and political change within the borders of its individual countries, throughout the continent, and around the world. The conference also engaged in a dialogue about the concept of social movements, their evolution through history, and their implications for modern political, social and cultural issues. Call for Papers

Expressions of Dissent and Protest in Africa

UT AFRICA
2012

Poverty and Empowerment in Africa

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VENUE | The University of Texas at Austin
CONVENERES | Toyin Falola, Sylvester Gundona , and Tosin Funmi Abiodun

Overview

This conference focused on Poverty and Empowerment in Africa, and it was the12th annual Africa conference at the University of Texas at Austin.

Africa is among the most resourceful continents in the world and yet the least developed compared to other continents.  This has not always been the case historically as many pre-colonial formations had successful agrarian and market economies that delivered food and services. When and how did things begin to go wrong? Today, the scourge of poverty remains an entrenched reality, majority of inhabitants in some places struggle to make a living. The model of empowering Africa to dig out of this quagmire remains elusive. Against this background the thrust of this interdisciplinary conference was to engage scholars to reflect on the historical and contemporary issues of poverty, poverty alleviation, and empowerment.  The conference also generated dialogue and incited meaningful debates on the conceptualization of poverty and empowerment. Was Africa and poverty conceived in the same ‘womb’? Or is it the case that Africa ‘betrothed’ poverty.  In what ways and with what level of success has a resourceful Africa over time empowered its citizenry?  What has been the bane and ramifications of poverty reduction/eradication and empowerment? Can scholars come up with meaningful new policies?

UT Africa Conference 2012

Poverty and Empowerment in Africa

UT AFRICA
2011

Africa in World Politics

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VENUE | The University of Texas at Austin
CONVENERES | Toyin Falola, Sylvester Gundona , and Tosin Funmi Abiodun

Overview

The 2011 UT Africa conference fostered discussions concerning Africa’s contemporary and historical place in world politics. Africa is too often regarded as being on the periphery of the world political arena, when in fact the nations of Africa have played an important, although often tactically manipulated, role in global affairs. Papers presented discussed issues such as: What was Africa’s historical place in world politics? How did independence and the Cold War change this locality? What is Africa’s role today and what needs to be done to insure that the African voice is heard in international forums in the future?

UT Africa Conference 2011

What is Africa’s role in world politics?