Roundtable - Cosponsored Status Awarded
Sponsored by: Association for Africanist Anthropology
Cosponsored by: General Anthropology Division
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists, Teachers of Anthropology in Community Colleges, Students
Primary Theme: Resilience
Secondary Theme: The Political
In 1993, Founding President of the Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA) Gwendolyn Mikell wrote in the inaugural Section News column, “A probe of ‘disciplinary memory’ will show that anthropologists working in Africa were responsible for many of the major early debates that defined the theoretical directions and methodological developments within American anthropology.” Mikell went on to note that one of the major goals of the AfAA was to share “African derived insights with others, no matter what our theoretical and sub-disciplinary orientations” and to integrate relevant “contemporary and practical issues of concern…into the subject matter of our teaching and research.” Now, on the 25th anniversary of the AfAA, the section acknowledges from whence we came in order to anticipate where anthropology in general can and should go in relation to the conceptual and physical space of “Africa.” Following the joint African Studies Association/American Anthropological Association conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, this May (“Africa in the World: Shifting Boundaries of Knowledge Production”), this roundtable will bring together AfAA founders and past presidents to discuss the resilience and adaptation of Africanist Anthropology and the expansion of anthropology within African universities. The roundtable will focus particularly on contemporary and collaborative Africanist scholarship on Africa’s changing climates – from shifting environments to shifting chains of production to shifting forms of governance, even as some of those governing have been incredibly persistent, what has and what will Africanist anthropology contribute to the conversation about resistance, resilience, and adaptation?