2009 Africa Conference At the University of Texas at Austin


Dates: March 28-30, 2009 Venue: The University of Texas at Austin

We are inviting scholars to submit conference papers for the 2009 conference on The Environment, Science and Technology in Africa. One major goal of this conference is to concentrate on global/local relationships and how they have left their mark on the African environment. In the past few centuries, many foreigners have brought to the continent their notions of science and technology to harness both the African environment and often also its people. How have these schemes changed the landscape of Africa? How have locals resisted the imposition of these changes? While local knowledge has often been derided as the antithesis of science and technology, how has Africans’ knowledge of their land changed over time, and how has it changed their environments?

Some potential paper topics may include: The role of science and technology in development schemes; environmental impact of resource conflict; pre-colonial environment, science and technology; environmental devastation from wars; environmental impact of refugees and displaced populations; urban environmental problems such as sanitation and slums; the history of science, health and disease in Africa; the environment and health; and the role of foreign investment and aid.

Scholars of Africa must frame the reality and rhetoric of the current environmental crisis within the larger historical context of how Africa has often mistakenly been seen by outsiders as both an Eden and a wasteland. Science and technology have been brought to bear in both of these extremes as a way of engineering abundance and avoiding disaster, to varying success. This conference aims to consider these events and topics within an historical, global and local context. We are also interested in papers examining citizen reaction and perception to these topics through the lens of popular culture, literature, art, and music. As global climate change continues to gain worldwide attention and concern, the role of Africa and the role of the world in Africa will only become an increasingly timely topic for investigation.

As with all our previous conferences, participants will be drawn from different parts of the world. Graduate students are encouraged to attend and present papers. The conference will provide time for scholars from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical location. Additionally, selected papers will be published in book form.

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is November 1, 2008. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and title, as well as the author’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation. Please submit all abstracts to

Toyin Falola [email protected] and Emily Brownell [email protected]