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Locating African Studies in the Global South: Fostering New Directions and Global Solidarities

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Event description

We are excited to announce that our annual conference is moving to a smaller format this year, allowing for more in-depth engagement with African Studies, as we explore a range of current debates surrounding the relationship between African Studies and the Global South. We’re hoping to enrich these debates by taking stock of where we currently are in African Studies, and how we might renew attention to this relationship to set a new direction for shared research agendas.

During the Symposium, we’ll be exploring important questions such as the state of African Studies and the links with Global South Scholarship. We’ll also explore theories, debates and controversies around African languages. We’ll also examine how African Studies can contribute to anti-colonial and decolonial projects, and the impact of grassroots social movements, such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the Global Climate Movement on African Studies.

We’ll also explore African Studies’ complicities in colonial and imperial legacies, Africa’s presence in international institutions such as the International Criminal Court, and how to engage with calls for epistemic justice in response to colonial legacies and hierarchies of knowledge. Additionally, we’ll delve into the urgent demands of the climate crisis in Africa and how African Studies should engage with it, as well as how we can approach African Studies as a unique and critical site of pedagogy and teaching.

The Symposium provides an excellent opportunity to engage with interdisciplinary projects, empirical studies, and different methodological and theoretical approaches.

This year's symposium will explore these connections across 90 min sessions on the following themes:

(1) Black Lives Matter, Police Abolition and Digital Technologies

(2) History, the Colonial Archive and New Directions in African Studies 

(3) African Languages and African Studies – Theories, Debates and Controversies

(4) Decolonising Knowledge and Education

(5) Food Sovereignty, Energy, Conservation, and the Climate Crisis. 

This FREE hybrid event is hosted at Western Sydney University's Parramatta Campus.  Those who wish to attend the event online will be able to do so via live stream.

Here is the program:

AFSAAP Symposium 2023

Day 1 – 24th May

9:00- 10:30 Introduction:

High Commissioner for Nigeria, His Excellency Mr. Anderson N Madubike

10:30-10:55 TEA/COFFEE

11:00 – 12:30 – Session 1: Black Lives Matter, Police Abolition and Digital Technologies

Convenor: Souheir Edelbi

  • Leighmann Spencer
  • Claire Moran, Kathomi Gatwiri, Virginia Mapedzahama

12:00 – 1:30 LUNCH

1:30 – 3:00 - Session2: History, the Colonial Archive and New Directions in African Studies

Convenor: Helen Ware

  • Goolam Vahed
  • Valentine Mukuria
  • David Lucas and Helen Ware
  • Audrey Kalindi


3:30 – 5:00 Session 3: African Languages and African Studies – Theories, Debates and Controversies

Convenor: Mengistu Amberber

  • Mengistu Amberber & Finex Ndhlovu
  • Vera Williams Tetteh, Sithembinkosi Dube
  • Bonaventure Munganga
  • Chris Odhiambo

6:00 – 8:30 DINNER - Optional (paid by each individual participant). Venue to be advised.

Day 2 - 25th May

11:00am - 12:30pm - Session 4: Decolonising Knowledge and Education

Convenor: Finex Ndhlovu

  • Rose Mutuota
  • Peninah Kansiime, Sharlotte Tusasiirwe, & Diana Nabbumba
  • Mutuota Kigotho

12:30-2:00pm LUNCH

2:00- 3:30pm - Session 5: Food Sovereignty, Conservation, and the Climate Crisis

Convenor: Anne Bartlett

  • Ezequiel Alfeu Abrahamo and Inês Raimundo
  • Rachael Gross
  • Anne Bartlett

3:30- 4:00 pm TEA/COFFEE

4:00 - 4:30 Plenary/Closing

  • Bringing themes together
  • Contributing to AFSAAP's mission


Where do I register for the symposium?

Please register here:

What is the address for the venue? 

Building 1 - Peter Shergold Building, 169 Macquarie Street, Parramatta NSW, 2150

What are my transport options for getting to and from the venue? 

The venue is a 5-10mins from Parramatta Station. There’s no on-campus parking but there are nearby secure carparks and street parking for an hourly rate.

What are my options for accommodation in Parramatta City?

Here is a list of hotels in Parramatta that are in walking distance from Western Sydney University's Parramatta CBD Campus where the conference will be held. Other options are available in Sydney City. Please note that Sydney is a 35 min train ride away from Parramatta train station. The train service between Sydney and Parramatta is regular and generally reliable.

Meriton Suites, George Street Parramatta

Park Royal, Phillip Street Parramatta

Skye Suites, Hunter Street Parramatta

How can I contact the organiser with any questions? 

Please email the secretary at with any questions you have.

Can I attend the symposium online? 

Those who wish to attend the event online will be able to do so via live stream. Please select an "Online" ticket and you will be emailed a livestream link to attend the sessions prior to the event. 

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