CFP: 21st Century Resiliency: Sustainable Development and U.S.-Africa Relations

The Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies (SERSAS) and the SouthEast Africanist Network (SEAN) are pleased to announce a joint conference to be hosted by the College of Charleston on Friday evening and Saturday, February 3-4, 2017, in historic downtown Charleston, SC.  Some funds for lodging will be provided to participants; details to follow.

SERSAS/SEAN Spring 2017 Conference  || College of Charleston, 3-4 February

Sustainable Development has garnered increased attention and support in recent years in the West, but has long been applicable to Africa, where many countries are witnessing declines in poverty and hunger, and improvements in national economies. This is therefore a propitious time to reflect on Africa’s social and economic trajectories, in the past, present and future.  In what ways do African examples reflect possibilities for a more resilient world?  At the same time, the United States is just emerging from a bruising presidential election in which Africa did not play a notable role in public debates, and the president-elect has evidenced little interest in, and even less knowledge of, Africa.  How are his proposed policies, to the extent that there are any, likely to affect given countries or regions in Africa?

The conference keynote lecture will be delivered by Dr. Peter Lewis, Director of the African Studies Program at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Lewis is a world-renowned expert on governance and development in sub-Saharan Africa. (For a brief profile, see

Faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students are all encouraged to participate.  In preparing proposals, please keep in mind that this year’s conference explicitly seeks to disrupt the conventional “three people reading papers” session.  We seek innovative and unconventional proposals from all fields for this interdisciplinary conference (for example, we invite you to propose an experimental session with 5 presenters making presentations of 7-10 minutes each).  More traditional proposals for individual papers, entire sessions, round-tables, interactive workshops, and conversations, are still of course welcome.  SERSAS will award the graduate student who presents the best paper at the conference the SERSAS Graduate Student Prize, which carries a stipend of $100.

Please send your proposals of no more than 300 words per presenter to:

Tim Carmichael <>, Simon Lewis <>, and Chris Day <>

The deadline for receipt of proposals is 5 pm on Monday, January 2nd.   Notification of acceptance (or otherwise) will be sent by Friday, January 6th.

Sponsors for the Conference at the College of Charleston:  Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies;  SouthEast Africanist Network;  UNC African Studies Center;  University of Florida Center for African Studies; and the US Department of Education.

On-site Conference Organizers:  Tim Carmichael <>, Simon Lewis <>, and Chris Day <>

UNC-CH Conference Organizers:  Barbara Anderson < > and Stacey Sewall <>

Please Register here: