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Anthropology Southern Africa Conference

August 18 - August 20

Anthropology Southern Africa

The annual Anthropology Southern Africa Conference will take place from 18 to 20 August 2017 in Zomba, Malawi. This year’s conference theme is “Strengthening the teaching of anthropology in Southern Africa”.

Most of the Departments of Anthropology in public universities in Southern Africa, apart from South Africa, were established soon after countries achieved independence. These Departments were quite vibrant in the 1960s till 1980s and 1990s when the teaching of the subject somehow declined and in some universities the teaching of anthropology ceased completely.

Outside South Africa, there are very few public universities which are offering degrees specialising in anthropology. It has been argued that the decline in the teaching of anthropology in the region has been due to a number of factors: the lack of interest of students in the discipline as it is perceived as a discipline with no employment prospects; the linkage of the subject to the colonial enterprise exacerbated by the stagnant curricula and teaching methods; anthropologists in the region not being interested in teaching the subject but in other activities such as conducting consultancies and the misconception that anthropology does not really offer solutions to contemporary African problems.

The 2017 ASnA conference will be held at the University of Malawi in Zomba and aims at bringing together, not only anthropologists working in Southern Africa, but also Vice Chancellors and Deans in the region to effectively discuss the strengthening of the teaching of anthropology in the region.

Specific topics to be discussed during the conference include:

  • Anthropology and Development
  • Current debates on Race and Ethnicity
  • Decolonising the Anthropology Curricula
  • Health and Well-being
  • Anthropology and Disability
  • “Fees must Fall” experience in Southern Africa