Pan-African University Press in collaboration with Babcock University
The Sixth J. A. Atanda Lectures and Conference
Yoruba Culture and Society
Babcock University, June 21 – 23, 2021
Culture shapes all human civilizations while defining the core of every society. With changes over time and across regions, culture as a whole has an inseparable relationship with the societies in which it lies. To explore just such a connection, the 2021 Atanda Conference intends to examine a culture’s role in shaping society. The primary aim of the conference is to reflect on the various facets of Yoruba culture and analyze their interactions with one another and other cultural influences in a global context. To this end, the conference will discuss the dynamic nature of culture, society, and technology. Simultaneously, the conference intends to create an intellectual space for examining how pan-Yoruba culture has developed and evolved. Additionally, the conference seeks to explore the histories of ethnic and sub-ethnic divisions and alliances. Beyond the specific emphasis on the Yoruba, the overarching focus of the conference will also be to engage with the effects of Yoruba culture and society on the world at large.
The conference is in honor of Professor Joseph Adebowale Atanda, a distinguished historian who was a major participant in developing studies on Yoruba history. Prof. Atanda’s scholarship provided a springboard for reshaping and expanding knowledge about the Yoruba and their cultural epistemology.
Scholars and practitioners are invited to examine diverse aspects of how culture is practiced, including festivals, customs, art, and traditions. The 2021 Atanda conference intends to address core questions of decolonizing society in the contemporary context. For instance, how can the African (Yoruba) culture grow its influence, transmit values, and play decisive roles within current realities? How has the language been used since the nineteenth century to define Yoruba culture, mediate colonial modernity and globalization, and develop post-colonial urban cultures?
Further, conversations surrounding cultural taboos, hierarchies, and oppressions will be tackled. Themes of gender and sexuality will also be addressed in this conference, mainly regarding their perceptions and change over time. The objective of these dialogues is to pluralize the narratives on Yoruba society, culture, and their various dimensions.
We invite submissions on the following sub-themes, in addition to other ideas that the participants may have:
- Archival repository of culture
- Technology and the production of cultural works
- Pan-African cultural development
- African modern society
- Cultural Encounters with the West
- Cultural Encounters with the Arab/Islamic World
- The Yoruba and their neighbors
- Changing Social Institutions
- Cultural divisions of ethnicities
- Gender in society
- Cultural taboos
- International Yoruba cultures
- Sexuality and expression across cultures
- Decolonization in Yoruba society
- Cultural hierarchies and oppressions
- Yoruba intellectual traditions
- Role of religion in society
- Technology’s role in cultural exchange
- Cultural economic practices
- Art, tradition, and customs
- Festivals and celebrations
- Politics in contemporary Yoruba societies
- Behaviors and psychologies of culture
- Nature, Environment, and Culture
- Mythologies and folklore
- Yoruba cultural icons
- Cultural (r)evolutions, mutations, and hegemony
- Music and popular culture
- Traditional Medicine in the age of pandemics
- Yoruba gods and goddesses
- Yoruba cultures and colonial/national boundaries
Contributors are invited to send a short abstract of no more than 250 words on any of the above subject areas as well as a short bio by email to:
Olusegun Olopade firstname.lastname@example.org
Bola Sotunsa email@example.com
Toyin Falola: firstname.lastname@example.org
Abstract Submission: March 30, 2021
Acceptance of abstracts: Latest by April 20th, 2021
Direct all queries to: email@example.com
The official conference website will feature additional information.
Registration will commence on April 20th, 2021Contact Info:
Seeking chapters for the edited volume: Decolonizing Islamic Art in Africa
Please submit proposals to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 15, 2021.
This publication examines the status of Muslim visual and expressive cultures in the wake of decolonization in Africa. It asks, in the years leading up to and following struggles for independence from colonial regimes across the continent, how was “Islamic art” mobilized, interpreted, transformed, or even erased in relation to projects of nation-building and in the context of new cultural and religious identities emerging across Africa and its diasporas? It will consider the different strategies through which diverse actors–political leaders, architects, artists, museum curators, members of local religious communities, and others–approached the social and conceptual structures upheld by previous colonial regimes and explore the consequences of such processes of negotiation for the visual, spatial, and intellectual parameters framing Muslim institutions, practices, and cultural works in “postcolonial” Africa.
We also approach the topic of decolonizing Islamic art in Africa from a historiographical perspective, presenting case studies that disrupt and interrogate the colonial-era geographical and conceptual boundaries shaping the disciplines of Islamic and African art history. In recent years, the history of Islamic art in Africa has been subject to reevaluation through critical attention to the continent’s position within global networks of trade and the subsequent influence of African actors in shaping Muslim visual and material cultures within and beyond the continent, particularly during Europe’s medieval period. Less attention, however, has been given to the African continent’s dynamic relationship with Islam and Muslim culture during the course of the twentieth century, a period no less marked by escalating global interest in Africa’s material and cultural resources and by the active participation of Muslim Africans in new cross-regional and cross-continental religious and cultural communities. This publication contends that attention to this longer history of African agency within a global Muslim community is crucial for speaking back to colonial frameworks that continue to distort our understanding of both “Islamic” and “African” art today.
The volume’s case studies will ideally represent a broad geographical scope and may address a range of expressive practices and objects, including architecture, landscape, urban design, painting, decorative arts, ritual objects, domestic display, music, performance, etc. While the publication is envisioned to focus on the years directly leading up to and following African independence movements, contributions exploring the continuing “decolonization” of Muslim cultural expression in Africa and the field of art history into the twenty-first century are also welcome.
Please submit a 500-word abstract, title, and bio by January 15, 2021 to email@example.com. First drafts of accepted contributions due June 1, 2021. Contributions to the volume will be approximately 6,000-8,000 words. All essays will undergo a double-blind, peer-review process before final acceptance.Contact Info:
Ashley Miller, Ph.D., Forsyth Postdoctoral Fellow, History of Art Department University of MichiganContact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
African Critical Inquiry Programme Call For Proposals To Organize A Workshop
The African Critical Inquiry Programme invites proposals from scholars and/or practitioners in public cultural institutions in South Africa to organise a workshop to take place in 2022. The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa.
ACIP Workshops are intended as annual occasions to identify and address critical themes, fundamental questions and pressing practical issues concerning public culture. For instance, Workshops might focus on particular notions and issues related to publics, visuality, museums and exhibitions, art, performance, representational forms, or institutional forms from different methodological, practical, and theoretical vantages. They might examine forms and practices of public scholarship and the theories, histories and systems of thought that shape and illuminate public culture and public scholarship. Workshops should encourage comparative, interdisciplinary, and cross-institutional interchange and reflection that brings into conversation public scholarship in Africa, creative cultural production, and critical theory. Workshop budgets will vary depending on proposed plans; the maximum award is ZAR 60,000.
Applications may be submitted by experienced scholars and cultural practitioners based in universities, museums, and other cultural organizations in South Africa who are interested in creating or reinvigorating interdisciplinary, cross-institutional engagement and understanding and who are committed to training the next generations of scholar-practitioners. Applications may be submitted by a single individual or a pair of individuals who have different institutional affiliations and bring different perspectives, approaches, or specializations to the proposed Workshop theme.
For full information about this opportunity and how to apply, see the full Call for Proposals listed under “ACIP Opportunities” on our website. A list of previously supported ACIP Workshops is also available there: http://www.graduateschool.emory.edu/about/special/acip.html.
Closing Date: Monday 3 May 2021
Research survey: The COVID-19 Impact Survey : African and African Diaspora visual arts community
We invite academics and artists to submit Research Posters that connect to themes outlined below:
The creative sector worldwide has been substantially affected by the global pandemic of COVID-19 and the associated social restrictions. This survey contributes to an understanding of these effects and focuses on the challenges and responses from the African and African Diaspora visual arts community.
The findings will be summarised through a series of blog posts and the production of an illustrative dashboard with public access. Published results are always anonymised. Ultimately the survey will contribute to a research publication which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the arts community globally.
Your participation is voluntary. If you choose to add your contact details at the end of the survey you will be kept up to date as information is disseminated and asked if you would like to participate in follow up research. There is no obligation to do this.
Who can take part?
Anyone who considers them self an African or African Diaspora person (North or Sub-Saharan African) working in the visual arts can participate. Participants may live or work anywhere in the world.
If you choose to take part, the survey comprises 22 short questions. You do not have to log in or sign up to anything. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.
Your data will be held confidentially and only used for the research purposes as stated.
Funding for survey
The survey is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK (AHRC) and Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership UK (M4C) and conducted by a researcher at the University of Birmingham, UK.
The research has been registered for Ethical Review: Reference number ERN_18-1644.
Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. If you have any questions or feedback, please contact:
N Real Time: Now Collecting Experiences: COVID-19 INDEX
by ART library deco
This platform has been created for people of color to share their experiences during the COVID-19 – Coronavirus Pandemic. Selected data, stories, images, audio and videos will be published via an online African American digital art library: ART | library deco.
These works will be published in our digital-arts journal: reduxx, and all submissions will be archived in our online repository in 2021. Feel free to share an experience directly or upload various types of media. Submission Deadline: December 31, 2020. #hashtag: #blackcovid19index
*Disclaimer: All participants must have a gmail.com account to upload materials to database form.
Submit Work Here: https://tinyurl.com/blackcovid19