Call for papers: Lagos – From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond)

Lagos Skyline

Deadline: 15 September 2015 - 12:00am

Dates: 6 - 7 May 2016

Where: Barnard College, New York

Venue: Barnard College

Conveners: Abosede George, Saheed Aderinto, and Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi

Talk of cities is everywhere in African Studies and talk of African Cities is everywhere beyond the field. Thinking through African Cities has produced critical reappraisals of how concepts such as urbanism, globalization, citizenship, migration, infrastructure, flexibility, history and futurity, can be more productively thought to capture current, imminent, and historical realities. The city increasingly appears to compete with the nation-state as the key spatial category of analysis for Africanist social theorists. From Casablanca to Cape Town, from Kinshasa to Mogadishu, and from Lagos to Luanda, Africa is dotted with cities that constitute political, economic, social, and intellectual alternatives to the nation, while being situated within it. Perennial challenges to nation-states in Africa and beyond combined with the spectacular growth of cities on the continent and the global south more broadly, have prompted some to suggest that we may be witnessing the rise/return of the city-state as the key structuring formation of the new global order, and thus the key structure of concern for theorists of the social world.

With these issues in mind, we are planning an interdisciplinary conference on the city of Lagos to be held at Barnard College in New York City. Provisionally titled, LAGOS: From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond), the meeting will consider the question of the rise/return of the city-state through the pasts, presents, and speculative futures of Lagos.

The organizers welcome multimedia presentations and papers centering Lagos from the perspective of history, literature, politics, dance, culture, non-fiction, geography, art, architecture, religion, etc. We enthusiastically welcome virtual presentations from individual who cannot travel to New York City to confer in person. Indeed, we are quite interested in exploring the transnational collaborative possibilities that digital technologies offer for the study of Lagos during this conference.

Selected papers from this conference will be published shortly after in a special issue of an Urban History/Urban Studies journal. Interested parties are asked to send a 250 – 300 word proposal and a short bio to the organizers, Abosede George, Saheed Aderinto, and Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi by September 15, 2015. Notifications of successful proposals will be sent out on October 15, 2015.

Contact: [email protected]

Photo Credit: Clara Sanchiz

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