Faculty of Arts
University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
June 15-17, 2017

Between May 6 and 7, 2016, a conference titled “Lagos: From the Pepperfarm to the Megacity (and Beyond): An Interdisciplinary Conference on Space, Society, and the Imagination of an African Crossroads,” took place at Barnard College, New York City. Participants came from several universities in the United States, Africa, Europe, and Asia. For the conference schedule and other information, see here.  The organizers are planning a second edition of this interdisciplinary conference to be held at the Faculty of Arts, University of Lagos between June 15 and 17, 2017.

Talk of cities is everywhere in African Studies and talk of African cities is everywhere beyond the field. Thinking through African cities has produced critical reappraisals of how concepts such as urbanism, globalization, citizenship, migration, epistemology, infrastructure, flexibility, history and futurity, can be more productively thought to capture current, imminent, and historical realities. The city increasingly appears to compete with the nation-state as the key spatial category of analysis for Africanist social theorists. From Casablanca to Capetown, from Kinshasa to Mogadishu, and from Lagos to Luanda, Africa is dotted with cities that constitute political, economic, social, and intellectual alternatives to the nation, while being situated within it. Perennial challenges to nation-states in Africa and beyond combined with the spectacular growth of cities on the continent and the global south more broadly, have prompted some to suggest that we may be witnessing the rise/return of the city-state as the key structuring formation of the new global order, and thus the key structure of concern for theorists of the social world.

The conference will pull scholars and practitioners working from a range of disciplinary standpoints into conversation with each other around shared questions. Through cross-disciplinary engagement, we will flesh out linkages between the pasts, presents, and speculative futures of Lagos. The organizers welcome papers and multimedia presentations from the perspective of literature, politics, dance, culture, diaspora, geography and environment, art, architecture, religion, knowledge and epistemology, economy and labor, identity formation, film, public science, popular culture, history, etc. We plan workshops on publishing and academic mentoring for postgraduate students and junior scholars.
Selected papers from this conference will be published shortly after in a special issue of urban studies journals. Interested parties are asked to send a 250 – 300 word proposal and a short bio to the organizers at lagosconference2017@gmail.com by October 30, 2016. Notifications of successful proposals will be sent out on November 30, 2016.

Conference registration fee: N10,000 for local participants, $100 for international. (Registration fee covers meals)

Conference Organizers:
• Saheed Aderinto–Western Carolina University (USA)
• Abosede George–Barnard College-Columbia University (USA)
• Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi–University of California-Riverside (USA)
• O.B Simire (Chair of LOC)–University of Lagos
• Charles Okafor (Secretary of LOC)–University of Lagos
• Paul Osifodunrin (LOC member)–University of Lagos

Collaborators:
• Western Carolina University
• Barnard College-Columbia University
• University of California-Riverside
• University of Lagos

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