John O. Hunwick’s Legacy: A series of panels at the 2016 African Studies Association annual meeting

1 December 2016

The Saharan Studies Association is proud to announce a series of panels to be held at this year’s African Studies Association annual meeting in Washington, D.C. These panels will be on the theme of John O. Hunwick’s Legacy.

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L’aménagement de l’espace au Maghreb, Colloque annuel de l’Institut Américain d’Études Maghrébines (AIMS), 8-9 Juillet 2017, Tunisie

1 December 2016

Résumé : L’Institut Américain d’Études Maghrébines (AIMS) lance un appel à communications pour son colloque annuel qui se tiendra en Tunisie, et qui portera sur le thème « Faire/aménager l’espace dans le/au Maghreb ». Ce colloque a pour but de développer une approche pluridisciplinaire examinant les processus de (ré)aménagement et de (re)composition de l’espace à l’intérieur et à l’extérieur de l’Afrique du Nord à différents niveaux d’analyse, à travers toutes les périodes historiques, et à travers les différentes approches théoriques au sein des sciences humaines et sociales.

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CFP: “Making Space in the Maghrib,” 8-9 July 2017, Tunisia

1 December 2016

The American Institute for Maghrib Studies invites scholars to submit papers for an interactive conference to be held in Tunisia on the theme of “Making Space in the Maghrib.” The aim of this conference is to develop an interdisciplinary suite of papers examining processes of space-making into, out of, and within northern Africa (broadly defined) at various levels of analysis, throughout all historical periods, and through multiple theoretical frameworks across the humanities and social sciences.

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New Book Announcement : “Sovereignty in Exile A Saharan Liberation Movement Governs,” by Alice Wilson

20 October 2016

Sovereignty in Exile explores sovereignty and state power through the case of a liberation movement that set out to make itself into a state. The Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) was founded by the Polisario Front in the wake of Spain’s abandonment of its former colony, the disputed Western Sahara. Morocco laid claim to the same territory, and the conflict has locked Polisario and Morocco in a political stalemate that has lasted forty years. Complicating the situation is the fact that Polisario conducts its day-to-day operations in refugee camps near Tindouf, in Algeria, which house most of the Sahrawi exile community. SADR (a partially recognized state) and Polisario (Western Sahara’s liberation movement) together form an unusual governing authority, originally premised on the dismantling of a perceived threat to national (Sahrawi) unity: tribes. Drawing on unprecedented long-term research gained by living with Sahrawi refugee families, Alice Wilson examines how tribal social relations are undermined, recycled, and have reemerged as the refugee community negotiates governance, resolves disputes, manages social inequalities, and improvises alternatives to taxation. Wilson trains an ethnographic lens on the creation of administrative categories, legal reforms, aid distribution, marriage practices, local markets, and contested elections within the camps. Tracing social, political, and economic changes among Sahrawi refugees, Sovereignty in Exile reveals the dynamics of a postcolonial liberation movement that has endured for decades in the deserts of North Africa while trying to bring about the revolutionary transformation of a society which identifies with a Bedouin past.

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Call for Papers: “Saharan Identity”

13 September 2016

Call for Papers for a panel for the the 2017 African Literature Association and New York African Studies Association meetings, as well as a special issue of CELAAN : Revue du Centre d’Études des Littératures et des Arts d’Afrique du Nord. This panel will employ a broad definition of “identity” welcoming submissions on a variety of Saharan topics including the following: literature on the Sahara from writers in any of the dozen “Saharan countries”; literal or metaphorical uses of the Sahara in African or other literatures; Saharan travel literature of any source (African, European, Asian, et al.); cartography and the Sahara; landscape and identity in the Sahara; visual arts and the Sahara; film and the Sahara; movement-mobility and identity including migration to Europe, migration among Saharan countries, nomadism, transhumant pastoralism, sedentism, oasis life, trucking, caravans, and effects of the Sahara on movement in the Sahel; tourism and identity in the Sahara; gender-race-ethnicity-class-sexuality and identity in the Sahara; the role of history in Saharan identities; community and “identity spaces” in the Sahara; slavery and the Sahara; peace and/or violence and the Sahara; imperialism and the Sahara; the Sahara and Pan-Africanism; the Sahara in relation to another region (e.g., North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, East Africa); neoliberalism and the Sahara; the Sahara in a global context; religion-spirituality and the Sahara; wellness and the Sahara; Nature and identity in the Sahara; “Saharan music”; micro- or macro-ethnographic studies on people living in or around the Sahara; the Sahara as relevant to any of the specific themes of the 2017 ALA conference at Yale: http://ala2017.macmillan.yale.edu/ .

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Call for Applications: West African Research Association biannual travel grant

18 July 2016

WARA is now accepting applications for our biannual WARC Travel Grant. This cycle opens today July 15, 2016 till September 15, 2016 12.00pm EST. The WARC Travel Grant supports West African post graduate scholars and researchers carrying out research in West Africa. Studies in all disciplines are welcome. Please note that this grant covers travel taking place between January 1, 2017 and June 30, 2017. Complete your application using the link below:
https://fs9.formsite.com/westafricanresearchassociation/form33/index.html

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1976-2016 : La question (irrésolue) du Sahara Occidental : quels enjeux pour quelles recherches en sciences humaines et sociales ? Colloque international – 2 & 3 juin 2016 Paris – Sorbonne

29 February 2016

L’objectif de ce 1er colloque international en sciences humaines et sociales consacré au Sahara Occidental est de réaliser un état des lieux de la recherche en SHS sur cette « question ». Il s’agit d’une part de permettre aux chercheurs d’échapper à l’atomisation de la recherche sur le sujet en leur offrant un espace de rencontre, de dialogue, de partage de résultats et d’expériences de terrain et, d’autre part, d’envisager de futures synergies et mises en réseaux, afin de donner davantage de visibilité à cette production scientifique. Cet objectif est d’autant plus important que l’accès à une information fiable et à des analyses de qualité sur le Sahara Occidental est devenu un des enjeux majeurs du conflit, dans un contexte de prolifération des outils et espaces de communication (réseaux sociaux, sites d’information, télévisions, agences de presse privées, etc.) et d’instrumentalisation de l’information. Les réflexions et discussions seront organisées selon les différentes thématiques esquissées ci-dessous, qui donneront lieu à autant de sessions, constituées de trois ou quatre communications de 20 minutes chacune, suivies de 30 à 40 minutes de débat.

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Call for Panelists: “Saharawi Mobility and Change,” 59th Annual African Studies Association Meeting December 1-3, 2016 Washington DC

29 February 2016

What are the contours of mobility and change in Saharawi culture and society, and how has the practice and meaning of these contours changed over time? This panel seeks to explore this topic of mobility and change as it pertains to difference in Saharawi daily lives that are enacted and/or highlighted via processes of socialization, acculturation, adaptation, co-construction, and/or environmental, educational, economic, political, military, social, legal and mediated opportunities and constraints that have and continue to alter local and transnational contexts, and in turn, prospects, preferences and projections for the future of Saharawi praxis, being, and meaning.

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CfP: Betwixt and Between: The History of Identity and Status Negotiation Across the Sahara (African Studies Association 2015 Meeting)

11 March 2015

This panel examines the ways in which various forms of identity have historically been constructed and used to negotiate social status in the Sahara and on its northern and southern fringes. These forms of identity include religion, race and ethnicity, and gender—and have been complicated over the millennia by migrations throughout the region, both forced and voluntary. The migrations, driven by trade, imperialism, transhumant pastoralism, and environmental change, have resulted in several social fabrics of great diversity.

While diversity can be a source of strength, the societies in and around the Sahara have historically had great difficulty in achieving social and political cohesion. Some of the causes for this political instability arise from the physical environment and the mobile character of camel and cattle pastoralists, but others derive from a history of slavery and other forms of subordination imposed through physical violence. Yet even when a status was originally imposed through an act of violence, it could not be maintained exclusively through those means, but rather also included various forms of cultural interaction, social coercion and negotiation. The papers in this panel examine the history of some of the negotiated relationships in this region in order to illuminate some of the current social and political conflicts.

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Call for Applications: 2015 Africa Workshop Fellows, Nairobi, Kenya – “Conflict and Political Violence”

11 February 2015


The American Political Science Association (APSA) and United States International University-Africa (USIU) are pleased to announce a call for applications from individuals who would like to participate in a workshop on “Conflict and Political Violence.” The two-week workshop will be held from July 20–31, 2015 in Nairobi, Kenya. The organizers, with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will cover all the costs of participation (including travel, lodging, meals, and materials) for up to 26 qualified applicants. The workshop will be conducted in English.

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