Thank you!

Thank you to all the panelists, discussants, speakers, and attendees for making this year’s conference a tremendous success. We hope to see you next year!

A special thanks to the Center for African Studies, and all of our sponsors, for their support.

2012 SFAS conference


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Conference UPDATE: Book signing with Boubacar Boris Diop 10/26

There will be a book signing with keynote speaker Boubacar Boris Diop immediately prior to the start of the 2012 SFAS conference, from 2-3pm at the Stanford Humanities Center. Books will be available for purchase.

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2012 SFAS Annual Conference Program

The SFAS 2012 Program is now available!

Mobile Africa: Stanford Forum for African Studies Conference

Stanford Humanities Center

October 26-27, 2012

Friday, 26 October

NEW: 2:00-3:00pm Book signing with Boubacar Boris Diop

3:00 – 4:00pm       Keynote

Prof. Francis Nyamnjoh, Department of Anthropology, University of Cape Town:  “Friction and Reality of Mobility in Africa”

4:00 – 4:15pm        Coffee

4:15 – 5:45pm        Concurrent Panels: African Elites & Mobility and State Formation

Panel 1:  African Elites

Discussant: Mazibuko Jara

Coordinator: John Moran

Dominique Connan (European University Institute, Florence, HEC Department; Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne, Dept of Political Science):  “The Decolonization of Kenyan Clubs and the Cultural Making of an African Elite: Importing Narrations of Respectability in Contemporary Africa”

Lisa Pogialli (Stanford University, Anthropology): “Innovation Meets Replication: the Making of Nairobi’s ‘Techie’ Elite”

Jasmine Swyningan (University of Chicago, International Relations): “Investments vs. Insulin: The Struggle between Women’s Poverty Reduction and Diabetes in sub-Saharan Africa”

Dr. Farai Magunha (Former Research Fellow, School of Geography, University of Leeds): “Understanding Remittances as a Form of Social Protection: An Analysis of Kinships and Transnationalism amongst the Zimbabwean Diaspora”

Panel 2: Mobility and State Formation

Discussant: Dr. Michael Eze

Coordinator: Alex Niell

David Skinner (Santa Clara University, History): “States, Markets and Islam in the Gambia River Basin and in the Northern Rivers of the Upper Guinea Coast”

Jess Auerbach (Stanford University, Anthropology): “Consuming Angola: the Emerging Middle Class and Inter-Lusophone Transnationalism in the Country of the Future”

Samuel Daly (Columbia University, History): “Igbo Labor Migration to Fernando Po, 1940-1966”

Amanda Robinson (Stanford University, Political Science): “Nationalism and Inter-Ethnic Trust: Evidence from an African Border Region”

6:00pm             Dinner and Live Music

*          *          *          *

Saturday, 27 October

7:45 – 8:15am       Breakfast

8:15 – 9:45am        Concurrent Panels: Media and Mobility & Lifestyle and Mobility

Panel 3:  Media and Mobility

Discussant: Musikilu Mojeed

Coordinator: Mark Gardiner

Kathryn Takabvirwa (Stanford University, Anthropology): “Buying More Than Time: Policing and Bribe Money in South Africa and Zimbabwe”

Bruce Lusignan (Stanford University, Emeritus): “The Effect of Local Communications and Education in Guiding the Expansion of African Agriculture”

Jennifer Blaylock (UC Berkeley, Film and Media): “Arriving at Democracy: Mobile Cinema and the Remote”

Lindsay Bayham (UC Berkeley, Sociology): “Contested Mobility: Narrating
Inclusion in Ghana’s Migration Information Campaigns”

Panel 4: Lifestyle and Mobility

Discussant: Prof. Joel Samoff

Coordinator: Kathryn Takabvirwa

Gavin Macarthur (formerly Manchester University, Social Anthropology): “Imagination, Performance and Social Mobility in Zanzibar”

Lorien Hunter (University of Southern California, Critical Studies): “The Other Side of Diaspora”

Tali Cassidy (University of Cape Town, Public Health): “Mobile Phones: Building Half a Bridge?”

Rachel Bonds (Stanford University, African Studies): “Outward Migration and Diaspora Populations: Transforming the Brain Drain into a Brain Gain”

9:45 – 10:00am    Coffee

10:00 – 11:00am Faculty Round Table

Faculty Round Table Participants:

Prof. Boubacar Boris Diop:  Université Gaston Berger

Prof. James Ferguson: Stanford University

Prof. Francis Nyamnjoh: University of Cape Town

Prof. Charles Piot: Duke University

Moderators: Jess Auerbach and Melina Platas

11:15 – 12:45pm Concurrent Panels: Minerals and Magic & South-South Engagement

Panel 5: Minerals and Magic

Discussant: Prof. Sean Hanretta

Coordinator: Vivian Lu

Johannes Knierzinger (University of Leipzig, African Studies): “African Mining for European Industries: The Case of Bauxite in Guinea”

Mark Gardiner (Stanford University, Anthropology): “From Safari to the Hilton: Nation Building and Nuclear Regulation in Africa”

Damien Droney (Stanford, Anthropology): “’Miracle Tree’: The Transnational Career of Moringa Oleifera”

Bruno Reinhardt (UC Berkeley, Anthropology): “Mobile Ecclesiologies: The Man of God and the Anointing in a Ghanaian Bible School”

Panel 6: South-South Engagement

Discussant: Prof. Richard Roberts

Coordinator: Nisrin Elamin

Vivian Lu (Stanford University, Anthropology): “African Merchant Mobilities along Importation Networks of the Global South: Lagos-Dubai-Guangzhou Connections”

Leticia Cesarino (UC Berkeley, Anthropology): “People, Technologies, and Knowledge across the Southern Atlantic: Brazil-Africa Cooperation”

John Moran (Stanford University, Anthropology): “’They Come Here to Support Botswana Somehow’: (De)Theorizing Chinese-Batswana Interactions in Gaborone”

Cheryl Mei-ting Schmitz (UC Berkeley, Anthropology): “Criminalization of an Encounter: Chinese Entrepreneurs Meet the Angolan State”

1:00 – 2:00pm Lunch & Second Keynote

Prof. Boubacar Boris Diop (Departments of Literature & Philosophy, Université Gaston Berger; Senegalese novelist): “Arab Spring: a View from Sub-Saharan Africa”

With thanks to:

our sponsors:

Abbassi Center for Islamic Studies, Center for African Studies, Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, Program in African and American Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Program in Modern Thought and Literature, Omidyar Foundation, Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, Department of French and Italian, Stanford Humanities Center

and to the students, staff, and faculty involved in its realization:

Asiya Wadud,  Kathryn Takabvirwa, Fatoumata Seck, Joel Samoff, Richard Roberts, Melina Platas, Ken Opalo, John Moran, Caitie Monroe, Musikilu Mojeed, Vivian Lu, Touma Kunjo, Mazibuko Jara, Laura Hubbard, Alex Hill, Sean Hanretta, Mark Gardiner, James Ferguson, Michael Eze, Nisrin Elamin, Callie Burke, Rachel Bonds, Annalisa Bolin, Jess Auerbach, Kimberly Ambayec


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2012 SFAS Annual Conference: CFP

Our CFP for the annual SFAS conference is now available. This year’s theme is “Mobile Africa”. Please submit your abstracts today! Email to or submit online here.

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Congratulations to our African Studies graduates!

Congratulations to the African Studies MA class of 2012!

Sara Conklin

Annie Hsieh

Koffi Korha

Chad McClymonds

Vanessa Watters

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Thank you!

Thank you to all the panelists, discussants, speakers, and participants for making our 2011 annual conference a wonderful success. We hope to see you again soon!

For more conference photos, please click on the image below.

2011 SFAS Conference

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SFAS 2011 Conference Program

“The Black Atlantic: Colonial and Contemporary Exchanges”
October 28-29, 2011
Stanford Humanities Center

Friday, Oct. 28

Registration 2:00-2:30pm

Opening Keynote (Bruce Hall, Duke University) 2:30-3:45pm

Panel I 4:00-5:30pm
Trading Race: Colonial and Contemporary perceptions of Race

Discussant: Dr. Michael Eze

1. Dana Linda (UCLA) Narratives of Enclosure: The Documentation of Space and Race in Ortiz and Carpentier

2. Michael Ugorji (Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Germany) Being Black in a Post-slavery, Post-Darwinian World: The Persistence of Victimage

3. Sarah Quesada (Stanford University) García Márquez, and the Daughters of the Diaspora in a Selected Corpus.

4. Fatoumata Seck (Stanford University)  Bouqui and Malice, a Caribbean counter-poetics

Panel II 5:45-7:15pm
The Diaspora in Circulation: The Aesthetic Politics of Cultural Production

Discussant: Dr. Laura Hubbard

1. Krishna Barua (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati)  Inventing the Truth: Maya Angelou’s ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’

2. I. Augustus Durham (Princeton Theological Seminary)  The (In)Visibility of a Frenzied Reality: W. E. B. Du Bois as Conjure Man in ‘The Souls of Black Folk’

3. Joy White (University of Greenwich)   From Rhythm and Blues to Grime: Black Atlantic Exchanges and the Performance of Identity

4. Robert Hanserd (Northern Illinois University) Obayifo to Obeah: Priestly Power and other elements of  Afro-Atlantic Akan Identity

5. Elizabeth Spragins (Stanford University) Grey Shades of Blackness in Zurara’s Cronica da Guine
Appetizers, wine, mingling and music 7:30-8:30pm

*        *        *

Saturday, Oct. 29
Breakfast 7:45-8:15am

Panel III 8:15-9:45am Crossing the Space in Between: representations and belonging in Ghana, Haiti, Senegal and Somalia

Discussant: Prof. Sean Hanretta

1. Michael Ralph (New York University) Forensics of Debt: Militarism and Modern Credit Debt in the French Atlantic Empire

2. Scott Stabler (Grand Valley State University) and Mary Owusu University of Cape Coast, Ghana) Global Slavery: Lost in Trans-lation

3. Marwa H. Ghazali (University of Kansas) Is My Baby Too Black: slavery, silence and self-imagination among Somali Bantu refugees in Kansas City

4. Christina Mobley (Duke University) Central Africans in the Haitian Revolution

Panel IV 10:00–11:30am  Colonial Constructions of Race

Discussant: Prof. Vincent Barletta

1. Myriam Chancy (University of Cincinnati)  Return to My Native Land ?: Investigating the Discursive Landscape of African Pilgrimages in Contemporary Postcolonial Travel Narratives  

2. Marzia Milazzo (University of California, Santa Barbara)Capturing the Black Experience in Latin America’?: Diasporic Identity and Anti-Racist Discourse in the Works of the Afro-Panamanian Writer Cubena

3. Jess Auerbach (Stanford University) Angolans in Brazil: Towards New Economic Futures

Faculty Roundtable 11:45-1pm
1. Elisabeth Mudimbe-Boyi (Stanford University, French and Comparative Literature)
2. Lisa Surwillo (Stanford University, Iberian and Latin American Cultures)
3. Richard Roberts (Stanford University, History)

Keynote lunch by Pius Adesanmi 1-2pm


Center for African Studies, The Humanities Center, The Division for Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, The Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies, Department of Anthropology, Department of History, Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Department of English, Department of Sociology, and the Center for Latin American Studies.

This is an interdisciplinary conference,  and all are welcome to attend!


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