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Call for Abstracts: BIEA Annual Conference 2023

By November 3, 20222 Comments

The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) calls for submission of abstracts for the Annual Conference taking place on various days in February 2023. This multidisciplinary conference seeks to present papers in humanities and social sciences in Africa.  We are living in a world where extreme events are occurring with consequences to community’s world over. While some of the events are predictable such as urbanization and the social economic challenges, others such as COVID-19 are unpredictable and have immense consequences to societies world over.

The themes for this years’ conference includes but not limited to:

  • Retelling the past
  • Changing environments
  • Urbanizing world
  • Epidemics, pandemics, and diseases in Africa
  • Politics and democratization process

These diverse themes and sub-themes seek to unpack some of these important social, cultural, and economic issues affecting the African Continent.  

Retelling the Past

There is a growing tendency to discount knowledge about the past, with archaeology and historicized ways of thinking seen as an unaffordable luxury irrelevant to an African future. At the same time, historical narratives and knowledges play an ever more potent role in discussions about national cohesion, and in debates and litigation over land rights, citizenship and the politics of culture and heritage.

Specific sub themes here include but are not limited to:

  • Technologies of Archaeological Site Identification
  • Cultural Heritage and Conservation
  • Technology in the Past
  • Indigenous Knowledge Systems
  • Religious Spiritualities and Nature

Climate Change and Environmental Issues

Climate change is a key concern for the global society as it affects the environment, we live in with the most affected being the most vulnerable in the society.

Specific sub themes here include but are not limited to:

  • The impacts of changes in climate and the environment
  • Adaptation measures to increase resilience to climate change 
  • Behavioural interventions to reduce local environmental damage
  • Policy measures to reduce local environmental damage

Urbanizing Worlds

The urban spaces although in many cases seen as problematic, are incubators and drivers for creativity and innovation – from social mobilization to debates on urban use of space. Urbanisation, large infrastructure projects and technological innovations all impact the environments in which people live in and in ways that are having, and have long had, profound demographic, socioeconomic, cultural and political effects. This theme seeks research that explores and questions peoples’ imaginations, negotiations, and everyday realities of urban life today and in the past.

Specific sub themes here include but are not limited to:

  • Infrastructure Developments and Urbanization: Land, Housing, Transport
  • Digitization: Urban Digital Economies, Digitization of Processes
  • Social Issues in Urban Contexts: Money and Intimate Relations – The “Slay Queening” Phenomenon, Youth and Intimate Relationships, Evolution of Language ‘Sheng’ In Urban Settings, Social Media, Peer Pressure And Identity Crisis
  • Politics, Inclusion and Rights
  • Public Transport: Policy, Inclusivity and Gender-Based Violence
  • African Policing and Public Safety in Urban Spaces

Epidemics, Pandemics and Diseases in Africa

Diseases and pandemics such as the HIV/AIDS, Ebola and the on-going Covid 19 pandemic have been part of humans history for as long as we have existed. These pandemics have had devastating consequences to all but especially the most vulnerable populations across the globe. Across every sphere of life for example, the novel Covid 19 pandemic has and continues to have devastating consequences on all peoples but especially women and girls in the majority world. The Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 as well as the Ebola and HIV/AIDs pandemics have reminded us about our interconnectedness with our environment. These has renewed the need for us to unpack these interconnectedness as well as popular responses, narratives of the diseases, and how people made sense of the pandemics. This leads us to try to understand how people used their socio-cultural tools to make sense of the pandemic.

Specific sub themes here include but are not limited to:

  • Covid-19 and Burial/Marriage Cultures in Africa.
  • Covid-19, Religion, Vaccine Politics and Misinformation
  • Pandemics, and the Mental Health Crisis in Africa
  • Pandemics and Traditional Medicines in Africa
  • Pandemics and Gender and Sexual Based Violence in Africa
  • Pandemics, Teenage Pregnancy and Girls Education in Africa
  • Pandemics Work and the Economy

Politics and Democratization Process

The interplay between politics and the democratization process is the increased demand for meaningful participation by citizens to hold the government accountable. Generally, competitive politics are good for democracy because they enhance accountability, respect for human rights, and effective service delivery. However, the effect of politics on democracy does not always cast a silver lining. In many ways, politics have constrained democratic consolidation due to competition for executive power, identity politics, ethnicity and the weakening of institutional and legislative bodies.

Specific sub themes here include but are not limited to:

  • Corruption and Elections
  • Judiciary and Elections
  • Dynasties Vs Hustlers Narratives
  • Role for Religion and Civil Society in Electioneering
  • Peace, Justice and State Power
  • The Evolving Roles of African First Ladies
  • Women, Politics, Religion and Electioneering
  • Political Parties, Corruption and Internal Democracies
  • Youth Mobilization, Social Media And Democracy In Africa

The conference will be a hybrid event with in-person attendance being held at BIEA’s Laikipia Road Kileleshwa office.

You are invited to submit a 500 word abstract for a 15 minute paper presentation to [email protected]  by 5th December, 2022.

BIEA

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