HomeRethinking Sudan Studies after the Independence of South Sudan

HomeRethinking Sudan Studies after the Independence of South Sudan

Rethinking Sudan Studies after the Independence of South Sudan

Repenser les études soudanaises après l’indépendance du Soudan du Sud

*  *  *

Published on Tuesday, February 05, 2013 by Élodie Faath

Summary

At this time of shifting foundations in Sudan, which became two separate Sudan republics with the 2011 secession of the south, we invite historians, anthropologists, linguists, political scientists and others to engage in a similar process of rethinking. Two questions stand behind this undertaking. First, can we continue to speak and write about a single "Sudan Studies" field now that a split has occurred?  And second, what has Sudan Studies been, and how must it or should it change? Answering the latter question may help to address what some critics have described as the insularity of the scholarship on the region: a tendency to describe the Sudan and Sudanese states as having been unique and incomparable relative to other places and polities (Willis 2001; Vezzadini 2012).

Announcement

Heather Sharkey, Elena Vezzadini and Iris Seri-Hersch invite abstracts in English or in French for submitting a proposal to the Canadian Journal of African Studies/La Revue canadienne des études africaines for a special issue. The goal of this issue would be to rethink Sudan Studies after the independence of South Sudan on the July 9, 2011. The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 28, 2013; see further details below.

Presentation

Rethinking Sudan Studies after the Independence of South Sudan

In 2007, a team of three scholars asked colleagues specializing in different areas, periods, and genres of history to reflect on "what they now most desired for history in general and for that history closest to their own interests". The result was a volume called Manifestos for History. Approaching history writing "as an act of both fidelity and rebellion" in a postmodern period characterized by doubt and uncertainty, when "chosen ways of reading things lack solid, universal foundations", the contributors to this volume tried to set out agendas for future scholarship (Jenkins and Munslow 2007: 1, 3, 5).

At this time of shifting foundations in Sudan, which became two separate Sudan republics with the 2011 secession of the south, we invite historians, anthropologists, linguists, political scientists and others to engage in a similar process of rethinking. Two questions stand behind this undertaking. First, can we continue to speak and write about a single "Sudan Studies" field now that a split has occurred?  And second, what has Sudan Studies been, and how must it or should it change? Answering the latter question may help to address what some critics have described as the insularity of the scholarship on the region: a tendency to describe the Sudan and Sudanese states as having been unique and incomparable relative to other places and polities (Willis 2001; Vezzadini 2012).

Again, the 2011 break-up of the Republic of the Sudan now makes a reassessment of Sudan Studies imperative.  But the field, such as it is, warrants reassessment even without these political developments. In keeping with broader trends in the humanities and social sciences, scholars of the region have begun to examine some new subjects and sources while drawing upon a mix of disciplinary perspectives – for example, by looking at environmental history and material culture, by using internet materials (such as blogs, or family records posted online), and by blending approaches from anthropology, history, and linguistics (see, for example Sharkey 2008). Given that all research ultimately entails issues of feasibility (which is another way of saying that scholars write what they are able to write), current scholarship also reflects shifting paths to research. Some routes have narrowed or closed off in recent years – for example, as records have been lost or destroyed in the midst of civil war (Daly 2004: 156-58). All the research now appearing reflects some combination of these changing opportunities and approaches, along with decisionsabout what is interesting or worthy of study.

The time is also ripe for bringing English- and French-language scholarship together.  During the last quarter of the twentieth century and the opening years of the twenty-first, Sudan Studies as a field gained coherence in Britain and North America through efforts of scholars who sought to build a community for academics, activists, and other concerned intellectuals, including members of the burgeoning Sudanese diaspora. However, the Anglophone world can claim no monopoly on Sudan Studies. Indeed, during the past thirty years French institutions have hosted a lively cadre of scholars who have focused on the region, so that Sudan Studies in France is now entering a period of vitality (Seri-Hersch 2012). Therefore, for the sake of further internationalizing conversations on this subject, and for the sake of bridging the Anglophone-Francophone divide, we particularly welcome submissions in French.  This special issue will, in fact, continue conversations that began at a workshop on “Au delà des dichotomies: le Soudan, de la formation du pays à l’indépendence du Sud, 1869-2011”, which was held in Paris on November 12, 2012 and sponsored by the Institut d'études de l'Islam et des sociétés du monde musulman (IISMM) and by the Centre d’Études Africaines (CEAf) of the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (http://iismm.ehess.fr/index.php?1157).

"History is a verb and not a noun", argued the editors of the volume, Manifestos for History, because the writing of history entails "intentional processes of shaping and meaning-making" (Jenkins and Munslow 2007 : 7). We could say the same about anthropology, political science, and other fields of scholarly endeavor.  With this in mind, we invite contributors to offer their own conscious engagements in the ongoing collaboration of Sudan Studies at this moment of flux in regional politics, history, and scholarship.

Submission guidelines

Please submit proposals in either French or English consisting of

  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • and a one-page abstract, explaining the topic, argument, and source base as well as its engagement with the agenda of “Rethinking Sudan Studies”. 

Send these materials to the editors of this special issue,

The deadline for receipt of proposals is February 28, 2013.

Those scholars whose proposals are accepted must send a draft of their paper to the editors by June 15, 2013. To ensure coherence among the various articles, the editors of this special issue will suggest revisions accordingly. The authors must then submit a revised version by July 30 2013. At this point, the editors will submit the articles to the journal, which will ensure a blind-review referee process.

Manuscripts should range in length from 6 000 to 10 000 words (approximately 25-40 double spaced typed pages, including text, quotations, endnotes, bibliography, tables, and appendices) and should include an abstract of 125-150 words. Contributors must follow the citation guidelines of The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition.

References

DALY Martin W., Review of The Nile, by Robert O. Collins, and Living with Colonialism: Nationalism and Culture in the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, by Heather J. Sharkey, International History Review, 26:1 (2004)

JENKINS Keith, Sue MORGAN and Alun MUNSLOW, Manifestos for History London; New York: Routledge (2007)

SERI-HERSCH Iris, “Vers un renouveau des études soudanaises en France?”, Carnets de l’IREMAM, 14 November 2012, http://iremam.hypotheses.org/918 (January 14, 2013).

SHARKEY Heather J., “Arab Identity and Ideology in Sudan: The Politics of Language, Ethnicity, and Race.” African Affairs 107, no. 426 (2008): 21-43.

VEZZADINI Elena, “Identity, History and Power in the Historiography of Sudan: Some Thoughts on Holt and Daly's A History of Modern Sudan.” Canadian Journal of African Studies/La Revue canadienne des études africaines 46, no. 3 (2012): 439-451.

WILLIS Justin, Review of A History of the Sudan from the Coming of Islam to the Present Day, (review no. 172), 1 February 2001, http://www.history.ac.uk/reviews/review/172 (January 18, 2013)


Date(s)

  • Thursday, February 28, 2013

Keywords

  • soudan, soudan du sud, historiographie, histoire, sciences politiques, sociologie, anthropologie, linguistique, géographie, économie

Contact(s)

  • Elena Vezzadini
    courriel : elena [dot] vezzadini [at] gmail [dot] com
  • Iris Seri-Hersch
    courriel : iris [dot] seri-hersch [at] univ-amu [dot] fr
  • Heather Sharkey
    courriel : hsharkey [at] sas [dot] upenn [dot] edu

Information source

  • Iris Seri-Hersch
    courriel : iris [dot] seri-hersch [at] univ-amu [dot] fr

To cite this announcement

« Rethinking Sudan Studies after the Independence of South Sudan », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Tuesday, February 05, 2013, https://calenda.org/237972

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search