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Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa



Call for applications: Countering asymmetries in knowledge production on Africa – Writing workshop

9-13 September 2019
University of Ghana, Accra


Asymmetries in knowledge production in African Studies are well-known and are reflected in the underrepresentation of African scholars in academic journals. This 5-day writing workshop aims to counter such asymmetries and to contribute to endogenous knowledge production in the humanities and social sciences by scholars based in West Africa (ECOWAS member countries). It will combine theoretical discussions on issues of ‘decolonizing knowledge’ with practical support to African early career scholars on research and publishing.


  • To contribute to the decolonisation of knowledge production by increasing the contributions of Africa-based scholars to knowledge about African realities through increased publication and dissemination of their research endeavours;
  • To further strengthen the academic writing skills of African early career scholars, with particular attention to female scholars, as indicated by an enhanced success rate of submissions to international journals;
  • To further strengthen the quality of research grant proposals by African early career scholars, including collaborative applications;
  • To deepen the networks of Africa-based scholars within Africa and also with Africanist scholars in the UK and Europe.


The 5-day programme will be organised as a writing retreat, with daily seminars and writing sessions. The seminars will include discussions on the decolonisation of knowledge production within African Studies, as well as practical guidance on academic writing and publishing in international journals, and on drafting research grant applications. The daily writing sessions will be supported by academic mentors and a disciplinary peer group, with coverage of humanities and social sciences.


Through a grant from the British Academy, financial support is available to successful applicants to cover travel expenses to Ghana from within West Africa, along with accommodation and subsistence costs for the duration of the workshop.


Applications are welcomed from early career researchers who meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • within 5 years of the award of a doctorate at 1 September 2019; we will also consider final year doctoral candidates
  • affiliated at a recognised university in the ECOWAS region (Economic Community of West African States).

Female African scholars are particularly encouraged to apply, given their under representation in academia.


The application should include the following:

  • a personal statement (1-page maximum) outlining reasons for wishing to attend the writing workshop and the benefits to be gained;
  • a draft research paper (8,000-10,000 words in English) that contains original data and preliminary data analysis, and which is aimed at journal submission;
  • a full CV

Applications to be submitted by email to countering.asymmetries@gmail.com by the submission deadline of 25 June 2019. Any enquires should be directed to countering.asymmetries@gmail.com


Applications will be assessed and selected through a strictly merit-based procedure. The main selection criteria are the excellence, relevance and originality of the draft research paper, and the fit of the research with interdisciplinary African Studies in the humanities and social sciences.

The workshop is funded by the British Academy and is held in collaboration with African Affairs, the journal of the Royal African Society (UK) and the top-ranked African studies journal globally.


The workshop is organised by Dr Nana Akua Anyidoho (University of Ghana); Prof Gordon Crawford (Coventry University; Dr Peace Medie (University of Bristol)

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