Call for Panels & Papers: ‘The Becoming of Congo: Epistemologies, Practices, & Imaginaries’, CRN (Deadlines: 15 & 28 February)

5th International Congo Research Network (CRN) Congress

15-16 September 2020

The Becoming of Congo: Epistemologies, Practices, and Imaginaries 

The Congo Research Network (CRN) is organizing its fifth international conference, to be held at the University of Milan on 15-16 September 2020. The conference aims to bring together junior and senior scholars across the humanities and social sciences, sharing a common interest in the DRC. It specifically aims to provide space for transdisciplinary and comparative analyses and reflections, within and beyond Congolese Studies.


Image courtesy of CRN on Facebook

This edition of the CRN focuses on the concept of “becoming”: the becoming of research on/around the Congo (new paths and new relations between “knowledges/epistemologies” and agents—academics, artists, writers, cultural operators, journalists and bloggers, activists and others); the becoming of Congolese culture (new places of creation and exhibition, new ways of sharing/transmitting knowledge and cultural practices); the becoming of land and questions of mobility, not only in the Congo, but also in Africa and the world (climate change and social justice). All these can be articulated in a multi or transdisciplinary perspective, along the following lines:

  • African and Congolese Renaissance: Decolonizing knowledge and practices, recognizing authorship and participation;
  • Disciplinary boundaries in Congo studies and collaborative approaches beyond and within the academia;
  • (A)gendered perspectives in Congo and in the Diaspora, today and tomorrow;
  • Trauma, resilience, transformation: their representations and negotiations;
  • Colonial–postcolonial transitions in a context of (proto)globalization;
  • Climate change, land grabbing, and environmental humanities;
  • Mobile people in and out of Congo (economic, climatic, conflictual, political, etc.);
  • “Mikilismes” and new social classes within and out of Congo: dynamics and (auto)representations;
  • Digitalization and mediated culture: platforms, visual expressions, data bases, accessibility;
  • The future of Congolese languages;
  • Congo as utopia and dystopia;
  • Imagining Congolese futures through writing, film, painting, literature, and the arts.
white paper folders with black tie

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Panel proposals (title + description of up to 750 words) should be sent to the organizers at by 15 February 2020.  Panel proposals should include at least two agreed papers.

Individual paper proposals (title + abstract of up to 400 words) should be sent to the same email address by 28 February 2020. Proposals can be written either in French or English. Decisions regarding accepted papers and panels will be sent out to applicants on 20 March 2020.

Unfortunately, the organizing committee cannot refund participants’ travel and accommodation expenses. Participants will also have to pay for their own meals during the conference.

Keynote address: Bambi Ceuppens (Royal Museum for Central Africa, Belgium), Nadia Yala Kisukidi (Paris VIII University, France)

Closing keynotes: Bogumil Jewsiewicki (Laval University, Canada) (to be confirmed).

Organizing Commettee
Livia Apa, Donato Lacirignola (Doctoral Fellow in African Literature at the University of Milan, Italy), Edoardo Quaretta, Silvia Riva

The CRN Congress will be followed immediately by the 6th biennial ASAI Conference (Associazione per gli Studi Africani in Italia) AFRICA. IN, OUT, ABOUT Historical, political and cultural perspectives from the continent and the diasporas, which will also take place at the Università degli Studi in Milan from 16 to 18 September 2020.  For more information: Although the two conferences are independent of each other, the organizers would be delighted to have your presence during this week dedicated to Africa in Milan.


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Categories: Calls for & opportunities, Research, Studies, Teaching

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