[Filmfestivalresearch] Call for Abstracts: Africa and/in the Age of Festivalization

Lindiwe Dovey ld18 at soas.ac.uk
Tue Jan 28 10:56:03 CET 2014

*Call for Abstracts*

*Africa and/in the Age of Festivalization*

A symposium organized by Lindiwe Dovey and Carli Coetzee at the African
Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK) conference, 9-11 September 2014,
Brighton UK

We are living in what can be called the 'age of festivalization', an era of
unprecedented proliferation of festivals of all kinds, celebrating
everything from music to movement, from food to film. In this global
context in which new festivals are constantly appearing, this panel will
seek to explore the place of Africa, Africans, and/or African cultural
production within this festival forcefield. Surprisingly little research
has been undertaken on festivals in and featuring Africa in any
disciplinary field. Panelists from and/or working across varied disciplines
(Anthropology, Cultural Studies, Development Studies, Film Studies,
History, Literary Studies, Postcolonial Studies etc.) are thus encouraged
to submit abstracts, and to use varied methodologies and broad, creative
conceptions of 'festivals' to engage with the following (or other)

·      What are 'festivals'? What do they share with related entities, such
as revolutions, trade fairs, and/or major sporting events?
·      What kinds of festivals (are known to) exist in Africa today, and
what form(s) and values do they assume? How have festivals been defined in
African terms?
·      How are Africa, Africans and/or African cultural production
represented at festivals on and beyond the continent, and what are possible
historical precedents to this representation?
·      Is the current increase in festivals a positive development within
and beyond Africa, a sign of ordinary people's insistence on the need for
face-to-face communication in response to feelings of alienation in a
digital era? Or is it, in a more sinister sense, related to the rise of
economic neoliberalism in the era of late capitalism?
·      Is the increase in festivals a sign of the centralization or the
marginalization of a certain kind of culture?
·      Do festivals have purely democratic value or are they also
shop-fronts tailored by politicians and organizations eager to create an
image of unity and hide or quell dissent?

We hope to publish a special issue of the *Journal of African Cultural
Studies* from a selection of the papers presented.

*Please submit 250-word abstracts and short bios by 4 February 2014 to:*
Lindiwe Dovey: LD18 at SOAS.AC.UK

*For further information on the conference please consult the ASAUK

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