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Call for Abstracts for Edited Volume on Everyday Life on the African Continent

Friday, August 19, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jesse A. Fivecoate
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Editors Kemi Balogun, Lisa Gilman, Melissa Graboyes, and Habib Iddrisu invite abstracts for an edited volume on “Everyday Life on the African Continent: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity.”

This volume, edited by a multi-disciplinary group of scholars who work in different regions of Africa, will be a collection of essays focusing on forms of leisure and expressivity on the continent. Each short and descriptive essay (5000-6000 words), will be written in accessible prose and will focus on providing details about a cultural form, explaining the context(s) in which it occurs, and providing some analysis as to its significance. The book will be thematically organized, with multiple chapters on topics such as Fashion and Beauty, Sports and Games, Love and Dating, and Creative Arts. The volume targets an undergraduate audience with limited knowledge of the continent. The intent is for the volume to include essays from all regions of the continent, from rural and urban settings, about the present or the past, and about “popular” or “traditional” practices. This edited volume is under precompletion contract with Ohio University Press, and draft chapters will be due by February 2017.

This project will contribute a critically needed text that exposes undergraduate students to the positive aspects of daily life on the continent. A particular focus will be upon the creative and dynamic ways that people in African contexts are using their leisure time, having fun, being creative, and engaging in forms of expressive culture. Much of the material available for undergraduate African Studies courses emphasizes the challenges facing the continent, focusing on war, poverty, corruption, disease, or human rights violations. These issues are real and deserve sustained attention. However, the narrow focus on “Africa’s problems” creates pedagogical problems. It can reinforce stereotypes students are already conversant with and misses an opportunity for students to consider the similarities and differences between their lives and those of their African counterparts. As those of us who have spent time on the continent know firsthand, challenging conditions do not preclude people from making music, falling in love, playing sports, participating in festivals, writing blogs, telling jokes, wearing expressive clothing, making videos, playing games, dancing, eating delicious food and finding pleasure in myriad other ways in their daily lives. These are the types of topics we anticipate for this volume. 

Contributors are welcome to write about their research expertise and may distill research findings from an article or monograph to make it accessible to undergraduates. This is also an opportunity to write about a compelling topic outside of one’s disciplinary scope. We welcome all abstracts that convey a sense of energy and excitement on the part of the author.

Companion Symposium

The book editors will be hosting a companion symposium on the topic of “Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity in Africa” at the University of Oregon on February 23-24, 2017. Chapter contributors will be strongly encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event, and funding to offset travel costs will be available. Draft chapters will be pre-circulated, authors will receive feedback from the volume editors during the symposium. We anticipate this symposium being a key activity for establishing connections between the authors and building cohesiveness throughout the book.
 
Submission details

Abstracts of roughly 500 words are due by September 30, 2016. Abstracts should briefly describe the topic, place, and time frame, how it fits into the parameters of the volume, and why it is significant. Contributors are welcome to submit multiple abstracts about different possible topics.  and then receive feedback from the editors about which might be the best fit.

When submitting your abstract, please indicate whether you would like to participate in the symposium in February, and if you’d like to be considered for funding to offset travel costs.
 
Abstracts should be emailed as word docs to lmgilman@uoregon.edu.

Timeline

September 30, 2016—Abstracts due
November 15, 2016—Notification of Acceptance & Notification of Funding Awards for Symposium 
February 15, 2017—Pre-circulation of Symposium Papers/ Chapter Drafts
February 23-24, 2017—Symposium at the University of Oregon
April 1, 2017—First Draft of Full Chapter Due to Editors for review
June 1, 2017—Comments back from Editors on Draft Chapters
July 15, 2017—Revised draft due to Editors
July 15-Sept. 1—Editors work on finalizing manuscript
September 1, 2017—Submission to Ohio University Press

Contact

For questions or additional information, and to submit abstracts, please contact: Lisa Gilman, lmgilman@uoregon.edu
 



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