Africa Here; Africa There - Canadian Association of African Studies

York University Toronto, Canada 5-7 May, 2011

Plenary speakers

Achille MBEMBE, Wiser Institute for Social and Economic Research,
University of the Witwatersrand, Exiting from the Long Night?
Cultural Forms and Institutions in Africa- Sortir de la grande nuit?
Formes culturelles et institutions en Afrique

Imed MELLITI, Institut Supérieur des Sciences Humaines, University of
Tunis el-Manar: Jeunesses maghrébines : religiosité, enjeux
identitaires et enjeux de reconnaissance- Maghrebi Youth: Religiosity,
Identity and Recognition

Donald SIMPSON, Innovation Expedition, Africa - Here and There in the
Sixties: A Canadian Perspective. Afrique Ici et ailleurs dans les
années 1960: Une perspective canadienne

Official Conference Opening 
Dr. Mamdouh SHOUKRI, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University/
Recteur et Vice-chancelier de l´Université York

The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) extends a special invitation to scholars and professionals working on all aspects of African Studies for its next annual conference. The conference, to be held on May 5-7, 2011, at York University - Université York, Toronto, Canada, will be hosted by the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on the Global Migrations of African Peoples, York University, with the
support of various internal and external sponsors. Our aim is to attract an international group of specialists at all stages in their careers to facilitate discussion and dialogue, in both of Canada´s official languages, across disciplines and between scholars and professionals based in both the North and South.

In recognition of 2011 having been proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year for People of African Descent, the central theme of the 2011 annual conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) is Africa Here; Africa There. Africans have long peopled the African continent, as well as other landscapes through external migrations. During the modern era, the movement of African peoples has taken place under three major contexts: various trades in human beings, economic hardship emanating from natural and non-natural factors, and political, ethnic, religious and other types of persecution. Whether internal or external, the displacement of African peoples has always led to greater complexities within the host societies. Africans and people of African descent,
free, freed or enslaved, made up a sizeable proportion of the population of Évora and Lisbon during the late 1400s and early 1500s and performed much of the most menial manual work while speaking various West and West-Central African languages and supplying characters and speech patterns to the works of contemporaneous
playwrights like Gil Vicente. The same was true of London, not to mention other places in the United Kingdom, from at least the time of Shakespeare to the early 19th century. By the mid-1800s, their presence and influence was even more pervasive in Brazil, as well as Cuba. Similarly if Africans and the descendents of Africans attempted to recreate their homelands, imagined or not, amongst host societies, as was the case of the marooned Zanj in Iraq (869-883 A.D.), the great
Bantu state of Palmares in XVIIth century Brazil, or later the Igbo in Maryland and Virginia, Jamaica, and Barbados, the process today is no less omnipresent as exemplified by the existence of Little Angola in Rio de Janeiro, Little Nigeria in Houston, or the current attempt to establish a Little Ethiopia in Toronto. In other words, Africa has long existed within the old continent and beyond as well. This
reality, far from signifying solely an African presence, points to a series of new ways of moving across and exploiting space stemming from an evolving division of world labour, distribution of resources, and production of modes of living together. Africa Here; Africa There will explore, in English and in French, the multifaceted complexities generated by these phenomena within and outside of Africa over time
from the perspective of various disciplines.

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28.01.2011 | by martalanca | People of African Descent