Dec 132012

Call for papers: Teaching Africa and International Studies – Three workshops in 2013 Cambridge, 19 April, London, 17 June and Cape Town, 5-6/26-7 September

These workshops will explore aspects of teaching Africa and International Studies, including curricula, pedagogy, and ethical and political issues. The workshops are organised through the BISA ‘Africa and International Studies’ working group in conjunction with the Politics Departments of Cambridge University, Royal Holloway, University of London and University of Cape Town. They are funded by the Higher Education Academy.

Teaching Africa in IS can help combat cultural stereotypes and address issues of global inequality and justice. Whilst there is high student interest in such courses, they are often under-provided by universities. In part this arises from a historic neglect by the discipline, albeit one that new research is reversing. For teachers, it can reflect the lack of an obvious curriculum or the challenge of drawing together different strands of research, often from various disciplines.

At the same time, teaching IS in Africa offers particular challenges, since the field has been dominated by western-centric accounts that have treated Africa as peripheral or irrelevant. Many of the resources available to African teachers and scholars reflect this bias, and help propagate the continent’s marginalisation. However, there are teachers who are producing excellent and innovative pedagogical materials and methods that seek to overcome these challenges. Others are keen to do so. These workshops will provide a space for both to share different aspects of practice.

We welcome papers on any aspect of teaching Africa and international studies, including those exploring:

  • The state of teaching Africa in IS, and IS in Africa
  • Course designs and content
  • Interdisciplinarity and internationalisation
  • Student-led and research-led teaching in Africa and IS
  • The use of media and visual arts in learning
  • Promoting global understanding through pedagogy

Broad themes that might be addressed include: Undergraduate dissertations; Masters teaching; PhD supervision; Race; Gender; Ethics and responsibility; Conflict and trauma; Literature and arts; Religion; Africa and IR theory; Students and fieldwork; Preconceptions of Africa

We plan to publish an edited volume based on outputs, and to make the presentations and reflections available on a collaborative and open access ‘wiki’, which could serve as a collective open access resource for teachers in the field.

We particularly welcome contributions from teachers and scholars from African institutions. Some funding is available to cover travel and accommodation.

Please send your proposal, which should include a title and 200-word abstract, as well as your name, affiliation, and which workshop(s) you would be able to attend, to:

Meera Sabaratnam, Department of Politics, University of Cambridge,
Julia Gallagher, Department of Politics and International Relations, Royal Holloway, University of London,
Karen Smith, Department of Political Studies, University of Cape Town,

Deadline for proposals: 31 January 2013

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