Monday and Tuesday, June 28-29, 2021
Virtual on Zoom
The West African Research Association(link is external), the Center for African Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the UC Africanist Research Workshop are hosting a virtual conference on West Africa for scholars based in the western regions of North America.* The goals of the conference are to build a West Coast regional community of West Africa scholars; provide a space for scholarly exchange focused on West Africa; enhance research and teaching collaborations; and create mentoring opportunities.
Register to Attend
Registration is required and free.
MONDAY, JUNE 28
9:00AM-10:15AM PDT ~ WELCOME AND KEYNOTE: AMPLIFYING THE VOICES OF AFRICAN ARTISTS
- Welcome: Ismael Montana(link is external), President, West African Research Association and Associate Professor, Northern Illinois University
- Chair: Rachel Jean-Baptiste(link is external), Associate Professor of History, University of California, Davis
- Keynote speaker: Adenrele Sonariwo, Founder of Rele Art Gallery(link is external), Los Angeles
New Directions: Six Years of Young Contemporaries ~ A reflection on the impact of Rele Arts Foundation annual Young Contemporaries(link is external) program, a dedicated platform to support emerging artists working on the African continent. A 2020 publication(link is external) celebrated 5 years of the program.
- Discussant: Sylvester Okwunodu Ogbechie(link is external), Professor of Arts and Visual Cultures of Global Africa, University of California, Santa Barbara
11:00AM-12:15PM PDT ~ STATE INTERVENTION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
- Chair/discussant: Martha Wilfahrt, Assistant Professor, University of California, Berkeley
- Martha C. Johnson, Associate Professor, Mills College
Patronage Politics, Revenue Imperatives, and Bureaucratic Capacity in African States
- Michael Kevane, Associate Professor, Santa Clara University
Ethnicity, public goods, and elections in Burkina Faso: Insights for the insurgency of 2016-21
- Erin Litzow, Graduate Student, University of British Columbia
Evaluating the impacts of cooking interventions in rural Senegal: The case of domestic biogas digesters
2:30PM-3:30PM PDT ~ REPRESENTATION IN POSTCOLONIAL TRANSNATIONAL LITERATURE
- Chair/discussant: Ivy Mills, Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley
- Utitofon Inyang, Graduate Student, University of California, Riverside
Africanizing Julius: Yoruba Epistemologies and the Limits of Aesthetic Vision in Teju Cole’s Open City
- Sanyu Mulira, Graduate Student, NYU
Beyond So long a Letter: The Revolutionary life of Mariama Bâ
4:00-5:00PM PDT ~ AGENTS OF ORAL AND LITERARY TRADITIONS
- Chair/discussant: Andrew Apter, Professor, University of California, Los Angeles
- Bright Alozie, Assistant Professor, Portland State University
From Traditions of Orality to “Voices in Ink”: Making Sense of Oral Tradition and Petitions in Precolonial and Colonial Igboland, Nigeria
- Ibrahim Anoba, Graduate Student, University of California, Davis
Taáni Ìmọ̀ Odù Ifá: Engaging Boundary Mechanisms in Discursive and Critical Appreciation of the Ifá Literary Corpus
TUESDAY, JUNE 29
9:00AM-10:00AM PDT ~ FAMILY PLANNING AND EDUCATION: HIGH-YIELD INVESTMENTS FOR THE SAHEL REGION
- Chair: Allyson Fritz, Girls Empowerment Technical Advisor, OASIS(link is external)
- Alisha Graves, Executive Director and Founder, OASIS(link is external). A Fulcrum for the Future - Girls’ Education and Voluntary Family Planning: The Best Investments for Development and Security in the Sahel
- Daniel Perlman, Medical Anthropologist, OASIS Initiative, UC Berkeley, and Co-founder of the Center for Girls Education in Zaria, Nigeria. Understanding and Ending Child Marriage: Insights from Hausa Communities
- Mikail Aliyu, Doctoral candidate in Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
10:30AM-11:30AM PDT ~ LOCAL CONTROL AND PEACEBUILDING IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE
- Chair/discussant: Rachel Sigman, Assistant Professor, Naval Postgraduate School
- Jeremy Speight, Associate Professor, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Elite Coalitions and Rebel Social Control in Northern Côte d’Ivoire (2002-2011)
- Francis Abugbilla, Graduate Student, University of Washington
Opportunities and challenges of incorporating African peacebuilding mechanisms in transitional justice: A case study of Côte d’Ivoire
12:00PM -1:00PM PDT ~ STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE AND COLLECTIVE MEMORY
- Chair/discussant: Isidore Lobnibe, Professor, Western Oregon University
- Ebelechukwu Eseka, Researcher, University of California, Santa Barbara
"This Berlin Wall that Runs through Me": Making Sense of the Postcolonial African AlieNation
- Cullen Goldblatt, Independent Scholar
Beyond Collective Memory: Cinéma Thiaroye
2:00PM-3:00PM PDT ~ CONCEPTUALIZATION AND CONSEQUENCES OF GENDER IN AFRICAN HISTORY
- Chair/discussant: Jody Benjamin, Assistant Professor, University of California, Riverside
- Sarah Zimmerman, Associate Professor, Western Washington University
The Gendered Consequences of Emancipation and Citizenship on Nineteenth-Century Gorée Island
- Oluwasola Daniels, Graduate Student, University of California, Davis
Connections and Disruptions in Dialogue: Boundaries and Fluidity of African Gender
4:00PM-5:00PM PDT ~ BUILDING A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE FOR RESEARCH AND TEACHING ON AFRICA IN THE WEST
- Chair: Muey Saeteurn, Assistant Professor, University of California, Merced
- Trevor Getz, Professor, San Francisco State University
- Karla Kirk, Instructor, Fresno City College
- Sherri Patton, Professor, Sacramento City College
- Summer Trentin, Metropolitan State University of Denver
- Closing Remarks: Jenny Parker(link is external), Director, West African Research Association
Here is a downloadable PDF of the Program(PDF file).
For archival purposes, availabe here is a PDF of the Call for Proposals(PDF file).
*Regions: We invited submissions from scholars affiliated with academic institutions or resident in the western states and provinces of the United States, Canada, and Mexico: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Alberta, British Columbia, Northwest Territories, Saskatchewan, Yukon, Baja California, Baja California Sur, Nayarit, Sonora, Sinaloa.
The members of the organizing committee are Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi(link is external) (UC Riverside), Leonardo Arriola(link is external) (UC Berkeley), Rachel Jean-Baptiste(link is external) (UC Davis), Melanie Phillips(link is external) (UC Berkeley), Martha Saavedra (UC Berkeley), and Muey Saeteurn(link is external) (UC Merced).
If you have any questions or suggestions, please email Melanie Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org(link sends e-mail).
The header image is based on TimeZonesBoy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons(PNG file)(link is external) with insets adjusted to reflect equivalent relative land mass sizes and scales similar to Gall-Peter Projection(link is external) principles.