CFP: ASA panel and edited volume, "Martial Race(s) in African History"
Conveners: Moses Ochonu and Myles Osborne
We seek participants for a panel at the 60th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association (16-18 November 2017, in Chicago) on the subject of martial race(s) in African history. The panel will be a preliminary effort to create new pathways in the scholarship on this important topic, leading to a targeted conference held in 2018 to further hone the papers with additional participants. We anticipate putting together an edited volume with 10-12 essays on the subject.
Scholarship on martial races in African history has lagged behind that in Indian historiography. In Africa, it has in significant part revolved around the question of whether pre-colonial characteristics said anything about the likelihood of a group becoming considered "martial" under colonial rule, and whether so-called martial races were actually martially inclined or simply thrust into that designation by colonial expediencies. Those who have worked on this question have typically limited their analyses to economics and material conditions such as labor.
We seek to push beyond these limitations by considering broader approaches to the topic that encompass a range of colonial initiatives as well as African appropriations and constructions in colonial and post-colonial times. They might include (but are not limited to) efforts to think about culture and martial race; the intersection of ethnic identity/the creation of "tribe" with colonial martial race theory; the connection between colonial ethnography and constructions of martial subjectivities; the role of gender in shaping martial notions; the notion of "martial race" as it intersected with slavery and/or the African diaspora; warring traditions and economies of honor as avenues for staking claims to martial genealogies; claims to special "martial" status by veterans of anticolonial revolutionary wars; and more.
We also wish to emphasize that people who conduct research on this topic who may NOT plan on attending the ASA may nevertheless contact us if they are interested in participating in the future conference/edited volume which will follow.
Please don't hesitate to email us with any questions.
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