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Collective Mobilisations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt

Mobilisations collectives en Afrique : contestations, résistances et révoltes

Mobilizações coletivas em África: contestações, resistências e revoltas

ECAS 2015 - 6th European Conference on African Studies

ECAS 2015 - 6e Conférence européenne des études africaines

ECAS 2015 - 6a Conferências Europeias de Estudos Africanos

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Published on Friday, July 04, 2014


Following on Lisbon in 2013, the Sixth European Conference on African Studies (ECAS-6) will take place in Paris 8-10 July 2015 at the Sorbonne. The co-organisers are IMAF (Institut des mondes africains) and LAM (Les Afriques dans le monde). The principal theme of ECAS 6, outlined below, is Collective Mobilisations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt. This theme, however, is not exclusive. The scientific committee will also consider panel proposals on other themes, associated with emergent and more classical fields of study alike.



The historic turn embodied by the Arab “revolutions”, whose repercussions are felt throughout the Sahel; anger, expressed in a range of ways, at the rising cost of living; mobilisations around issues of citizenship; manifold forms of religious revival: all seem to attest to a profound political reconfiguration underway across Africa. These and associated forms of contestation have pushed new actors to the front of the stage, at the crossroads of local and global dynamics. To fully appreciate the complexity of these developments, we must consider longer-term histories of uprising, stand-taking and engagement on the continent, casting a renewed gaze on jihads, slave uprisings, mass conversions and dynastic conflicts. Too, we must reflect in novel ways on the social trajectories of actors involved in present-day contestations and on the responses that the latter elicit from those in power. This in turn should bring us to pay close attention to repertories of collective action, to modes of transgression and subversion, to takes on activism, and to ways in which all of these intersect with social, generational and gender statuses.

In many settings, associations, religious groups and trade unions, all of which play a central part in the articulation of “civil society” – a concept whose pertinence as an analytical category is open to debate – function as mediators and manifest as forms of counter-power. In this capacity, however, they commonly entertain ambiguous relations with the powers that be. It remains to be seen whether political parties, beyond strategies they deploy to capture power and given their oft-observed role as clientelistic electoral reserves, can viably counter established authority. In parallel, attention needs to be focused on the increasing visibility of human rights associations, advocacy groups and related, cause-driven organisations seeking to position themselves as watchdogs of state action. Also requiring particular attention are international and transnational logics, notably of professionalisation, to which many emergent modes of collective action are intimately linked. To understand mobilisation processes, a focus on violence is required as well; the proliferation of militias, their modes of socialisation and politicisation, and the shift to armed protest that their action frequently entails require close scrutiny. The same is true of religious movements, new prophetic teachings, moralisation campaigns, processes of evangelisation and re-Islamisation, and the boom in faith-based NGOs, all of which play a key role in the construction of social imaginaries. Such imaginaries must be considered too in light of less explicitly political mobilisations. This is so, notably, in the realm of urban cultures or, more generally, of artistic and cultural expression. Here, rituals of inversion and rebellion, carnivals, music (Hip-Hop and Kuduro, to cite but two examples), literature, theatre and performance are of particular relevance.

Submission guidelines

The call for panels closes 10th August 2014 – 8pm.

All panel proposals must be made via the online form. On the form, you will be asked to provide your first and last names and institutional affiliation, the title of your panel and an abstract of no more than 1500 characters (spaces included).

The ECAS 6 website will go live on 23 June 2014: http://www.ecas2015.fr 

Panel proposals will be accepted, via the site, from 23 June to

10th August 2014.

As AEGIS is a tri-lingual organisation, the organising committee would be grateful if panel titles and abstracts could be submitted in two languages – English and one of AEGIS’ other two working languages:  French or Portuguese.

To facilitate the work of the scientific committee, when submitting a panel proposal, conveners are asked to identify the disciplinary field(s) that best describe(s) the panel’s subject matter.

All panels will last an hour and a half and will include a maximum of 4-5 participants, including the panel convener or discussant.

On submission of the proposal, the proposing convenor will receive an automated email confirming receipt.

The list of accepted panels will be posted to the website in mid-September 2014.

ECAS requires all accepted panels to be open to paper proposals through the website: panels should not be organised as ‘closed’ sessions.

Delegates may only give one paper. They may, however, also convene one plenary session, panel, or roundtable, or be a discussant in one plenary session, panel, or roundtable.

The ECAS 6 team looks forward to welcoming you in Paris. 

Scientific committee

  • Anthropology
    • Giorgio Blundo (Centre Norbert Elias-EHESS),
    • Rémy Bazenguissa (IMAF-EHESS),
    • Filip de Boeck (Institute for Anthropological Research in Africa-KU Leuven)
  • History
    • Henri Médard (IMAF-AMU),
    • Laurent Fourchard (LAM-FNSP),
    • Anne Hugon (IMAF-Université Paris 1),
    • Marie Laure Derat (IMAF-CNRS)
  • Geography
    • Julien Brachet (IEDES-IRD),
    • Géraud Magrin (PRODIG-CIRAD),
    • Monique Bertrand (CESSMA-IRD)
  • Sociology
    • Mahamet Timera (URMIS-Université Paris Diderot Paris 7)
    • Sylvie Capitant (IEDES-Université Paris 1)
  • Political Science
    • Marie Emmanuelle Pommerolle (IMAF-Université Paris 1),
    • Richard Banégas (CERI-Science po)
  • Economics
    • Boris Samuel (CERI-IEP Paris),
    • Vincent Geronimi (CEMOTEV-UVSQ)
  • Archaeology and Prehistory
    • Anne Haour (Sainsbury Research Unit-University of East Anglia),
    • Caroline Robion Brunner (TRACES-CNRS),
    • Benoit Chevrier (ANTET-Université de Genève)
  • Linguistics
    • Cécile van den Avenne (IMAF-ENS),
    • Sophie Manus (DDL-Université Lyon 2)
  • Philosophy
    • Abel Kouvouama (Université de Pau et des pays de l’Adour),
    • Nadia Yala Kisukidi (Université de Genève)
  • Literature
    • Nicolas Martin Granel,
    • Daniel Delas,
    • Alain Ricard (LAM-CNRS)
  • Demography
    • Valérie Golaz (CEPED-INED),
    • Marc Pilon (CEPED-IRD)
  • Visual and Expressive Cultures
    • Denis Constant Martin (LAM-FNSP),
    • Peter Mark (Art &Art history faculty-Wesleyan University)
  • Law
    • Matthieu Fau-Nougaret (CERDRADI-GRECCAP-Université Montesquieu - Bordeaux IV),
    • Augustin Emane (Université de Nantes)


  • Paris, France (75)


  • Sunday, August 10, 2014


  • études africaines, mobilisation, contestation, résistance, agency, agencéité, engagement, révolte

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Fabrice Melka
    courriel : fabrice [dot] melka [at] univ-paris1 [dot] fr


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Collective Mobilisations in Africa: Contestation, Resistance, Revolt », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Friday, July 04, 2014, https://doi.org/10.58079/qi3

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