Deadline extended to December 22, 2019!

The Annual Conference of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) 2020


Theme: Achieving Ubuntu: Reframing Equity, Partnership and Social Change

Location: Western University, London Ontario

Dates: Wednesday June 3rd to Friday June 5th

 The Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) extends a special invitation to all scholars and professionals working on all aspects of African Studies for its next annual conference to be held on June 3-5th, 2020 at Western University under the auspices of the Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences. The CAAS conference aims to explore in both French and English, many facets offered by the Congress theme of Bridging Divide: Confronting Colonialism & Anti-Black Racism. The conference hopes to inspire interdisciplinary or multidisciplinary inquiry as well as perspectives. The African philosophy of Ubuntu – “I am what I am, because of who we all are” offers a powerful framework through which members of CAAS can engage with Congress’s broad theme of Bridging Divides. Papers on all topics related to the conference theme in its broadest sense will be considered. However, to inspire thinking, CAAS offers the theme: Achieving Ubuntu: Reframing Equity, Partnership and Social Change.

The CAAS theme of Achieving Ubuntu: Reframing Equity, Partnership and Social Change endeavours to convey an Ubuntu spirit, one in which we remain in the struggle of truly achieving Ubuntu in the academy and in the world. Colonial legacies, disciplinary boundaries, the entrenched ‘single story’ of violence and suffering, undermine the rich and varied ways in which African societies have risen, communicated, engaged and transformed.  Concurrently, the spirit of Ubuntu recognizes humanness, interconnectedness, and generosity. Achieving Ubuntu: Reframing Equity, Partnership and Social Change aspires to build bridges and recognize connections even as we acknowledge our diverse methods, goals, and points of departure.

As always, the conference welcomes papers on all topics, but for those reflecting on the dynamics of bridging divides and achieving Ubuntu, we suggest the following axes to orient contributions from a multidisciplinary and global perspective:

1)     The design and functioning of ‘helping’ narratives with contested views of how they may privilege the helper over the hopes, needs and recognition of the marginalized

2)     Considerations of how equity and partnership may simultaneously aim to bridge and reinforce divides

3)     Cases of research or social change initiatives that illustrate the potential for bringing paradigms into productive dialogue

4)     Observed or challenged patterns, dichotomies and differences that lend insight to equity and partnership.

Deadline for proposal submission: December 22, 2019. For individuals who will need a letter of invitation for visa’s we request you submit your abstract by Dec. 1st, 2019 for priority consideration.

To submit the proposal, follow these instructions: Go to CAAS website,, and click/log in to Member Portal in the very top. Then you will see a dashboard where you can click on 'Submissions.' There is an option to upload a file or simply copy and paste the abstract into the platform and save. If you are not a member, you will need to create an account.  Then you will be able to log in immediately and see the member dashboard that will allow you to submit your proposal. 

 Please prepare your submissions in the following manner:

1)     Paper proposals should include the name(s) and the email address(s) of the (co)author(s), the institutional affiliation(s), the title of the proposed presentation, and an abstract (max 300 words). In the event of a co-authored paper, please kindly indicate which of the authors will be attending the conference.

2)     A panel proposal or roundtable proposal should include a panel title and brief description (300-600 words) and the intent of the panel, the name of the panel organizer(s) and of panel participants. Please note that all participants must create a member profile in the CAAS system in order for their paper to be included for consideration. Panels should consist of no more than four participants.

Diversity statement:

CAAS is committed to equity and diversity and welcomes applications from women, visible minorities, Africa-based scholars, scholars at all ranks and career stage, persons with disabilities, and persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity. CAAS is enriched intellectually, socially and culturally by the presence and participation of people from diverse backgrounds.

In conjunction with CAAS, the Canadian Journal of African Studies is actively seeking to further diversify the journal’s content and operations, both to reflect CAAS’s membership and to engage more closely with knowledge production from the continent that is the journal’s focus. The journal remains committed to its mandate to publish scholarship in both English and French.