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Major African Studies Conference to be hosted in Wales

14 November 2019

Attendees at 2018's ASAUK conference at the University of Birmingham.
Attendees at 2018's ASAUK conference at the University of Birmingham. Photo credit: Victoria Beddoes

Cardiff University will be hosting an international African Studies conference in 2020, the first time that this conference is being held in Wales.

The 28th biennial conference of the UK’s African Studies Association will take place on 8 - 10 September 2020 and will bring together scholars of Africa from a broad range of disciplines, including history, archaeology, political science, literature, languages and law. It is expected that academics from more than seventy countries will attend.

ASAUK 2020 has received support in the form of bursaries from the College of Arts and Humanities at Cardiff University; The British Academy; and The Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation.

The Fage & Oliver book prize and the Audrey Richards dissertation prize are awarded at the conference at which ASAUK also makes its Distinguished Africanist award.

The Fage & Oliver Prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding original scholarly work published on Africa during the preceding two years. John Donnelly Fage (1921-2002) and Roland Oliver (1923-2014) were pioneers of British African Studies. After a decade teaching in the University of the Gold Coast, Fage spent the rest of his career at Birmingham University where he founded the Centre for West African Studies (CWAS). With Oliver he founded The Journal of African History (1960). Oliver taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies (1948 -1986). He was one of the founders of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom (1963) and played a major role in the establishment of the British Institute in Eastern Africa.

The Audrey Richards Prize is awarded biennially for the best doctoral thesis in African Studies which has been successfully examined in a British institution of higher education during the two calendar years immediately preceding the next ASAUK Conference. Dr Audrey Richards, CBE (1899–1984) was a pioneering British social anthropologist who worked mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, notably Zambia, South Africa and Uganda. She held lectureships and directorships at LSE, Witwatersrand, Makerere, and Cambridge and was the Second President of ASAUK.

The conference will be hosted by the Law and Global Justice Centre in the School of Law and Politics. Founded in 2016, the Centre supports a lively research programme, including a cohort of fully funded international doctoral researchers. With a particular focus on the global south and informed by post- and anti-colonial perspectives, Cardiff Law and Global Justice is committed to engagement with southern scholars across the disciplines. It is home to a pathbreaking Transnational Pro-Bono Law Clinic working with lawyers in the UK, India and East Africa.

“We warmly welcome delegates of the African Studies Association UK conference to the Welsh capital and to Cardiff University’s Law and Global Justice Centre in the School of Law and Politics – a community perfectly placed to host, celebrate and capitalise on the cross-disciplinary energies and urgent insights that will be generated by this significant international gathering of scholars of Africa.”

Professor Damian Walford Davies Deputy Vice Chancellor

ASAUK President, Professor Ambreena Manji of the School of Law and Politics said, “I am delighted that the African Studies Association UK conference will take place in Wales for the first time. This is an important time for African Studies in the UK as we seek to challenge longstanding patterns of unequal knowledge production and dissemination across our disciplines. We would be very pleased if the conference led to new collaborative projects as a result of the presence of colleagues from over seventy countries in Cardiff next year.”

Further information about the conference can be found on the African Studies Association UK website and by following the Association via Twitter @ASAUK_News

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