October 2006

Augustin Loada (*) est l’auteur d’un article intitulé “L’élection présidentielle du 13 novembre 2005: un plébiscite par défaut”, paru dans la revue Politique africaine (n° 101 – mars-avril 2006, pp.19-41) centré sur le thème: “Burkina Faso: l’alternance impossible”. Loada résume le contenu de cet article dans les termes suivants: “Le 13 novembre 2005, Blaise Compaoré remportait sa troisième élection présidentielle consécutive, avec plus de 80 % des suffrages. Ce plébiscite est pourtant paradoxal, compte tenu de la forte mobilisation contre le régime de la fin des années 1990 et du mécontentement persistant de la population. Il s’explique par la puissance de la machine clientéliste du parti au pouvoir, la popularité reconquise par le président à l’occasion de la crise ivoirienne et la faiblesse entretenue de l’opposition. Mais la faiblesse de la participation témoigne de la désaffection de l’électorat au moins autant que de son incompétence politique”.

Robert Kappel (*) co-authored with Esther Ishengoma (University of Dar es Salaam) a monograph titled: “Economic Growth and Poverty: Does Formalisation of Informal Enterprises Matter?” published by the German Institute of Global and Area Studies (GIGA) as No 20 in the GIGA Working Paper Series (April 2006). The two authors argue:

“The informal sector (IS) plays a significant role in developing countries viz. the provision of employment, income and supplying ignored markets. However, working and employment conditions within the sector are still poor. Its expansion and changing structures have thus drawn the attention of scholars and international policy makers to the factors hindering its formalisation. Among the factors addressed are the high costs of formalisation and the lack of incentives for operating in the formal sector. A variety of approaches have been adopted by different stakeholders to overcome these factors. This paper assesses these approaches along with the factors related to informality-formality trade-off and the issue of formalisation as a solution for firms’ growth. By focussing on the problems faced by informal enterprises and the literature which addresses the options for accelerating the formalisation of informal enterprises, the paper will briefly summarise the weaknesses of these approaches”. This monograph can be accessed at here.

Michael Bratton (*) presented a paper titled: “Poor People and Democratic Citizenship in Africa” in the workshop on Poverty and Democracy held at Duke University, February 17-18, 2006. The paper has been published as an Afrobarometer Working Paper (no. 56), and can be accessed at here.

Michael Meeuwis (*) has authored an article on “The Lingála-Kiswahili border in north-eastern Congo: Its origins in Belgian colonial state formation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries”, published in Africana Linguistica, Vol. XII (2006) 184 pp. Ed.: K. Bostoen, B. Janssens, J. Maniacky (Tervuren, Musée Royal de l’Afrique Centrale), ISBN 90-75894-88-0 ISSN 0065-4124. 18 euro.

Laurent Fourchard (*) vient de publier un bon papier sur la délinquance juvénile à Lagos pendant l’époque coloniale: “Lagos and the invention of juvenile delinquency in Nigeria , 1920-1960” dans la revue Journal of African History, 47:1 (2006), pp.115-137.

Stephen Ellis (*) presented a paper titled: “The mutual assimilation of elites: the development of secret societies in 20th century Liberian politics” at the workshop held October 19-21, 2006 at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology on the theme: “The Powerful Presence of the Past: Historical Dimensions of Integration and Conflict in the Upper Guinea Coast”. In that same workshop, he also chaired one of the two sessions devoted to “Traditional Authorities versus New Social and Political Practices Within and Beyond the Nation State”.

Phyllis M. Martin (*) contributed an article titled: “Célébrer l’ordinaire: Eglise, Empire et Genre dans la vie de Mère Marie-Michelle Dédié (Sénégal, Congo, 1882-1931)” in Le Fait Missionnaire: Social sciences & missions, no.18 / July 2006.

Rémi Bazenguissa-Ganga (*) is scheduled to deliver a paper titled: “Le politique en colonie: violence, guerres électorales et construction de l’État au Moyen-Congo”/”Politics in the Colony: Violence, Electoral Wars and State-Building in Colonial Congo-Brazzaville” on the panel “Le retour du politique/Is Political History Back?” (chaired by Michael Schatzberg) for the conference “New Research in Equatorial Africa/État des lieux sur la recherche en Afrique Équatoriale” to be held on October 14, 2006 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

(*) Names listed in the GRAF Directory / Noms figurant à l’annuaire du GRAF

West Africa Review : Call for Papers

This is a call for papers for the forthcoming issue of the peer-reviewed electronic journal West Africa Review on Politics, Society and Culture in Bénin and Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Issue 10, Spring 2007.

This issue will provide scholarly and critical examinations of current political, social and cultural issues in the post-independence history of the two Francophone countries which, in spite of their common French colonial past and present, have evolved in different directions.

Papers are expected to focus on critical approaches to democratization and globalization, geo-political importance in West Africa and on the continent, literary and cultural production —arts, music, literature, films, video production— new roles of information and communication technologies, religion and society/ politics, women and society, identity, social class, and ethnicity. However, articles are not limited to those topics. Comparative studies are welcome.

  • All papers should be original and previously unpublished in English (with French abstract) or French (with English abstract).
  • Please include a coversheet with your name, title, affiliation, keywords, the abstract, and an autobiographical paragraph.
  • All articles and book reviews should be sent electronically (MS Word, RTF, or PDF) to the guest editor: simon.akindes@uwp.edu by December 22, 2006
  • Publication decisions will be made by blind review – make sure your name does not appear on any page other than the coversheet.

Recommended Guide Style for Submission

  • It is the author’s responsibility to prepare his or her document for conversion by adhering to the following Word document style formatting.
  • Use heading level one (H1) for titles, abstract, endnotes, and references/works cited/bibliography.
  • Use heading level two (H2) for the first level of heading used in the text.
  • Use levels 3 through 6 for subsequent levels.
  • Use paragraph tabs for basic paragraph text.
  • Use indent tab for all quotes and indented text.

West Africa Review does not have a preferred form for citation and referencing. The style is left to the author. The only requirement is that the author be consistent throughout the text. You may visit West Africa Review at here.

West Africa Review : Appel à Communications

Ceci est un invitation à soumettre des articles pour la publication de la revue électronique West Africa Review sur le thème suivant: Politique, Société et Culture au Bénin et en Côte d’Ivoire, Numéro 10, Printemps 2007.

Ce numéro livrera des approches intellectuelles et critiques sur de différents aspects politiques, sociaux et culturels de l’histoire récente du Bénin et de la Côte d’ivoire, deux pays qui, malgré leur passés coloniaux et présents francophones, évoluent dans des directions différentes.

Les auteurs sont invités à soumettre des papiers critiques portant sur l’un des thèmes suivants: démocratisation, globalisation/mondialisation, production culturelle —art, musique, littérature, films, vidéo— nouvelles technologies de l’information et de la communication, religion et société, femmes et société, identités, classes sociales, ethnisme. Cependant, les articles ne devraient pas se limiter à ces thèmes. Les études comparatives sont encouragées.

Modalités pratiques:

  • Toutes les contributions doivent être originales et n’avoir jamais été publiées dans une autre revue; elles doivent être écrites en anglais (avec résumé en français) ou en français (avec résumé en anglais)
  • Insérez une page/couverture qui porte votre nom, titre et institution, les mots-clés, le résumé (dans la langue non-utilisée pour le papier) et un paragraphe autobiographique.
  • Tous les articles doivent être soumis électroniquement sous une des versions suivantes: MS Word (.doc),.RTF, ou PDF au rédacteur invité: simon.akindes@uwp.edu le 22 décembre 2006, date limite de réception.
  • Les décisions de publication seront effectuées de manière anonyme par un comité scientifique: Assurez-vous que votre nom n’apparaît sur une page autre que la page de couverture.

Style recommandé:
Il appartient à l’auteur d’observer les principes de formatage Word afin que son document puisse être aisément converti:

  • Utilisez le titre niveau 1 (H1) for les titres, le résumé, les notes en fin de document, les citations/sources utilisées et les références bibliographiques;
  • Utilisez le titre niveau 2 (H2) pour le premier niveau de titre utilisé dans le texte;
  • Utilisez les niveaux 3 à 6 pour les niveaux suivants;
  • Utilisez la touche de tabulation pour un paragraphe normal;
  • Utilisez le retrait/espacement avant texte pour toutes les citations et les autres alinéas;

West Africa Review n’utilise pas de style préféré pour les citations et références bibliographiques. L’appréciation en est laissée à l’auteur. Le style choisi doit être le même dans tout le document. Vous pouvez visiter West Africa Review à http://www.africaresource.com/war.

CALL FOR PAPERS: African Trajectories of Slavery
Perceptions, Practices, Experiences (25-26 May 2007)

Centre of African Studies, University of London, School of Oriental and African Studies

Twenty-five years since Igor Kopytoff asked, in a review of anthropological contributions to the study of slavery, why modern anthropology had ‘consistently ignored so widespread a phenomenon,’ the Anthropology of Slavery has remained a relatively narrow field. Although there have been important contributions that constitute, today, ‘classical’ ethnographies of slavery, most of the data we dispose of are historical and focused primarily on the Americas and the Atlantic Slave Trade. The Atlantic trade constituted a massive African diaspora. The descendents of African slaves have formed communities in the Americas, where the study of slavery has become intertwined with a number of other themes, including race, politics, and religion. Historical studies focusing on Africa have tended to end their analytical itinerary three or four decades into the twentieth century. The 1930s/1940s witnessed the ‘sedimentation’ of prolonged ideological and political negotiations over the question of slavery in the colonies, reflected in a series of administrative measures that changed the configuration of opportunities available to people of slave status. They also led to the establishment of new governmentalities, economic arrangements, trade dynamics, and forms of labour. However, most students of slavery agree that they did not mark the end of slavery. African slavery is a complex phenomenon that cuts across multiple social domains and articulates, at different times and in different contexts, changing ways of thinking about hierarchy and sociality. Such complexity inevitably calls into question the appropriateness of any single term to define the polymorphism of African slavery, and of any single date to mark its extinction. Thus, in their study of the decline of slavery in Northern Nigeria from 1987 to 1936, Lovejoy and Hogendorn note that ‘[t]oday people can still be found who are considered slaves, although the actual number of people still technically so has declined to relative insignificance. The death of slavery, pronounced by so many observers, has been a protracted one and is still not over’ (1993:30).

The disappearance of slavery from official representations of African society and its actual resilience in the lived experience of people constitutes a critical sociological tension within many contemporary African countries. Certain people are characterised as being of slave origin, or as members of ethnically or geographically defined areas that imply slave status. Common parlance is replete with stereotypes that identify people of slave status on the basis of their physical and/or psychological traits, their habits and lifestyle, their ways of talking, moving, and thinking. ‘Slavery’ is either conceived of as something that can be ‘read’ on the body and behaviour of its bearers; or it constitutes secret knowledge accessible only in particular circumstances. People of slave descent often struggle to conceal their origins but not everyone is equally successful at ‘passing as non-slave.’ In some cases, descendents of slaves have been able to negotiate a new social status for themselves and their children through migration, the adoption of new identities, and various strategies of upward mobility. But for the weaker and poorer amongst them, a rupture with the past may be more costly or risky than keeping alive ties of dependence from benign old masters. In times of hardship we witness relapses in institutionalised forms of dependence that decrease the risk of livelihood failure. The evolution of new hierarchies and new dynamics of mise en dépendance calls for a critical reassessment of analytical frameworks, terminologies, and theoretical paradigms to understand African slavery in its contemporary manifestations and regional diversity.

For a variety of reasons, including issues related to the history of anthropological thought, the difficulties inherent in obtaining information about a condition that carries considerable social stigma, and the reluctance of African governments and national research institutions to support research on this theme, slavery is rarely addressed directly in contemporary anthropological debate. Despite these objective difficulties, African slavery today raises questions of sociological and ethical import. Does the term ‘slavery’ provide an accurate definition for the multiple forms of labour and dependence that are often labelled so? How does slavery as an inherited status relate to new forms of dependent labour and the structural exploitation of certain categories of people? What are the axes of continuity and change with past forms of slavery, and in the historical experience of ‘slaves’? How far does slave status affect the economic and social opportunities of its bearers? How does it influence their strategies and aspirations?

The Seminar’s focus on ‘trajectories of slavery’ emphasises agency and process. It aims at advancing our understanding of how socially and historically constituted knowledge about ‘slavery’ is embodied in a whole set of institutions and in the everyday practices of people in contemporary African societies. Provisionally structured around the following themes, the Seminar welcomes proposals for papers from any African region and theoretical perspective:

  1. Definitions and dimensions of slavery: perceptions and interpretations of ‘slavery’ across groups and institutions; epistemological negotiations over the meanings and implications of ‘slavery’; relations with notions of class, caste, and hierarchy; conflicting discourses of ‘slavery’ across social groups and contexts; political, religious, mythical, and economic dimensions of ‘slavery’ and related phenomena.
  2. Practices of slavery: practices related to ‘slavery’, enslaving, and emancipation; how slavery, servility and dependence relate to particular livelihood strategies and coping mechanisms; functional aspects of status and rank; the sensitivity of slavery, as an institution, to changing economic and political circumstances.
  3. Experiences of slavery: life histories and actor oriented accounts of slavery and related institutions in today’s African societies; forms of religious and artistic expression related to slavery; slavery experienced through the body; physical, imaginative, and ritual environments in which ‘slavery’ is experienced and/or enacted.

Benedetta Rossi & Richard Fardon School of Oriental and African Studies, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Practical Information:

Language: the working language of the seminar is English, but papers / presentations in French are accepted. Abstracts, in French or English, should be between 300-500 words.

Fees and costs: The Seminar has a participation fee of UK £10 per person. Limited funding may be available for participants from Africa who do not have access to other funding opportunities.

Final date for submission of abstracts: 07 December 2006 – Notification of accepted papers: 15 January 2007

Contacts and correspondence: Dr. Benedetta Rossi, br4@soas.ac.uk Ms. Angelica Baschiera, ab17@soas.ac.uk

The 2006 Gender Symposium organized by CODESRIA on the theme: “Gender in the Construction of the Democratic Developmental State” will be held 12 – 14 November, 2006 in Cairo, Egypt. More information can be obtained from: The 2006 CODESRIA Gender Symposium, CODESRIA, BP 3304, CP 18524 – Dakar, Senegal. [Tel: +221 8259822/23 Fax: +221 824 12 89] E-mail: Gender.Symposium@codesria.sn Website: http://www.codesria.org/

African Geographical Review – Call for Submissions

As new editors of the African Geographical Review (formerly the East African Geographical Review), we write to solicit quality research manuscript submissions. The African Geographical Review is a peer reviewed journal published annually by the Africa Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers. It provides a medium for publication of geographical material relating to Africa and seeks to enhance the standing of regional geography by promoting a better representation of geographic scholarship on Africa. We welcome submissions from any sub-field of geography as well as contributions that are theoretical, empirical or applied in nature.

Five kinds of submissions are requested: research articles, methodological or field notes, featured reflections, commentaries and book reviews. Research articles should consist of original research material and not exceed 7000 words in length. Methodological or field notes explore methodological or field issues and should not exceed 4000 words. Research articles and methodological or field notes are peer reviewed. They should be accompanied by a 150-word abstract and three to four keywords. Featured reflections on an aspect of African geographical scholarship should be no more than 2500 words. Commentaries are short punchy articles (up to 1000 words) that address a contemporary African issue. Featured reflections and commentaries are reviewed in-house by the editors and the editorial board. Book reviews should be no more than 750 words and the editor should be contacted about a potential book review before it is undertaken.

Articles should be submitted to Ian Yeboah at Miami University of Ohio via e-mail. Inquiries can be made via e-mail or phone. More information on the journal may be found at: http://www.macalester.edu/geography/agr/

Ian Yeboah, Editor
yeboahie@muohio.edu
513-529-5013

William Moseley, Associate Editor
moseley@macalester.edu
651-696-6126 (Fax: 651-696-6116)

BLACK PARIS – PARIS BLACK

Art et Histoire de la communauté africaine à Paris

Paris, la capitale de l’ancien empire colonial français, est aujourd’hui la plus grande enclave africaine d’Europe. Environ un cinquième des 12 millions de personnes que compte Paris et sa banlieue a une origine africaine, antillaise ou afro-américaine. A Paris, tous les processus de métissage, d’interactions culturelles et artistiques qui caractérisent les relations entre le Nord et le Sud peuvent s’observer, concentrés dans l’espace et dans le temps.

L’exposition Black Paris s’ouvre sur une rétrospective de l’époque coloniale et la découverte de «l’art nègre» et s’achève sur les initiatives de la Diaspora, les magasins, les maisons d’édition, les projets artistiques grâce auxquels Paris est devenu au début du 21e siècle le centre mondial de la mode, de la musique, de l’art et de la littérature africaine.

L’exposition Black Paris aborde et présente l’évolution de cette diaspora à partir d’une double perspective englobant aussi bien l’histoire, à travers des documents d’archives, que l’histoire de l’art. Au centre de cette exposition se trouveront les travaux de plasticiens, d’écrivains, de créateurs, de politiciens et théoriciens.

La structure de l’exposition est chronologique et comprend cinq sections thématiques :

  1. Rétrospective : iconographie coloniale, art nègre et recrutement de soldats noirs pendant la Première Guerre mondiale.
  2. La « négrophilie » de l’entre-deux-guerre (Harlem Renaissance, Jazz et Surréalisme).
  3. La Négritude : initiée par Aimé Césaire et Léopold Sédar Senghor : Ecrivains et artistes esquissent à Paris le programme d’une modernité africaine.
  4. Les années 1960 et 1970 : Images de la ville et des quartiers en mutation: vers une topographie du Paris noir.
  5. Migration et métissage: La scène de l’art contemporain au début du XXIe siècle.

Un catalogue bilingue (allemand/français) de 280 pages avec des images et des textes édité par Peter Hammer Verlag à Wuppertal paraîtra en octobre 2006.

Itinéraire de l’exposition: Bayreuth, Iwalewa-Haus, 26 octobre 2006 – 10 février 2007 ¤ Francfort, Musée des Cultures du Monde, 3 mars – fin septembre 2007 ¤ Paris, à partir d’octobre 2007.