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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



2015 Africa Conference at The University of Texas at Austin: Development, Urban Space, and Human Rights in Africa

Deadline: November 30, 2014

April 3-5, 2015
Austin, Texas

Development, which has always been intertwined with human rights, is increasingly linked to the fate of urban spaces and urban livelihoods. Questions about poverty, economic growth, quality of life, social inequality, human rights and citizenship are framed through the lens of urban planning and development policies. Whether indigenously derived or externally influenced/imposed, development strategies for Africa are based on visions of alternative futures that seek to redefine social relations and spatial organization both within the continent and abroad. The social, political, and cultural landscapes envisioned and created under the context of development highlight the historic and ongoing challenges that frame efforts to transform Africa’s development trajectory. The goal of this year’s conference is to generate interdisciplinary insights that can interrogate development paradigms and intervention practices as they relate to urban space and human rights in Africa.

What does development mean in the context of indigenous strategies of self-determination and global intervention? How do notions of development shape urban space and urban policies in Africa? In what ways have development strategies affected human rights? How is development conceptualized, and how does this advance or foreclose intervention practices? How can development related issues be conceptualized in contexts of vulnerability and crises that arise across urban, government, or individual levels? In what ways do individual voices inform collective strategies that address development, and how do these voices support or contradict dominant/external development goals? How do indigenous collectives and global activists define human rights and urban rights, and how can these definitions shift notions of development?

Potential topics may include:

Development Debates
Narratives of development
Development and the aid industry
Development Paradigms and Conceptualizations of Development
Urban Space and Development Practices
Human Rights Debates
Intervention in Development Issues
Intervention in Human Rights
Urban Rights, Rights to the City
African Development Strategies
Sustainable Development
Gender and Development
Entrepreneurship and Development
Insurgent Development Practices
Methodologies of Development
Human Rights and Border Issues
Urban Informalization/Informality and Citizenship
Social Exclusion, Displacement, and Urban Marginalization
Rhetoric and culture of international human rights
Africom and Intervention
NGO’s and MCC’s and Prospects for Development
Sanctions for Better or Worse (Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc.)
Intellectual Property and Struggle over Resources
_ Urban Planning and Development Strategies
Development and Land and Water Rights
Dependency and Human Rights Issues
Intellectual Property and Struggle over Resources
Concepts of Under-Development, Urban Space, and Human Rights
Education for Development
Children and Youth: development strategies for/impacts, rights and life prospects
Development, Imagined futures, and existing social realities
Development and perceptions of futurity (state-directed conceptualizations of pathways to future progress, notions of risk-laden futures, etc.)

Selected papers for publication will be competitive and we encourage papers that engage critical perspectives and are empirically informed.

As with all our previous conferences, participants will be drawn from different parts of the world. Submitted papers will be assigned to particular panels according to similarities in theme, topic, discipline, or geographical location. Papers can also be submitted together as a panel.

Additionally, selected papers will be published in book form. This conference also has a commitment to professional development which will be fostered through workshops in writing, publishing, and conference presentation. The conference will also provide ample time for professionals from various disciplines and geographical locations to interact, exchange ideas, and receive feedback. Graduate students are especially encouraged to attend and present papers and will be partnered with a senior scholar to encourage their own growth as scholars.

The deadline for submitting paper proposals is November 30, 2014. Proposals should include a 250-word abstract and title, as well as the author’s name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation.

Please submit all abstracts to africaconference2015@gmail.com and Toyin Falola: toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu

A mandatory non-refundable registration fee of $150 for scholars and $100 for graduate students must be paid immediately upon the acceptance of the abstract. This conference fee includes admission to the panels, workshops, and special events, as well as transportation to and from the conference from the hotel, breakfast for three days, dinner on Friday night, lunch on Saturday, and a banquet on Saturday evening. All participants must raise the funding to attend the conference, including registration fee, transportation and accommodation. The conference does not provide any form of sponsorship or financial support. The University of Texas at Austin does not provide participants with any form of funding support, travel expenses, or boarding expenses.

Convened by: Professor Toyin Falola, toyinfalola@austin.utexas.edu
Coordinated by:Bisola Falola and Ben Weiss, africaconference2015@gmail.com

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