Conference Notice: AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA PHILOSOPHY, IDENTITY AND CULTURE

CALL FOR PAPERS AND PARTICIPATION

ZIMBABWE OPEN UNIVERSITY

IN COLLABORATION WITH

PANAFRICAN STRATEGIC AND POLICY RESEARCH GROUP INTERNATIONAL (PANAFSTRAG)

UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES, MONA CAMPUS

OBAFEMI AWOLOWO UNIVERSITY, ILE-IFE

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON AFRICAN AND AFRICAN DIASPORA PHILOSOPHY, IDENTITY AND CULTURE (Blended)

Venue: Zimbabwe Open University
Conference date: August 26-28, 2021

Concept Note

The ugly episodes of slavery, colonialism and racism have shaped the world’s perception of Africa and also prompted a form of intellectual revolt from the African cognoscente. The frustrations brought by the colonial order eventually led to angry questions and reactions out of which formal African and African Diaspora philosophy arose, first in the form of nationalisms, then in the form of ideological theorizations and further in the forms of disciplinary specializations. The frustrations were borne out of wariness with the ignorance of colonial caricature of Africa as culturally naive, intellectually docile and rationally clumsy. This charade was created by European scholars such as Kant, Hegel, Goody and, much later, Levy-Bruhl and Robin Horton, to mention just a few and fuelled by first generation African theologian scholars such as Mbiti and Idowu. It was the reaction to this distortion that led some African and African Diaspora scholars in the West and those returning from the West into the type of philosophizing which may be described as a turning point on the identity of the African people, their place in history, and their contributions to civilization. The quest to dethrone the colonially-built episteme became a ready attraction for African scholars’ vexed frustrations. Thus began the history of African and African Diaspora philosophy with the likes of Aimé Césaire, Walter Rodney, Franz Fanon, Marcus Garvey, WEB DuBois, Ivan Van Sertima, Leopold Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, William Abraham, John Mbiti and expatriates such as Placid Tempels, Janheinz Jahn and George James, to name a few.

These African and African Diaspora philosophers aimed at changing the African and Black identity which was tainted during the colonial times. The identities of the global African, his/her thought systems, standard and even his/her perception of reality was structured by the colonial shadow which stood towering behind him/her. It was easy for the African to position him/herself within these Western cultural appurtenances, even though they had no real-time connection with his/her being during the colonial era.

The vanity of this presupposition and the emptiness of colonial assurances manifested soon after the towering colonial shadow vanished. It was during this time that it became shameful for the global African to continue to identify him/herself within the European colonialist milieu. So, Africans realized suddenly that they had been disillusioned and had suffered severe self-deceit under colonial temper. The question which trailed every global African who came in contact with European racism was, “Who am I?”. In the European perspective, the African and black person was savage, primitive, less than human and unsophisticated. It was the urgent, sudden need to expose the rank contradiction and ahistoricity of these European positions that led some post-colonial Africans and black persons in search of wholesome African and black identity. So, to discover or rediscover African and black identity in order to initiate a non-colonial or original history for global Africa in the global matrix and start a course of viable economic, political and social progress that is entirely African became one of the focal points of African and African Diaspora philosophy.

The conference pursues the theme of African and African Diaspora philosophy, identity and culture from various disciplines and contemporary perspectives. All themes relate to the way African and African Diaspora philosophy, identity and culture play a role in solving (or worsening) the social, political and economic challenges highlighted above. The conference also explores the relationship between African philosophy and culture in terms of how they conflict, collaborate, or otherwise configure each other as people are subjected to different life systems in global Africa. This conference has a broad temporal, geographic, and topical expanse. Papers are invited from multiple disciplines that speak to such issues, including Philosophy, Critical Race Theory, Media and Communication, English, History, Law, Peace Building, Political Science, Religious Studies, and more.

This conference is a bridge building effort between Continental African Philosophy/Philosophers and Global African Philosophy/Philosophers – bringing together for the first time all workers in the vineyard of African emancipation, empowerment and renaissance – for collaborative exploration of mutually related opportunities for intellectual synergies, challenges brought about by the coalescing of the forces determined to subjugate Africa and the African Diaspora in the 21st Century and beyond and the opportunities to generate a critical mass of response to repel intellectually, practically and praxically these threats to global African existence, viability and human dignity. We specially encourage our colleagues – academic and private researchers – in the International Society for African Philosophy and Studies, Blacks in Philosophy, Caribbean Philosophical Association and other Regional and International Societies and Associations to embrace this opportunity for us to get-together and to begin this necessary intellectual engagement.

Our Keynote Speakers are:

a) Professor Lewis Ricardo Gordon, Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Connecticut at Storrs, USA.

b) Professor Velislava Mitova, Chair, Department of Philosophy, University of Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa.

c) Professor Fainos Mangena, Department of Religious Studies, Classics and Philosophy, University of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe

Issues:

Some of the questions which could be examined by participants at the conference are the following:

• How can Global African identity, philosophy and culture be used by individual or collective actors to promote specific interests in the context of social power dynamics?
• How is African philosophy, identity and culture influenced by the recent resurgence of racism, capitalism, imperialism nationalism, individualism, religiosity and populism in global Africa?
• What political and juridical strategies are used when trying to delimit African and African Diaspora Philosophy, identity and culture in societies today?
• How are transformations in gender relations related to African and African Diaspora philosophy, identity and culture?
• How do the African and Diaspora philosophy, identity and culture change in generations from the traditional boomers to the current millennials?
• How are the various dimensions of Africa and African Diaspora philosophy to be integrated into educational curricula of African societies?

The following are some of the conference themes:

African/a Philosophy, identity and culture

African/a Philosophy, culture and leadership

African/a Philosophy of ubuntu and management skills

African/a kemetic Philosophy

African/a Philosophy and the ecosystem

African/a Philosophy and peace building

African/a Philosophy, Technology and or social media

African/a Philosophy and Politics

African/a Philosophy, social identity and the individual

African/a Philosophy, social order and modernity

African/a identity, culture and metaphysics

African/a philosophy of marriage and child-care

African/a Philosophy of ubuntu and land restitution

African/a Philosophy and the intellectualisation of African institutions

African/a Philosophy, COVID 19 and traditional medicines

African/a Philosophy, reproductive health and the youths in Africa

African/a Philosophy, gender and social identity

African/a Philosophy, culture and leadership management

African/a Philosophy, self-respect and the African leader

African/a Philosophy, epistemologies and rural development

African/a Philosophy, political culture and African intellectuals

African/a Philosophy, Jurisprudence and Governance

African/a Philosophy, Education and Culture

African/a Philosophy, Globalization and Big Data

African/a Philosophy, Ethics and Applied Ethics: Business Ethics, Law-enforcement Ethics, Sports Ethics, etc. Abstracts of not more than 250 words are invited from scholars from any discipline. The papers must be broadly related to any of the conference themes outlined above.

Conference date: August 26 – 28, 2021


Conference venue: Zimbabwe Open University

Deadline for submission of abstracts: May 31, 2021

Notification of Acceptance: June 20, 2021

Deadline for submission of full papers for publication: 31 October 2021

Submission of corrected papers: 30 November 2021

Conference Fees: Participants from Africa: $50.00, Others: $100.00

(This covers Conference Organization and Preparation of Papers for Publication. All Papers should be prepared following the APA Style or Chicago Manual for Authors). Details about accommodation and other details regarding transportation will be circulated well in advance for participants to make their reservations and arrangements.

Proposed Publisher: TBA (Joint African Publishers and Western Publishers Collaboration anticipated).

All abstracts and conference inquiries should be directed to the conference organisers on any of the following email addresses:

Dr Clement Makamure: clementmakamure@gmail.com

Dr Vengesai Chimininge: vchimininge@gmail.com

Professor John Ayotunde (Tunde) Isola Bewaji: tunde.bewaji@gmail.com

General Ishola Williams: isholawilliams@gmail.com, panafstraginternational@gmail.com