Social Sciences Research Institutions in Post-independence Africa as subjects of research
Date and Start Time 01 July, 2017 at 14:00
This panel invites scholars engaged in research in Lusophone, Anglophone and Francophone Africa, with particular focus on the analysis of social sciences research institutions in Africa from a historical, sociological, political or anthropological approach.
This panel invites scholars engaged in research in Lusophone, Anglophone and Francophone Africa, with particular focus on the analysis of social sciences research institutions in Africa from a historical, sociological, political or anthropological approach. The panel will privilege case studies on institution such as centers, institutes of a Pan-African research organization like the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA). Some of the questions that the panel proposes to address include the following: What are/were the (most prolific) social sciences research institutions in post-independence Africa? How, why and when did they emerged? What are the social and political conditions of knowledge production in Africa? What were/are their purpose(s) and function(s)? What kind of scientific disciplines did they use? What are the connections between research and politics (for instance, in the production, perpetuation and legitimization of ideological hegemony)? For whom is this kind of knowledge produced? What are the affects of the neo-liberal turn in Africa in terms of shaping social science research institutions and their forms of knowledge production?
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.
Where is African publishing in academic research? African book invisibility as a consequence of soft power policies since the 1950s
Focusing on governmental & philanthropic involvements from the 1950s to the 1980s, this presentation has the purpose of highlighting how Francophone African countries encountered the challenge of an autonomous book sector, while African books remain invisible in contemporary research.
The African-book industry was always an economic stake for the Western world, raising many questions on structural autonomy, soft power survival and the postcolonial transition. These issues are particularly sensitive in Francophone Africa. Indeed, it is surprising to observe that France set up cultural cooperation with its "almost" former African colonies starting in the late 1950s. By creating a cultural network in Africa, France rather negotiated a transition towards independence, setting a strategical role for French publishers in African educational programs and establishing Paris as a centre for the outreach of African literature. Actually, the independence of the African-book industry remains problematic because it became the arena for growing bilateral and multilateral Western involvement, from the early 1960s. This external influence has never ceased. Furthermore, in the late 1970s, it was strengthened by the pressure of the Bretton-Woods economic institutions that counteracted Unesco's initial will to support autonomous African book development. When the economic crisis appeared in Africa in the 1980s, all those foreign presences met a philanthropic involvement. This charity movement - with Scandinavian, Francophone and US governments and NGOs in the first place - broadcast at that time the false picture of a "book famine" in Africa. Subsequently, it is interesting to observe the 'presence' - i.e. the invisibility - of the African book in the ascending francophone and postcolonial studies from the 1980s to nowadays.
Increasing and measuring research impact: tools and strategies
This paper provides an overview of the currently used bibliometric indicators and discusses tools that track and assess research impact. The paper further explores strategies that aim at increasing the visibility of African Studies research.
Bibliometric indicators are playing an increasingly important role in applications to grants, promotions, prizes and tenure. This paper provides an overview of the currently used bibliometric indicators and discusses tools and resources available to track and assess research impact. The paper further explores strategies that aim at increasing the visibility of research and at extending the likelihood of an article being cited, discussed or otherwise mentioned in scientific and relevant societal groups. All examples focus on African Studies.
Social Sciences publishing on Africa
Focusing on social sciences publishing in Africa, I introduce a project to assess its achievements and relationship with publishing on Africa in the North. I assess current support for African publishing given its essential place in the constitution of knowledge.
This presentation focuses on social sciences publishing on African topics in both Africa and the North. The paper will introduce a preliminary discussion of a larger project, the aim of which is to assess the achievements of publishing in Africa through a series of case studies of publishing by institutions across West, East and Southern Africa such as CODESRIA, HSRC, OSSREA and some smaller African institutions in terms of postcolonial concepts such as publishing autonomy and control, and regional and international collaboration.
The paper will assess the links between social sciences publishing within and beyond the African continent, in terms of mainstreaming African knowledge in the Western academy, and more critically in terms of the dominance of Northern journals, and the extraversion of African knowledge. At the same time, there is little support for publishing in the continent itself. I will investigate the trajectory of strategic and funding support for African publishing initiatives, arguing this is currently highly fragmented and of low political priority despite knowledge constituted within African institutions being essential for the health of the study and understanding of the continent.
Socialism, post-socialism and intellectual legacies in post-colonial Mozambique: the case of the CEA (1976-1986) and IESE (2007-2016)
This article examines the intellectual legacy of the Centro de Estudos Africanos (CEA) in the Mozambique's neoliberal context. This analysis will focus specifically on the scientific work of the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos (IESE, 2007-2016).
Focusing on two social science research institutions in post-colonial Mozambique, this article examines the intellectual legacy of the Centro de Estudos Africanos (CEA) in the Mozambique's neoliberal context. This analysis will focus specifically on the scientific work of the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos (IESE, 2007-2016). The article argues that in order to have a better understanding of the emergence and consolidation of IESE as a critical, state-independent and policy oriented research institution, it is not sufficient to look at the present context of private sector competition, multi-party system, and freedom of expression, but also to something that is directly linked to the Mozambican recent past: the intellectual legacy of the socialist transition period, and more particularly the intellectual legacy of the Marxist CEA (1976-1986). This legacy, in its interaction with the neoliberal context, produced continuities and ruptures. Firstly, it encompassed the passage of human capital from one institution to another. Secondly, the transference of disciplines, theories, methods, practices and "political morality". Thirdly, the consolidation and radicalization of a form of research program that is critical, free from state political ideology, contemporary and oriented towards public policy. Lastly, the growth of deluded intellectuals and the fading of historical, empirical and collective social research.
This panel is closed to new paper proposals.