Africa and its Diaspora: Migration, identity and homeland

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The African Studies Institute will present the 5th Biennial International Conference on Africa and its Diaspora, or BICAID 2017, Nov. 8 – 10, 2017 in the Tate Center.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Voluntary or Involuntary: Migration and the Conceptualization of African Identities and Homeland.” Featured speakers at the three day international conference will include Afe Adogame of Princeton University, New Jersey, USA; Wandia Njoya of Daystar University, Kenya; and Msugh Moses Kembe of the Benue State University, Nigeria.

BICAID 2017 conference will build on the work done during the last four annual conferences held by the Institute (2012 to 2015). This is the first biennial edition of the International conference on Africa and Its Diaspora. The past AICAID gatherings have focused on interrelated topical issues concerning Africa and Its Diaspora including: the value and expressions of indigenous and local knowledge; the contents and discontents about globalization; the relics and innovations in the realm of gender and development; and youth and technological developments on the continent. The first AICAID in November 2012 was a ‘State of the Arts’ conference organized as part of the 25th anniversary of African studies programming at UGA. Participants from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa are expected to present more than fifty papers at this year’s conference. 

“It is hoped that the deliberations about this rather comprehensively conceived theme will allow for the consideration of diverse issues,” said Ibigbolade Aderibigbe, associate professor in the department of Religion in the Franklin College, and this year’s conference co-convener. “Issues such as slavery and forced migration; the differences in the history, direction and reason for dispersal among different African migrant communities; African Diaspora and the issue of Indigeneity; African migration in the era of increased nationalism and xenophobia; and the towering influence of hope, faith and culture on African migration, and emergent African identities. “ 

Adogame, the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Christianity and Society, Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University will deliver the keynote address on “Making Identity and Identity in the Making: Migration and the Reinvention of Africa within the African Religious Diaspora” on Thursday, November 9 at 8am in the Tate Center Theater. The opening ceremony will feature performance by music students from Daystar University, Kenya. Njoya, head of the department of language and performing arts at Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya will present the lead paper on “The world is our home: The African Diaspora in the neoliberal age of Trump” on Thursday, November 9 at 2 pm in Room 137, Tate Center. 

The conference will also feature a Latin America and Caribbean Studies Institute’s plenary panel on Friday, November 10 at 8:30am in the Tate Center Grand Hall. The LACSI panel will feature Dr. Leara Rhodes, UGA associate professor of Journalism and Mass Communication presenting on “Migration is Not Covered When You are Haitian,” and Dr. Emily Sahakian, assistant professor of Theatre and Film Studies on “Restaging Black Histories: Edouard Glissant’s Popular Theatre, From Martinique to UGA.” The conference round off lecture will be presented by Professor Msugh Moses Kembe, the Vice Chancellor of Benue State University, Nigeria on “International Migration and African Development: Opportunities and Challenges in a new world order” on Friday, November 10 at 4pm in Tate Center Grand Hall. 

"We are hopeful that this international conference will continue the tradition established with the AICAID of intensive exchanges between scholars, researchers and technocrats working on the continent, in the African Diaspora and the rest of the World." said Akinloye Ojo, associate professor in the department of comparative literature in the Franklin College and Director of the African Studies Institute. “Our goal with this conference is to highlight research on aspects of the dispersal of Africans across the globe and to provide content and context for the emergent discourses on African identities and homeland(s). 

BICAID 2017 is made possible by support from the President’s Venture Fund, the Provost office, Vice President for Research, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES), School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA), School of Social Work, the Graduate School, Office of International Education (OIE), Office of Institutional Diversity (OID), Institute for African American Studies, Department of English, Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies, Department of Anthropology, and the Department of Communication Studies. For more information, visit http://afrstu.uga.edu/news-events/5th-biennial-international-conference-africa-and-its-diaspora

Image: via africandiasporacoalition.org