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ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS  August 2008

ANTHROPOLOGY-MATTERS August 2008

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Subject:

Fw: CFP Africa in Scotland, Scotland in Africa

From:

Ingie Hovland <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ingie Hovland <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 5 Aug 2008 14:18:48 +0000

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CENTRE OF AFRICAN STUDIES, THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, UK

'A
******************************************************
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CENTRE OF AFRICAN STUDIES, THE UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH, UK

'AFRICA IN SCOTLAND, SCOTLAND IN AFRICA'. ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL
CONFERENCE, APRIL 29 - MAY 1, 2009

CALL FOR PAPERS:

The trans-cultural encounter and exchange between Africa and Europe long
predates the era of slavery and colonialism. Historical links between
Scotland and Africa may be traceable to several centuries earlier. While
the history of the ?Black Kings of Scotland? (such as Kenneth III
(997-1005), also known as ?Kenneth the Niger? or ?King Kenneth Dubh, a
surname which means ?the black man?) remains controversial, it parallels
African roots within Scottish-Celtic history linked to the migration of
?seafaring North African warriors via Iberia into Europe, [who] joined
in many cultures and held power and position?. Ironically, Giles Foden?s
movie ?The Last King of Scotland? based on factual events of the Amin
dictatorship epitomises another historical, colonial connection between
Scotland (Britain) and Uganda (Africa). A similar binary is shown in
European perceptions of Africa from ?a continent of almost limitless
possibilities?, ?a dark continent with untapped, monumental resources?
in the 18th and 19th centuries to one where poverty, misery, crisis,
wars, genocide, HIV/AIDS pandemic looms very large in the 20th and 21st
centuries.  
Africa?s increasing depiction as a ?poor continent? invokes a historical
contradiction, in terms of its natural wealth and resources, richness of
its peoples and diverse cultures, a ?wealthy?  
continent that was decimated by the dehumanising trafficking in slaves
but now increasingly so with the scourge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic; a
continent that has being largely impoverished by the consequences of
imperialism, colonialism and decolonisation processes, by its place in
both the European and Cold Wars, but also now in its problematic place
within ongoing globalization processes. This complex ambivalence that
characterizes the relationship between Africa and Scotland in
particular, and Europe in general, underscores the fact that Scotland
and Britain have been and will remain an integral part of Africa?s
problems and solutions for the foreseeable future.

The legacy of the slave trade in Scotland, given impetus by the 1707 Act
of Union, is evidenced by significant landmarks in Scottish history and
contemporary society. Ironically, While the transatlantic slave trade
benefited Scotland economically and contributed to the abiding legacy of
poverty and inequality in African and Caribbean countries, Scotland also
played a leading role in championing the 1807 UK Parliament Bill that
abolished the slave trade (if not slavery) in the British Empire.

Decades-long agitation for overseas colonies as settlement areas,
sources of raw materials, and markets for manufactured goods preceded
the colonial politics of the 1880s and subsequent bisecting of Africa
into artificial geographical zones of European influence, exploitation,
and expropriation. The Royal Scottish Geographical Society, founded in
the four centres of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen in 1884-5,
initially emphasized the intellectual and economic relationships between
Scotland and Africa and later promoted wider imperial connections.
Missionary societies and missionaries helped to stress the imperial
field as a means to the expression of a distinctively Scots Presbyterian
duty, as exemplified by Mary Slessor?s missionary activities in Calabar,
Nigeria, earning her the status as one of the principal heroines of
missionary endeavour in Africa.

More broadly, Scots have emigrated in large numbers in both forced and
semi-voluntary migrations of the late 18th and 19th centuries to several
parts of the world, resulting in the formation of Scottish diasporas and
transplantation of Scottish cultures. Much more recently, Scotland is
increasingly becoming a new ?haven?, ?home? to immigrants from and
outside the new European Union. These emigratory and immigratory trends
out of and into Scotland remain very dynamic processes, whose impact
needs to be contextually understood in different local settings in
Africa, the African diaspora and Scotland.

The socio-historical connection between Scotland and Africa is further
illuminated by the many who have shaped the history of African
nationalism, education, health, and art in respective contexts of
Africa, Britain, the Caribbean and the USA. From James Africanus Horton,
the first African graduate of the University of Edinburgh (1859), a
surgeon, scientist, soldier and a political thinker who worked toward
African independence a century before it occurred; to James McCune
Smith, the first African-American to earn a medical degree, at the
University of Glasgow in 1837 (indeed, the first black American
physician to receive university training anywhere in the world); to the
Dominican-born Samuel Jules Edwards who lectured in Glasgow, Edinburgh
and Aberdeen and helped found the ?Society for the Recognition of the
Brotherhood of Man? in 1893; to one of the foremost African-American
landscape painters, Robert Scott Duncanson, who studied at the art
academy in Glasgow in 1840; to Elijah McCoy who pursued a Mechanical
Engineering apprenticeship in Edinburgh in 1858 and became famous for
his invention of a device for machine lubrication systems; to Andrew
Watson who studied at Glasgow University and became a successful
footballer in the 1870s; and to the Nigerian-born Richard Akiwande
Savage who studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and led the
Afro-West Indian Literary Society of Edinburgh University in 1900, to
name but a few.

The Scots were uniquely central to the British imperial experience, an
enterprise that also contributed to the development of Scottish
nationalism and their sense of self. This tendency is still resilient in
the 20th and 21st century with the Scottish sense of duty, rapprochement
and a sometimes-paternalistic posture towards erstwhile colonies. While
the Empire?s role in and impact on Scottish history may remain
contested, the Act of Union provided a window of opportunity for
Scotland to assume a ?big player? in the nascent British Empire.
Following the ?Scottish Enlightenment? and Industrial Revolution,
Scotland became a commercial, intellectual and industrial powerhouse of
Europe. Paradoxically, while Scotland helped forge the Empire, Scots
were nevertheless engaged in negotiating their identity in relation to
Empire, thus evoking a sense of victimhood that Scotland shares with
Africa.

Devolution has the tendency of being inward-looking, referring to
Scotland?s renewal and rejuvenation of her economy, social and cultural
life; but it can also be outward-looking in terms of ?expanding horizons
and increasing impact?. How does a devolved Scotland support global
players in tackling poverty and disease, in Africa and elsewhere? What
implication has Scotland?s International Development Strategy for
meeting the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in its
responsibility to support Africa on the path towards achieving
sustainable development, capacity building and systems of good
governance with greater transparency and accountability? To what extent
have global events such as the J8 Summit in Edinburgh, the G8 Summit in
Gleneagles and the World Youth Congress in Stirling nurtured mutual
social, economic, political, cultural and strategic benefits for both
Scotland and African countries?

This conference aims to provide a scholarly, interdisciplinary forum for
investigating and analysing the historical and contemporary
relationships, links and networks between Scotland, African and the
African diaspora; and to exploring ways of strengthening existing ties
between Scotland and Africa, and creating new channels of understanding
and cooperation. By undertaking a critical historical excursion, we can
contrast this connexion via historical, political,
colonial-postcolonial, economic, religious, diplomatic, strategic and
cultural trajectories. Such a multidisciplinary reflection will enable
us to explore the mutual implications for past, present and future
relationships.

All prospective panelists/speakers are invited to submit Paper
Title/Abstract not exceeding 200 words (including references) by Email
to the Centre of African Studies at: [log in to unmask]  on or
before 30 November 2008. Successful applicants will be notified by 15
December 2008.

Applicants from African Universities are eligible to apply for
full/partial bursary, although priority will be given to conference
paper presenters subject to availability of funds. A detailed version of
the Conference Theme Statement and information regarding conference fees
and how to apply for funding will be available on CAS website
(www.cas.ed.ac.uk)soon. For further general enquiries about the
conference, application and related issues, please contact the
conference organisers or the Centre of African Studies in Edinburgh:

Dr. Afe Adogame (Convener): [log in to unmask] [+44 131 650 8928]

Dr. Andrew Lawrence (Co-convener): [log in to unmask] [+44 131 650
8427]


--
Afe Adogame, PhD
CSCNWW
School of Divinity
The University of Edinburgh
New College
Mound Place
Edinburgh EH1 2LX
UK.
Tel. +44 (0)131 650 8928
Mob. +44 (0)7784 118 732
Fax. +44 (0)131 650 7952

http://www.div.ed.ac.uk/aadogame.html
------------------------



--
The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in
Scotland, with registration number SC005336.

----------------



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