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Call for Papers: SORAC 2010 Three-Day International Conference, 10/10

Conflict and Conflict Resolution in Africa: History, Myths and Realities October 7, 8 and 9, 2010 Montclair State University

Looking at Africa today, it appears as though the continent has become, in the minds of many around the world, synonymous with all that is wrong with humanity. Genocides, wars, tribal strife, disease and humanitarian disasters seem to have taken, therein and in the minds of many outsiders, a coloration that has reinforced the multifarious stereotypes about Africa as a continent of misery, tribal wars and chaos. Numerous questions do indeed come to mind when looking at the issue of conflict in Africa, namely: What is conflict and how do Africans define, describe and/or understand conflict? What are the causes of conflict in present-day Africa, and what were these causes in pre-Muslim and pre-Christian Africa? How have Africans dealt with conflicts in their pre-Muslim and pre-Christian past, and how have they dealt with them in their Muslim and Christian present? What does/did conflict resolution mean in the African context? Are/were there any principles of conflict resolution in African cultural ethos? Have any such principles been successfully implemented at some point in the past and/or present of Africa? Is/was there a philosophy of conflict and conflict resolution in African culture(s)? How does/did it manifest itself? Are present-day conflicts on the continent due to an inherent flaw in African culture(s) or have there been too many simplifications in past and present understandings of conflict in Africa? The questions are too many to list here, and the issues vast.

In order to begin an intellectual discussion of these complex issues, SORAC calls for papers that would explore the themes of conflict and conflict resolution in Africa from a variety of perspectives (historical, literary, political, etc.) and disciplines (humanities, social sciences, diasporic studies, etc.). It is expected from participants at SORAC 2010 that they will, from their own disciplines and perspectives, help to illuminate not only the historical/chronological dimensions of conflicts in Africa from ancient times to present, but also their cultural dimension, especially as they pertain to the relationship between conflict and conflict resolution within the African context. Interesting will also be approaches that will look at the links between Africa and black people of the African diasporas around the world. As far as the African diasporas are concerned, questions of interest could be: What historical as well as cultural relationships can be established between the African spirit still alive in such diasporas and their embattled (and non-embattled) situations in their new cultural universes? What psychological and cultural ambivalences/crises have resulted from their diasporic estrangement? What types of relationships and ambivalences have defined their ties with the African continent, and informed the socio-cultural and political interactions within their own communities?

Deadline for Paper Submissions: August 30, 2010

Proposal Submission Guidelines: Paper Proposals for SORAC 2010 are due on or before August 30, 2010. Submit a 200-300 words abstract summarizing the content/theory/rationale of your presentation, and include your contact information and institutional affiliation with your abstract (address, title, university or institution, phone, fax, email, etc.).

For more details on the conference, visit


Page Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.

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