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African Connections

Biennial conference of the African Studies Association in Germany, Leipzig, 27-30 June, 2018.

Panel : ‘Reframing’ (post-) colonial housing through African workers

Worker housing represented the commonest built element in the colonial landscape. It is understood as a distinct component of broader ambitions of colonial powers to shape the physical spaces of (public and private) city lives of African workers and as a means to gain both their consent and achieve domination. The panel will trace, in historical perspective, the aspirations of colonial powers with respect to the governing of African workers in different cities.

The panel will ask for ways and means through which African workers came to ‘reframe’ (responded to) the housing orders imposed on them by the respective colonial powers, be it via adaptation, ignorance, resistance, transformation, subversion or even profit. Our understanding is that housing represented a terrain shaped by processes stretching beyond its immediate physical landscape – processes of contestation through which multiple perspectives of a variety of players come to be heard. We invite case studies from any forms of employment during the colonial and post-colonial era : be it mining, agriculture, infrastructure buildings and/or administration.

We look for contributions which will trace interconnectivity at various levels and scales, ranging from local via transnational to global, e.g. by connecting the individual experiences to their respective metropolises. We will point to mobility and transfer of ideas, designs, concepts, experts, policies and practices across regions and continents both at individual and structural level.

The theme of the conference of the Association 
of African Studies in Germany (Vereinigung für Afrikawissenschaften in 
Deutschland/VAD e.V.) from 27 to 30 June 2018 is "African Connections". The conference is hosted 
by the Institute of African Studies and the Centre for Area Studies at 
the University of Leipzig.

Please note that although proposals should be submitted by 15 December 
2017, given the short lead time proposals will be considered until 31 January 2018.

Please submit an abstract (max 250 words) directly to panel conveners :