Decolonizing the Classroom (2019 Conference)


Decolonizing the Classroom

September 27th-September 29th 2019

Smith College, Northampton Massachusetts  

Location: Smith College Conference Center

49 College Lane, Northampton, Massachusetts

“Decolonizing the Classroom”

Africa Network’s Biennial Conference

Smith College, Northampton Massachusetts- September 27-29, 2019

Africanist teaching and scholarship has long fought to bring African voices to the center of scholarly debate. However, structural inequality and prejudice has also allowed colonial hierarchies within the academy to remain. Following the lead of growing African social movements like #RhodesMustFall, the Africanist community in the West must now grapple with their own traditions of power, privilege and exclusion. In 2018, outgoing African Studies Association president Jean Allman called on the scholarly community to rethink this history of inequality within the Africanist academy under the banner #HerskovitsMustFall. Thus as organizations like ASA begin to grapple with the politics of knowledge production, Africa Network’s Biennial Conference will explore how these important ongoing debates inform the undergraduate classroom.

From introductory surveys to individual mentorship of student research, how do we challenge students and the broader system of higher education to prioritize African voices and African issues within the undergraduate curriculum?  We seek proposals which address the broad themes of decolonization and expanding attention to African issues and voices within undergraduate teaching. “Decolonizing the Classroom” is a part of Africa Network’s broader mission is to promote the study of Africa within the liberal arts curriculum. Our conferences are designed to bring together an interdisciplinary group of

Africa Network is an officially approved 501c(3) non-profit organization, and is registered as a nonprofit educational institution in the State of New York. The first national conference of Africa Network was held in 2004 on the campus of Hofstra University. The founding Chairman of the Board of Directors, and now Emeritus Chair, is Thomas L. Benson, the President Emeritus of Green Mountain College and the Executive Director of the World Education Corps. The Organization’s mission is to enhance the study of Africa within the liberal arts curriculum. As a small, but national organization, our membership is drawn primarily from university faculty teaching across the undergraduate curriculum. As a coordinate member of the African Studies Association, our conferences and activities focus on pedagogical discussions related to our mission.

Conference Program and Schedule