Afro-Identity at the Crossroads:
African and African Diaspora Creative Genius beyond Globalization and the 21st Century
August 26-30, 2013

Call for papers

In recent times, the intensification of transnational dialogue between peoples of African descent in the Americas and their kins in continental Africa has been yielding high dividends on both sides of the Atlantic. On the American side, decades of Affirmative Action and Black Consciousness have produced a new generation of Afro-Americans who have not only finally come to terms with their Black identity, but are also proud to project their African heritage and deploy their African genius to wrestle the right to full citizenship of their various and respective societies from the hegemonic forces of white elites. In most countries of Latin-America and the Caribbean, the coming to power of different shades of leftist parties that have been the traditional allies of the Afrodescendant segments of such societies has made it possible for the Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Venezuelans, Afro-Ecuadorians, Afro-Colombians, Afro-Bolivians, Afro-Cubans and Afro-Trinidadians, etc. to vie for and gain much-needed visibilities on the national scene, leading to significant overall political, social and economic advancements in the collective existence of Afro-Latin-American subjects. The diverse government-promoted initiatives like the creation of a Special Ministry for Racial Equality, the promulgation of Federal Laws that mandate the teaching of African and African Diaspora history and culture in schools and the Quota System for admission of afrodescendant to public universities and the public service are some examples of such advancements that appeared on the Latin-American horizon since 2002. Needless to say, the November 2012 re-election of Barack Obama to the Presidency of the USA which is home to the third largest population of people of African descent in the Americas is another encouraging testimony to the coming of age of African descendants in the American Diaspora. On its own part, the African Union (AU), realizing the great potentials of the African Diaspora and the enormous contributions it can make to the development of Africa and African descendants in general, resolved to declare the African Diaspora as the 6th Region of Africa with all the rights and privileges derivable from such membership.

The 2013 OAU Afro-Identity conference therefore is particularly interested in a multidisciplinary approach to the discussion of African and African Diaspora identity where the concept of an intense live dialogue between different actors, institutions and ideas on both sides of the so-called “Black Atlantic” have been shaping trans-Atlantic interrelations. By intentionally evoking the theory of the Black Atlantic, the conference expects to bring into the dialogue not only agents, specialists and scholars of the Afro-Identity discourse in Africa and the American Diaspora in North and Meso-America, Latin-American and the Caribbean but equally those on the European continent and elsewhere on the globe whose history is inextricably connected to the Afro-Atlantic formation through centuries of close, albeit unequal association.     
The Obafemi Awolowo University, located in the ancient city of Ile-Ife, cradle of the Yoruba humanity is an ideal setting for this international conference. With a tradition of excellence in learning and culture that has brought it international recognition for its giant strides in the Arts, Humanities, Science, and Technology, and whose 50-year existence has produced giants like Wole Soyinka, the 1986 Nobel Prize for Literature and the world-acclaimed director of various International Cultural Festivals aimed at projecting the African creative genius, the University is once again poised to bring together African and Africanist scholars for another intellectual and cultural pilgrimage that promises not only academic fulfillment, but also a spiritual renewal between Africans and their kins in the Diaspora.

The conference offers an excellent opportunity for scholars to engage one another on issues related to Afro-identity within a multidisciplinary discussion that covers every imaginable aspect of African and African Diaspora identity. Participants at the conference are expected to address, but not necessarily limit themselves to any of the following themes:
•    Concepts and Theories of African Identity
•    African Origin of Civilization beyond Egyptology
•    The Black Man’s Burden: Slavery, Colonialism, Emancipation and Independence
•    Myths and Ideologies of Racial Domination: Stereotypes, Discrimination, Marginalization
•    Policies and Praxis of Exclusion: Branqueamento/Blanqueamiento, Whitening and the Politics of  Racial Genocide
•    Black Agency and Resistance to Racial Disenfranchisements.
•    African and African Descendants and International Politics: The UN and Other World Bodies
•    African and Afro-descendant Economies since the Euro and Dollar Crisis of 2008
•    Development, Underdevelopment and Economic Empowerment
•    Dialogue between Africa and its Diaspora
•    The African Union and the 6th Region
•    The Black Diaspora in the Middle East and East Asia
•    The Contemporary Afro-European Economic Diaspora
•    Emigration and the Western Union politics
•    Multipronged interrelations between Africa, Europe, Asia and the Americas
•    Aids and other Endemic Diseases
•    The Politics of Poverty, Hunger and Famine
•    Contemporary Trans-Atlantic Dialogues – Culture, religion, politics and ideas; Music, Film and Video
•    Gender and Power Relations
•    The Politics of African Languages and the African Linguistic Legacy in the Diaspora
•    Art, Performance and Creativity
•    African Economic and Social Thought
•    Festivals, Myths and Legends
•    Theory and Praxis of African Philosophy and System of Knowledge
•    Afro-Descendants Populations and the Commemoration of Bicentennial Anniversaries of National Independence in Latin America.

All interested participants are to send a 300-word abstract to the conveners on or before February 28th 2013 to the following address: afroidentityoau50@gmail.com. Abstracts can be submitted in any of the following languages: English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish but for ease of communication, the official language of the conference shall be English.
Information about possible sponsorship will be available from March 2013.
Part of the conference programme will include a visit to different historic Yoruba towns of Nigeria and the Republic of Benin such as  Oyo-Ile, Iwo-Eleru, Iree-Ekiti, Ketu, etc. 

For more information, please contact any of the following.
Dr. F.A. Omidire:     +234 806 763 4158
Dr. Akin Alao:     +234 802 767 6605
Chief convener: Prof. Dipo Salami, Dean, Faculty of Arts. +234 803 725 0323