African Studies Centre conferentie: Rethinking Africa’s transcontinental continuities
An international conference to mark the retirement of Wim van Binsbergen as a professor at the African Studies Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands.
Rethinking Africa’s transcontinental continuities in pre- and protohistory
Over the last decades, studies of modern Africa have driven home the fact that one cannot understand current African conditions unless from a transcontinental, global perspective – whether it comes to capital and demographic flows, development, formal education, statal political organization or the dynamics of world religions. This makes it all the more pressing to investigate the transcontinental continuities involving Sub-Saharan Africa in pre- and protohistoric times. To what extent is it true (as is widely assumed) that the roots of contemporary African predicaments, and their possible solutions, lie primarily in the recent conditions and developments of the 19th-21st centuries?
Or, alternatively, to what extent can we discern transcontinental relations and dynamics of a much longer time span, shaping and reshaping African cultures, polities, economies and religions in close relation with the other continent?
And, lest we make the mistake of attributing self-evidence and global applicability to the dominant (but rapidly declining), potentially hegemonic North Atlantic perspective: what instruments do we need to develop in the theoretical, methodological and epistemological fields in order to avoid the blinkers of regional self-interest and ethnocentricity, and to move effectively – with an ever-increasing and ever more vocal African participation – towards valid, reliable and relevant global knowledge about Africa
12 and 13 April 2012, 09.00-17.00
Sprekers: Alain Anselin, Yuri Berezkin, Václav Blažek, Catherine Coquery-Vidrovitch, Robert Dick-Read, Christopher Ehret, Cyril Hromník, Dierk Lange, Li Anshan, Ndu Life Njoku, Sanya Osha, Pierre Oum Ndigi, Mike Rowlands, Kurt Tauchmann, Robert Thornton, Walter Van Beek, Wim Van Binsbergen