Showing posts from June, 2011

CFP: Culture and Society in Post-Colonial Nigeria in honor of ULLI BEIER

Still catching up

Institute of African Studies


Culture and Society in Post-Colonial Nigeria in honor of ULLI BEIER.

November 28 – 30, 2011

The conference is being organised in honour of Ulli Beier, not only to invoke his memorable role in the cultural production in Nigeria from the years immediately before and after the independence, but also to incite robust discussion on his entire oeuvre as a cultural interventionist. In literature, in performance and in Visual Arts, the long list of artists that Ulli Beier’s many fora (Black Opheus, Mbari, Mbari Mbayo) fostered is a proof of his sterling contribution to African culture.

Culture itself encapsulates the dialogic production of meaning and aesthetics through a variety of practices. It also captures discourses associated with a mix of public and private institutions such as cinemas, the media, museums and other sites of socio-historical production. Discourses around such issues expose the mindset of a people; they mirror where a nation is coming from and the direction in which it is moving. After fifty years of independence, Nigeria requires looking back to assess itself. The project of evolving a new Nigeria has placed emphasis on political and economic factors rather than developing cultural potential for sustainable development. This is a huge lacuna given the fact that culture plays a significant role in the life of a nation.

The conference is intended to stimulate new dimensions of assessing the predicament of pre-colonial Nigeria, privileging cultural history and production. More specifically, we anticipate an interrogation of the double-bind of fusion and rupture of politics and culture. In an attempt to answer many questions that emanate from this, we expect that the conference will generate theses from a wide range of perspectives such as economics, art and science, among others.

Sub-themes include but are not limited to the following:

* Culture Theory

* Culture, Gender and (Wo)Men’s rights

* Culture, Democracy and Governance

* Globalization, Mass Culture and the New Media

* Material Culture and Cultural Performance

* Culture and Ecology

* Traditional Medicine and Spirituality

* Conflict Prevention and Management

* Social Movements and Ethics

Keynote speakers:

Professor Akin Ogundiran, Chair, Africana Studies Department,University of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC.: Topic: Crises of Culture and Consciousness in the Postcolony: What is the Future for Nigeria?

Professor Wole Ogundele, Director Centre for Black culture and International Understanding, Osogbo, Osun State.: Topic: He Lived among the Orisha: Ulli Beier and the Yoruba Cultural Revival.

Conference Venue: Institute of African Studies, University of Ibadan, Nigeria

An abstract of not more than 250 words is expected to reach the conference organizers through the following e-mail addresses:

Ohioma Pogoson tellohio[at]

Ayo Adeduntan grandeekay[at]

not later than August 15, 2011. Participants shall be notified of the acceptance of their abstracts by August 31, 2011.

CFA: Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme

I should have published this earlier but I’m currently still catching up with things on the ground here in London, sorry …

Cambridge/Africa Collaborative Research Programme

With support from the Leverhulme Trust and the Issac Newton Trust, we now have a programme of academic and intellectual exchange that will establish longer-term partnerships between Cambridge and particular African universities. A group of five Africa-based scholars, chosen out of a competition organized around a particular theme, will come to Cambridge for six months of research. A Cambridge lecturer pursuing research on the yearly theme will coordinate the programme. At the conclusion of the Visiting Fellows' tenure in Cambridge, the lecturer involved in the previous year's activities will go to the African university with which we have partnered to convene a conference. The five African hVisiting Fellows will also attend. During the following year an edited volume would be produced, published on the Centre of African Studies' book series and co-published by a press run by the partner African university.

Africa-based scholars are invited to apply for the 2012-2013 fellowship programme, which will be centred on the theme of 'Art and Museums in Africa'.

An application package can be downloaded here.

Art and Museums in Africa

African art has long been globally famous but has also been controversial both intellectually and politically. Most obviously, the scramble for African art engaged in by western museums and art collectors has been condemned as an appropriation, as has the borrowing of forms and motifs derived from African arts by European modernist artists. Within disciplines such as art history and anthropology, there has been much argument about appropriate methods and concepts for the study of African art traditions. In the epoch of decolonization efforts were made to establish new museums in African states, relevant to local aspirations and new national cultures. Over the same period efforts have been made to revive customary art practices, and to create new craft industries, sometimes in the context of post-conflict and AIDS-prevention community projects. Over the last 50 years modernist and contemporary arts have also emerged and have gained increasing international recognition, while typically lacking secure financial or institutional support within African states.

This theme aims to support a wide range of interests in historical and contemporary arts in Africa and in changing practices in local and national museums and art institutions.

Visiting Fellows for 2010-2011

The five Visiting Fellows for the academic year 2010-2011 are:

Dr Tunde AWOSANMI of University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Dr Eiman EL-NOUR of Al-Ahfad University for Women, Omdurman, Sudan

Dr Oyeniyi OKUNOYE of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria

Dr Kenneth SIMALA of Masinde Muliro University, Kenya

Dr James TSAAIOR of Pan-African University, Lagos, Nigeria

These five scholars spent time in Cambridge, pursuing research on the theme 'Myth and Modernity in African Literature. In August 2011 the Centre in collaboration with the School of Media and Communication, Pan-African University, Lagos will convene a conference at the Pan-African University.

For information about the conference and the call for papers 'click' here

Research Horizons Conversations across continents.

Each year, academic dialogue is enriched at the Centre of African Studies by the arrival of a group of African scholars who spend up to six months researching and working together.

To read more click here

Africa Seminar: Reflections on the Arts of Northern Nigeria

Shameless self-promotion, well, kinda … shameless promotion of the kinda stuff I’m interested in:

The Centre of African Studies, University of London

Africa Seminar

Dr David Heathcote: Reflections on the Arts of Northern Nigeria

Chaired by Dr Charles Gore (SOAS) and comments by: Katrin Schulze, PhD (SOAS)

Trained as an artist in Canterbury and sub­sequently at the Slade School of Art, David Heathcote taught in Southern Rhodesia from1960 onwards and then in Nigeria at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, 1967-1979, before returning to the United Kingdom to practise and teach art. His most recent solo exhibition was in 2011 at the GV Art Gallery, Chiltern Street, London.

During his time in northern Nigeria he exten­sively researched Hausa arts and published articles on African art (among others). His seminal book, The Arts of the Hausa (1976), accompanied his Commonwealth Exhibition on the same theme

Followed by reception

Thurs 9 June 2011, 5pm-7pm

School of Oriental and African Studies, Thornhaugh Street/Russel Square, Brunei Gallery Room B101