Africa Network 2017 Conference Registration and Final Program

 “Africa in the 21st century classroom”

September 29th-October 1st

St. Olaf College, Northfield Minnesota

All Conference Activities in Buntrock Commons on the St. Olaf Campus

(See below for registration and local accommodations information)

Africa Network Conference Program

Since its origins in decolonization and the Cold War, African studies has consistently had to reassert its relevance to university curricular trends and global historical forces. For many teaching African studies courses, consistent pedagogical goals have focused on deconstructing popular discourse about the world’s second largest continent, and centering African voices and experiences as vital to understanding global issues. These goals are unfinished and on-going, but how is African studies evolving to meet the demands of the 21st century classroom? What are the new opportunities and challenges to promoting the study of Africa within the liberal arts?

In higher education, declining interest and funding for the humanities and social sciences has taken its toll on fields which still dominate area studies. At the same time, universities are investing in STEM and global education in ways which could both strengthen and threaten the future of African studies. As teachers and scholars of African studies, how have we responded to these trends in the classroom and our university curricula? What pedagogical strategies best demonstrate the importance of understanding African experiences in students’ academic, personal or professional lives?

Africa Network’s key mission is to promote the study of Africa within the liberal arts curriculum. This year’s conference theme “Africa in the 21st century classroom” is a continuation of an on-going focus of the organization and designed to bring together an interdisciplinary group of teachers/scholars to share best practices in a collaborative environment. Building on our 2016 conference theme “The State of African Studies,” our 2017 conference will offer a chance to continue the debate within the changing landscape of higher education.

Publication Opportunities Selected papers from the conference will be invited to submit to a new online, open source publication called “Teaching Africa” sponsored by Africa Network and set to launch in 2017.

Host and location: St. Olaf is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, and promotes global engagement as a key institutional mission. Northfield is a historic river town of 20,000 in the southeast part of Minnesota, just 45 minutes from the Twin Cities and Minneapolis/ St. Paul (MSP) international airport. Historic downtown Northfield, within walking distance of campus, features coffeehouses, sandwich shops, restaurants, gift stores, and local art galleries. Northfield is also home to Carleton College. All Conference Activities in Buntrock Commons on the St. Olaf Campus

Africa Network members receive a registration discount. Annual individual membership is $25. Annual institutional membership is $100. All faculty and staff of institutional members are considered members of the Africa Network and need not pay additional membership fees.

Registration fee is 200$ for members; $250 for non-members; 150$ for current students; or 75$ for African based scholars. Conference registration fees cover all conference costs and most meals throughout the weekend. Travel to St. Olaf and local accommodations are not included

Registration and membership payable by credit card or Paypal using the “Add to Cart” buttons below.

If you prefer to pay by check: mail checks, payable to Africa Network, to Africa Network Treasurer, Prof. Todd A Watkins, Lehigh University Dept. of Economics, Rauch #37, Bethlehem, PA 18015. You may send a single check covering registration and membership. We can also invoice electronically.

For more information contact us:


Conference Registration Fee (includes most meals)

Use pull down menu to select category, and then click “Add to Cart”.
Africa Network Member ($200); Non Member ($250); Student ($150); or African Institution Scholars ($75).

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Registrant’s email

Conference Registration (for membership, see below)

Africa Network Annual Membership

$25 for individuals; or $100 for institutions (covers all faculty and students)

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There are three weddings in town this weekend.  So it is best to book now.  Country Inn and AmericInn are holding rooms for Africa Network, until Aug 29 and July 29 respectively.  If you plan to rent a car, you will have a few more options in nearby towns.

1.Country Inn & Suites   (507) 645-2286$130 night + taxesCall and mention code “Africa Network”Rooms will be released August 29

2.AmericInn Lodge & Suites  (507) 645-7761Room rates are $134-162 depending on room type.  NOTE:  cheaper rates may be available online!Rooms will be released July 29; they are hosting 2 weddings.

Other local Options America’s Best Value Inn  (507) 663-0371, The Magic Door (507- 581-0445) and Archer House (800- 247-2235) may have rooms.   Airbnb:  there are a number of listings within walking distance of St Olaf.

GROUND TRANSPORTATION from Minneapolis Airport: Shuttles cost about $60 each way airport to/from Northfield.

  1. EcoTrans – Phone: (507) 581-8120
  2.  Hiawathaland Transit Phone 866-623-7505
  3. Northfield Lines, which runs between the airport and Northfield. Bookings can be done online:
  4.  First Choice Shuttle also provides service from hotels to conference venue and elsewhere. They need to be notified in advance–a day or several hours–about place and time of pick up and drop off.