African Futures: Promises, Projections and Reflections on a Continent in Transition
AEGIS Summer School
9-13 June 2020
The 2020 Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) Summer School will address the theme of African Futures: Promises, Projections and Reflections on a Continent in Transition. Since independence, Africans have repeatedly been promised greater political participation and more inclusive forms of governance – both by their own political leaders as well as international development agencies. Some 60 years after independence, the picture remains mixed. On the one side, collective efforts and targeted reforms have led to significant improvements. Today, Africa is seen more often as a continent of vast opportunities – and no longer as the hopeless continent of war and famine. On the other side, ‘better’ forms of governance have not always led to enhanced political participation, while new social inequalities continue to surface in unforeseen ways and places. For many, the future is decidedly uncertain.
The following are indicative preferential sub-themes, but should not be considered as definitive or exhaustive:
- Transformations of urban life-worlds
- Social and cultural difference – popular expressive culture, religion, media, and mediation.
- Built and natural environment in urban spaces – urban decay and the future of urban design.
- The “informal sector” – urban informality in terms of economy, housing, and transportation
- Class formation, consumption and social inequalities – new middle classes, the working poor and the unemployed
- The urban rich and the urban poor – segregation and novel settlement patterns
- Domination, resistance and political expression – novel forms of political articulation
- Urban art and culture(s): music, comics and graffiti
- Utopias and dystopias: visions of the future through film and literature
- ‘Futuring’ gender and generation
Applicants are invited to submit proposals (a 500-word abstract as well as a one-page outline of their Ph.D. status and current research) that address the overall theme. Papers that apply and/or refine conceptual and theoretical approaches to the subject matter, as well as presenting fresh empirical information, will be especially welcome. Applicants will be selected on the basis of their research outline and their ability to engage with wider issues in African Studies today. Priority will be given to students and researchers with recent field experience and fresh research results. Application by African students based in African Universities is encouraged; subsidies for the participation of a limited number of successful African applicants will be available on the basis of merit.
The deadline for submitting proposals is 30 September 2019. Participants will be informed of acceptance by 31 January 2020.
The 2020 Summer School is organized by the Centro di Studi Africani in Sardegna in collaboration with the AEGIS Centres of Leipzig, Roskilde, Leiden, Edinburgh, Lisbon, Köln, Leuven, Napoli, Bayreuth and Basel.
Find more information about AEGIS and previous summer schools here