P071
African studies: scholars and programs

Convenors:
Ana Lúcia Sá (Centre for International Studies - ISCTE-IUL)
Elisio Macamo (University of Basel)
Eduardo Costa Dias (ISCTE- Instituto Universitário de Lisboa)
Location:
C1.03
Start time:
28 June, 2013 at 10:30
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

The panel examines the epistemological and methodological assumptions of the African Studies, by identifying its current academic tendencies, questioning the scientific production and the extent to which "non-African" and "African" are valid categories in the African Studies.

Long abstract:

Based on the idea that the understanding of the purposes of the African Studies is shaped and conditioned by the enunciation spaces from which the African realities became understandable, the panel examines the epistemological and methodological assumptions of this area of studies. The main objective of the panel is to identify the current academic tendencies in confrontation that have been developing in several contexts. In this perspective, the panel aims to shed a light onto existing debates, within the interdisciplinary space of the African Studies, about changes and proposals coming from the African societies, considering idiosyncratic models of analysis. It also aims to question the scientific production of the African Studies built from geopolitical frameworks of knowledge and the extent to which "non-African" and "African" are valid categories in the African Studies. This discussion, central to this panel, opens the debate about the supposedly universal suitability of the epistemological and methodological assumptions that ground the African Studies, interrogating if is always in relation to these categories that each researcher stands. It also extends the discussion to the legitimacy of essentialist and primordialist positions and questions the conditions in which it is possible to produce authoritative knowledge about African realities.