“Africa in the World: Shifting Boundaries and Knowledge Production,” a joint conference of AAA and the African Studies Association begins May 25th in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The conference organizers and partners have selected an Africa in the World Student Ambassador Social Media Team to share the conference’s many highlights across various social media platforms. Two of our ambassadors have shared the sessions they are most excited for below. Add your own highlights in the comments and follow along with the conversation using #AfricaInTheWorld2018.
Gabe Vermeulen – Political Sciences Department, University of Pretoria
Environmental Challenges in the Age of Climate Change (Chair: Gwen Mikell):
Climate change is rapidly changing the types of challenges we face, and how we should address these challenges. The severity and instances of extreme weather events are increasing every year. This means that situations such as the drought in Cape Town are happening more often and are worse when they do happen. The realities of climate change are creating new types of refugees, new types of citizens, and new types of disasters. Therefore, it requires a new epistemic paradigm to understand and address the increasingly complex reality of our world. This session is exciting because it draws attention to important questions around how we engage with the world around us, what it means to be a citizen in this reality, and alternative ways to understand old narratives.
Qhawe Plaatjie – Anthropology Southern Africa, University of Johannesburg
Arts and Popular Culture (Chair: Mahiri Mwita)
This topic interests me because culture is one of the most influential phenomena in human society. Symbolism, art, and culture were among the first things, according to Human Origins Theories, to make us human, and it is fascinating to me to see how those early developments have multiplied and become more complex and how they have driven the way in which societies operate. The idea of popular culture is another phenomenon which is interesting to me because I think it captures how anything and everything can be culturalised, such that it has a greater impact on society. Finally, I am interested because one of the presenters will present on Dancehall Diaspora in Ghana, and being of Ghanaian descent, I feel it will be a topic that I relate to and find intriguing.
Learn more about the social media ambassadors and access the program of conference events on the Africa in the World website.