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African Mobilities-Reshaping narratives and practices of circulation and exchange

19-21 September 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden. Arranged by the Nordic Africa Institute.

Call for panels

Mobility have always been central to economic, social, cultural, and political formations across the African continent. From the historical migration of entire communities to the circulation of resources and ideas ; and from urbanisation dynamics and labour mobilities to regional and global participation in new social movements, trade networks, and information sharing, all these movements are at the heart of social processes, past and present, that shape the outlooks and activities of people in all walks of life.

In light of rising concerns over mass displacement and irregular migration towards the global North, the movement of people tends to be seen in an intellectually limiting and politically hostile manner. The unequal distribution of social mobility continues to raise concerns relating to economic and political prospects for African polities. These different mobilities, moreover, combine and overlap in significant ways that are often neglected in public debates and policy initiatives. By highlighting the multiplicity of mobilities that characterise contemporary Africa, and the wider world today, as well as the social, cultural, economic and political anchorage of these movements in localised understandings and agendas, the theme African mobilities encourages a holistic understanding of human movements as embedded in wider webs of circulation and exchange.

The 2018 Nordic Africa Days invite reflections on the many and varied forms of movement and mobility that characterise contemporary Africa. Contributions may address a diversity of themes, such as

 the voluntary or involuntary (im)mobility of people within, towards, or away from the continent ; circulations and transitions between rural and urban localities ;
 dynamics of social mobility and class (in)equalities ;
 the circulation and exchange of knowledge, images, ideas and other forms of information ;
 the changing flows of resources and capital ;
 the complex roles of natural resources in shaping flows of capital, goods, skills, labour, and other migrants ;
 the effects of infrastructures, including ICTs, in shaping and producing mobilities ;
 and the various roles and expressions of African diasporas across the globe.

PhD candidates and other emerging scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in the conference. The conference aims to be a forum for academic exchange and intellectual development, where contributions from a new generation of researchers are important and welcome. The conference also provides a venue for dialogue between Africa specialists within academic and policy arenas.

Panel proposals should be submitted to no later than 1 February 2018.

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