Third Undergraduate Research Conference

3rd Annual Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Research Conference
Ottawa, Canada
14th October 2017

Theme: Migrations and Human Rights in Africa and the Diaspora: Vulnerability, Social

Justice, and New Nationalisms

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Okey Ndibe, author of Foreign Gods Inc. and other books

Calling all undergraduate students with a passion for African Studies! The Institute of African Studies (IAS) at Carleton University is hosting its third international undergraduate research conference organized by the Institute of African Studies Student’s Association (IASSA). The goal of this interdisciplinary conference is to provide a platform for emerging researchers in the field of African Studies. It is understood this may be a student’s first time completing a scholarly paper, therefore the timing of this conference has been chosen to allow time for students to complete research over the summer and to present in October.

This year’s conference seeks to encourage interdisciplinary engagement with a new generation of continental and diasporic Africans confronting questions such as: How are global and intra-continental migration patterns impacting the continent and its diasporas? What can be learned from migrant’s individual agency and what tools do they use to actualize justice and social change? How have the rise of New Nationalisms and a global politics of fear shaped the migrant experience? What does the securitization and militarization of the border mean for fabricated national boundaries on the continent? In a time of increasing consequences of climate change, terrorist regimes, and refugees flow, how do we realize a vision of mobility as a human right? This conference encourages students not to simply regurgitate information obtained from a variety of sources, but also to bring forth new and innovative ideas, be it problem solving or avenues for further research.

Papers must remain within the scope of African Studies and may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Human Rights and development
  • Security and migration regulation
  • Migration and Identity formation
  • Resource extraction, sustainability
  • Refugeeism, displacement and border politics
  • Youth, Culture, Activism and frameworks of social justice
  • New Nationalism, global politics and Africa’s role on the world stage
  • Globalization, migrant flows and global integration
  • Social, political and economic impacts of migration
  • Climate change and its social consequences for migration

We also encourage students coming from the following disciplines: Globalization and International Relations, Policy and Political Science, Cultural Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology, Law, Art History, Musicology, Religion, Film Studies, Business and Economics, Media and Communication Studies, Technology, Literature and Critical Studies.

Students interested in participating are invited to submit abstracts by July 1, 2017 to the communications team at:

Abstracts of between approximately 300 words in length should include the following:

  • Name, institution, field of study, address, email and phone number
  • The title of your presentation
  • A thesis statement, two or more research questions, and a brief description of the argument the paper seeks to make

Research Papers are due September 1, 2017 and must be a minimum of 3000 words.

For participating students, this conference is an excellent opportunity for improving academic portfolios, especially for those interested in future graduate studies or careers that require writing reports or policy papers for government agencies, NGOs, etc.  There will be prizes for the best papers at the conference, including being awarded publication opportunity in Nokoko, the open-access academic journal of Carleton University’s Institute of African Studies.
The IASSA plans to make this a memorable experience for students by incorporating guest-speakers, cultural components, and an environment that fosters the kind of support and encouragement that undergraduate students treasure. More information on these activities as well as about accommodation, possible travel subsidies, and so forth will be made available in due course to students whose abstracts are accepted.

For more information please email the organizing committee at:

Applicants will receive confirmation of acceptance of abstracts by July 21, 2017.

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