2016 Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS)

Published on June 14, 2018

2016 Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS)

Conference Theme 2016

Canada’s Intellectual Engagement With Africa: Reflections and Projections After 50 Years

Date: 1-3 June 2016
Location: The 2016 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada



The deadline for submitting paper proposals and panel proposals is January 31, 2016. Please submit your proposal to SarahKatzLavigne@cmail.carleton.ca.

Important Notice

Please note that there has been a change to CAAS policy. CAAS Conference registration fees now include a mandatory annual membership fee. All presenters at the conference must be members of CAAS. All fees must be fully paid by April 15th or the Organizing Committee will remove non-member participants’ contributions from the program.

Information on registration and membership options will be available on the Congress website, http://congress2016.ca, beginning on January 1st, 2016.

Conference Theme

The year 2016 marks the 50th year of the publication of the Canadian Journal of African Studies. The journal has come a long way since its modest beginnings.  The first President of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS), Ronald Cohen, lamented in 1963 that African studies in Canada was “impoverished, naïve, and ‘colonial’”; four years later, the first Editor of CJAS, Donald Savage, remarked that African Studies in Canada was “still in a precarious position.”  This is no longer the case.  Tenured appointments in African politics, history, anthropology, geography and sociology (and other disciplines), are now the norm in the Canadian academy.  This is reflected in the multidisciplinary nature of the current Editorial Team of CJAS. Thanks in part to the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, which encouraged the initial formation of CJAS and more recently the transition to a Taylor and Francis sponsored CJAS, the journal has developed into a showcase of Canadian and international bilingual scholarship on Africa. 

Yet the greatest debt of Canadian Africanists today is to that dynamic, energized corpus of pioneers who not only ensured that Canada was a key player in world’s intellectual engagement with the Continent in the post-independent era, but who themselves became internationally renowned in their own field. Many of the former editors of the journal not only worked hard to ensure that deadlines were met, and academic integrity and quality maintained, but still found time to produce outstanding monographs and articles that enhanced Canada’s reputation within the international community.

It is with Canadian academic scholarship in mind – whether produced by Canadians, Africans, Americans, Europeans, etc. – that CAAS invites papers on the following themes/subjects in which Canadians have excelled.  Assessments of the contributions of individual scholars who have made their mark are also solicited.


  • Canada’s Intellectual Engagement With Africa since 1960
  • Demography, Migration and Urbanization
  • Human Rights
  • Slavery and Islam
  • Canadian Foreign Policy towards Africa
  • Marxist History and Anthropology
  • Women’s Struggle and Resistance
  • Religion and Transformation
  • Southern African Liberation
  • Culture and Identity in Francophone Africa
  • Challenges of the Technological Revolution

Please note: CAAS will be organizing some panels jointly with the Canadian Association of International Development (CASID) and the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA). Joint panels will be announced in the conference program.

While we welcome individual papers specifically addressed to these broad questions, CAAS encourages also panel proposals related more or less to the present conference theme. The organizing committee reserves the right to make minor changes in the overall configuration of panels. The conference will be organized so that most panels are multidisciplinary, giving scholars a chance to enter a dialogue with their colleagues in other disciplines.

Each paper proposal will indicate the author’s name and affiliation, the title of the paper, an abstract (150-300 words), and a list of keywords.

Each panel must consist of at least four papers. A panel proposal should include a title, a brief description (150-300 words), a list of topics to be covered, email addresses, and affiliations of panel members.

The organizing committee, the Board of Directors of the association, and all of its members look forward to welcoming you at the University of Calgary in June 2016.

You may wish to begin booking your accommodations for the conference. Please see http://www.congress2016.ca/plan-your-trip/accommodations for more information.


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