Thursday, February 2, 2017

USA Africa Dialogue Series - Conference Announcement: TOFAC 2017

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In Collaboration with
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Date: Monday July 3 - Wed. July 5, 2017 (Arrival Sunday, 2 July, 2017)
Venue: Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Sokoto, Nigeria,
This conference will seek to decenter narratives of religion and politics produced by scholars and policy-makers in the Global North by encouraging intellectual collaboration and production from within and with a focus on Africa and the African Diaspora. It will contribute to contemporary discourse on religion, the State, and Global Politics, in order to illuminate Africa's position in global religions, international policy, and national development and identity formation.
In the past, experts on religions and politics have largely engaged topics such as missionary activities, colonialism, and the spread of religion in Africa, as well as questions of cultural survival or defeat. In Western societies, policies and narratives regarding religion are often produced under the assumption that the Church and the State remain fundamentally and ideologically separate. Meanwhile, the connections between religion and state are becoming increasingly relevant worldwide. The global community is being confronted with violent terrorism, which is often tied to organized religion, wrongly or rightly by the media, the State, politicians, and international government and non-governmental organizations. Therefore, in the contemporary geopolitical landscape, state policymakers and scholars of politics, state formation, international relations, and globalization can hardly ignore issues of religion, raising questions of religious freedom, tolerance, violence, and oppression. In light of the oversimplified, popular rhetoric surrounding religion and state policy, scholars and policy makers are tasked to think conceptually and empirically about the role of religion in the state and in international affairs.
Whereas Western scholarship has necessarily focused on the tensions between religions and secularisms at the State and international level, and on producing responses to religious terrorist movements such as ISIS and Boko Haram, there is also the need to explore alternative indigenous religions and spirituality in Africa and the African Diaspora, to uncover local expressions and practices of religion in Africa and their impact on State policy, social organization, and global connections, and to analyze recent developments by African states to foster or hamper religious movements and understandings in Africa. It is also useful to consider the Diasporic movement of religious ideas and practices across national boundaries. Approaching these issues from within the African and African Diasporic context, it is important to reconsider hegemonic understandings of religion, as well as hegemonic understandings of nationalism, policy, and development.
Participants are expected to critically question and hopefully set aside misleading presentations and narratives on African religious experience.  Furthermore, the conference will attempt to push the boundaries of Western epistemology and engage African knowledge as a means of working through popular assumptions and contentious debates about the past, present, and future of Africa, African religions, spiritualty, and secularisms, and the connections between local, national, and global politics.
While many participants will present in English, we encourage presentations in other languages, most notably in Ajami, Arabic, and French. A cross-disciplinary approach is necessary for understanding the entanglement of religion, the State, and global politics in Africa and the African Diaspora. Therefore, this conference welcomes paper submissions from a variety of disciplines, including but not limited to history, the social sciences, literature (African, etc.), religious studies, philosophy, international relations and conflict resolution, cultural studies, and area studies. We encourage scholars, activists, politicians, policy makers, and other contributors to the conference to consider the following sub-themes:
-African and African Diasporic Religions
-African and African Diasporic Religious Art, Music and Performance
-African Traditional Religions and Migration to the West
-African and African Diasporic Religious Knowledge
-African and African Diasporic Religious Leaders
-African and African Diasporic Religious Philosophy
-The Sokoto Caliphate and Diasporic transmission of Religious ideas in West Africa
- God(s) and Prophets‎; Clerics, Ulama'a and Pastors
-Children in Religion
-Christian and Islamic Bodies
-Colonialism and Religion in Africa
-Comparative Case Studies in religion and the state
-Contemporary Youth Cultures
-Continuity, Change, and Survival Strategies
-Ecumenical Exchanges and Interactions
-Expressions and Practices of Spirituality
-Global Religions in Local Context/Local Religions in Global Context
-Globalization and Religion
-History of Religion in Africa and/or the African Diaspora
-Literary Studies and Religious Literatures
-Law, Politics, and Religions
-Local Politics in Global Context/Global Politics in Local Context
-Masculine Spiritualities/Feminine Spiritualities
-Methodological Approaches to the Study of Religion in Africa
-Nationalism and Religion in Africa
-Plural Secularisms/Plural Religions
-Political Theology
-Post colonialism and Religion in Africa
-Private Faiths, Public Religions
-Private Politics, Public Policies
-Policy Changes on Religion in Africa
- Religion and Gender (Women as Actresses)
-Religion and Empowerment
-Religion and Human Rights
-Religion and Languages
-Religion and Literary Expressions (Poetry/Prose/Drama)
-Religion and Migration in Africa and the African Diaspora
-Religion and Modernity
-Religion, State and Nollywood
-Religion, State and Theater Performance
-Religion, State and Literary Studies
-Religion and Ethics
-Religion and Judicial Systems
-Religion and Poverty
-Religion and Security issues
-Religion and Terrorism
-Religion and the Multimedia (musicals, films, etc.)
-Religion and the Social Media
-Religion and Theories of the State in Africa
-Religion and Violent Struggles (e.g., ISIS, Boko Haram, The Lord's Resistance Army, etc)
-Religion and Resistance to State Oppression (Insurgence, civil disobedience, Etc.)
-Religious‎ Movements, Crusades and Jihads
-Religion and Youth Cultures,
            - Islamic Religious Culture (Aid groups, Musical ensembles, Muslim Students'       Society, NACOMYO, Da'awa, etc.)
            Students Christian Movement; Youth Fellowship, etc
- Religion and the Alimajeri culture
-Religion and World Civilizations: Architecture; Art/Visual Art; Science and Technology
-Religion as Identity Politics
-Religion in African Schools and Universities
-Religions, Race and other Identities
-Religious Connections in the African Diaspora
-Religious Conversion Mechanisms
-Religious Culture in Africa
-Religion, State, and Global Human Rights Movements
-Religious/Political Freedom in Africa
-Religious/Political Oppression in Africa
-Religious/Political Pacifism in Africa
-Religious/Political Violence in Africa
-Slavery, Religion, and Politics
-State Policy on Religion
-State Secularism
-Sunni vs Shiite in World Politics
-The State‎ Religion: Saudi Arabia, the Vatican and Global Politics
-Theocracy and Global Democracy
-Transnational Religious Organizations
Keynote Speakers:
1.      Professor Sani Zahardden, (Former Vice Chancellor, BUK), Chief Imam of Kano
2.      Professor Fallou Ngom, Department of Anthropology, Boston University, USA
3.      Rev. Father, Dr. Mathew Hassan Kukah, Catholic Dioceses of Sokoto

Lead Paper Presenters
1.      Professor Abdelkader Tayoub, University of Cape Town, South Africa
2.      Professor J. D. Gwamna Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Nigeria
3.      Professor Tunde Bewaji, University of West Indies, Jamaica
4.      Professor Seyni Moumouni, Abdou Moumouni University, Niamey, Niger Republic
5.      Professor Hameed Adama, University of Guandere, Republic of Cameroon
a)     The conference will take place from July 3-5, 2017 at the University Auditorium, main campus of Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria. Arrival is Sunday, July 2, 2017 and Final Departure is Thursday, July 6, 2017
b)      Proposals should include a 250 word-abstract and title, as well as the author's name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation. Deadline for the submission of abstracts is April 30, 2017.
c)     Abstracts should be sent to the following email addresses:
Registration Fee: Upon acceptance of Abstract, a mandatory, non-refundable registration fee of N15, 000 must be paid by all working scholars; while N7, 500==is to be paid by graduate students. All registration payments must be made electronically, immediately an abstract is accepted.  
Participants from outside Nigeria: $100 for scholars, and $50 for graduate Students.
 This conference fee includes admission to the panels, conference packages, tea break and lunch, + (tour to the Sultan Palace, and some historic sites of the Sokoto Caliphate of the 19th Century, ancient Gobir and Kebbi Kingdoms).
Publication fees (amount to be decided later) will be charged after paper is assessed and found publishable.
Hotel rates & relevant information on Accommodation and Airport pick up will be supplied by the Logistic unit of the LOC in due course.
•           The conference papers presented should be returned after duly corrected to conference organizers, and will be peer-reviewed, and published by Pan-African Press, USA.
•           Other selected papers will be published in the special issues of relevant foreign journals. 
Vice Chancellor,
Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
i.          Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
ii.         Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, USA.
Ibadan Cultural Studies Group (ICSG),
Faculty of Arts,
University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria.
All Enquries to be directed to:
Conference Administrator, TOFAC
            Dr. Adeshina Afolayan,
            +234 (0)803 928 8429
Convener (TOFAC International):
Prof. Ademola O. Dasylva,
Mobile: +234(0)8023504755,
Professor Mukhtar Umar Bunza
 Conference Host:
 Dean, Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies,
            Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria
            Mobile :+2348036202201, +2348170290082
You are welcome to the Historic and Peaceful City of Sokoto, the Seat of the Sokoto Caliphate of 19th Century West Africa.
Local Organizing Committee (LOC)
Chairman: Professor Dahiru M. Argungu,
Linguistics Department.
+2348065589054, +2347081668135
Logistics: Dr. Abdulkadir Sani,
Department of Arabic Studies.
Accommodation & Lodging: Dr. Aminu Bala,
Department of Islamic Studies. +2348096411804 
Murtala S. Dole,
Department of French, Modern European
Languages and Linguistics.
Registration: Dr. Aminu Nasiru,
Department of Nigerian Languages
+2348036153050, +2348096266581
LOC. Secretary: Dr. Murtala A. Rufa'i,
Department of History,
* Regular updates on the conference will be made available directly to participants, and through the conference website) 

Adeshina Afolayan, PhD
Department of Philosophy
University of Ibadan


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