The launch of the new Institute of African Studies (IAS) at Carleton University represents a profound commitment to, and belief in, Africa.  At the same time, this new Institute is being launched during a time of economic uncertainty, a crisis which poses particular challenges for Africa.  This inaugural IAS conference moved beyond the paralysing polarity of “Afro-pessimism”, on the one hand, and a naïve and romanticized view of the continent, on the other.  Its central aim is to engender a better understanding of the perils facing the continent today but also the possibilities for the future.

The conference went from Friday October 23rd to Saturday October 24th and features keynote speeches by Professor Valentin Y Mudimbe (author of The Invention of Africa, The Idea of Africa, amongst many others) and Lawrence Hill (author of The Book of Negroes, Any Known Blood, amongst others).   Lawrence Hill also spoke at the Institute launch dinner on the evening of October 23rd.

Some of the conference papers and discussion were audio-taped.  Please click on the highlighted panels below to hear the talks and discussion.  Also, the launch conference was the culmination of “Africa Week” at Carleton.

To read a blog by Denise Deby (on “Restorying the Earth” blog) about Gaston Kaboré’s presentation as well Aboubakar Sanogo’s, please click here.

Africa: New Visions in a Time of Global Crisis

Conference Program

Friday October 23

 4:00-4:30pm   Greeting and official launch of the Institute of African Studies
Roseann Runte, President of Carleton University
Blair Rutherford, Director of Institute of African Studies

Moderator: Audra Diptee, Department of History, Carleton University

Valentin Y. Mudimbe, Literature Program, Duke University

Saturday October 24

9:00-10:30am PANEL 1: Africa in a Globalized World
Moderator: Doris Buss, Department of Law, Carleton University

“Canadian Foreign Policy Toward Africa: Abandoning the Continent in a Time of Global Recession?”
Ted Jackson, School of Public Policy and Administration, and Chris Brown, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

“Paradoxes of History – South Africa and its Northern Neighbour”
Linda Freeman, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

“Security beyond the State: Global Security Assemblages in Africa”
Rita Abrahamsen, School of International Development & Global Studies, University of Ottawa


11:30-12:30pm PANEL 2: Reconquering the Imaginary
Moderator: James Milner, Department of Political Science, Carleton University

“Reconquering the Imaginary: A Vital Necessity for Africa” (including a screening of his short  documentary film “2000 Generations d’Africains”)        �
Gaston Kaboré, Film-maker, Imagine (Burkina Faso) — Audio Link: Part 1, Part 2

2:00-3:30pm PANEL 3: New Visions in Arts and Culture
Moderator:  Louise de la Gorgendière, Department of Sociology and  Anthropology, Carleton University

“Africa: Culture and Virtual Space-Making”
Pius Adesanmi, Department of English, Carleton University  — Audio Link

“Interrogating Discourses of Crisis through African Cinema”
Aboubakar Sanogo, School for the Study of Art and Culture, Carleton University — Audio Link Part 1, Part 2

Moderator: Christine Duff, Department of French, Carleton University

“Faction: Merging Fact and Fiction in Dramatizing the Story of the Black Loyalists”
Lawrence Hill, Author of The Book of Negroes (Commonwealth Prize 2008), Any Known Blood, Black Berry Sweet Juice: On Being Black in Canada — Audio Link Part 1, Part 2