Call for Papers: ASAUK 2014 – Theorising Africa
November 4, 2013
In many disciplines theory has been produced by Western theorists, for Western contexts. Those who study Africa have often preferred to keep their work largely empirical, feeling that Western theory – or elite academic theory more generally – isn’t appropriate or helpful. As a result, their work is seen as valuable but not of great importance to their broader disciplines. African academics are also often seen as valuable for their knowledge of their home context, but not for their universal observations of the world.
This panel explores questions about how theory is used in relation to and generated out of Africa. Does the application of ‘Western’ theories to African cases do violence to them? Are ‘Western’ theories just inappropriate? Should only ‘African theory’ be used in African contexts? If we say that the answer is yes to these questions does this situate Africa as external to the rest of the world – a place where the usual rules do not apply?