Decolonizing the University: Conversations across the Creek

Friday, 09 October 2020, 1–2pm, Online webinar (registration required)

Arguing that the institution of the university has been broadly complicit with colonialism, the call to “decolonize” universities and academic practices has been heard across the world, from Cape Town to Oxford to Canberra. But what exactly does it mean to “decolonize” the university or to “decolonize” science or the humanities? This webinar will present a range of views on decolonization and the university by scholars from across the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities, focusing on local and global challenges to prevailing academic practices.

Conversations Across the Creek is an initiative of the Humanities Research Centre and the Research School of Chemistry. These events provide a space for continuing dialogue among scientists, social scientists, and humanities scholars, with the aim of stimulating and unearthing collaborations across the university and between the university and the community.

Register here

Speakers

Dr Ibrahim Abraham (Humanities Research Centre)
Dr Karo Moret Miranda (School of History)
Ms Maeve Powell (Crawford School)
Mr Sam Provost (Fenner School)

The Individual Deprivation Measure South Africa Country Study Results

Helen Suich, Senior Research Fellow, Crawford School of Public Policy (ANU)

The Individual Deprivation Measure, or IDM, is an individual-level, gender sensitive measure of multidimensional deprivation—it measures deprivation at the individual rather than household level, and is designed to discern differences in the experiences of poverty between men and women. The IDM program was a partnership between the ANU, the International Women’s Development Agency and the Australian Department for Foreign Affairs and Trade. The ANU led a studies in Indonesia in 2018 and in South Africa in 2019. The IDM programme ran between 2016 and 2020, and related research is being taken forward as the Individual Measurement of Multidimensional Poverty at ANU.

In South Africa, 14 dimensions of deprivation were measured (shown in the figure below). Some of these are already partially covered in some existing surveys (e.g. food security and access to drinking water), but the IDM includes a range of economic and social aspects which are not usually covered (e.g. the relationships, clothing and footwear and voice dimensions). Further, several IDM dimensions include aspects beyond that which is typically assessed. For example, the work dimension covers not only issues around paid work, but also includes themes on unpaid domestic and care work and on the double labour burden that can arise when both paid and unpaid work are done.

The South African country study had two parts:

  • a national-level main sample, that interviewed 8,652 individuals, 16 years and older;
  • a purposive sample that interviewed 826 individuals with disabilities and their household members (2,311 individuals in total), in Gauteng and Limpopo provinces.

There are a wide range of resource available for those who are interested in the results of the survey and the methods used for the analysis.

A revised analysis of the data was undertaken, using slightly different methods, and a series of briefing notes and documentation was produced. There are six briefing notes, describing the results for the main sample, as well as the analyses by gender, by age group, by disability status and by rural/urban locality. The sixth summarises the South African country study and the revised data analysis methods. Accompanying documentation includes reports describing the revised methods in detail, as well as providing all of the revised results. A comprehensive report published in May 2020 summarises the initial analysis of both the main sample and the purposive sample, which is available here.

There is also a series of videos, one summarising the South African country study, one for the overall results of the main sample, based on the revised analysis methods, and one each describing the results by gender, age, rural/urban locality and disability status.

A launch of the report was held in early August 2020, with Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Ms Gita Kamath, and the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas, which you can watch below.

 

 

ANU Africa Network Website Relaunch

Featured

Seven years after this website was created by David Lucas, the ANU Africa Network website has been renovated and relaunched as part of the DFAT-funded project to increase awareness of Africa and African studies in the ANU and the ACT.

The major innovation is the creation of the ACT Africa Expert Directory which currently lists 71 experts on Africa from institutions around the ACT, primarily the ANU. We will continue to expand and refine this list in the coming months and years, offering a key resource for media, government and non-government organizations seeking expert facts and opinions on Africa.

Another notable addition is the expanded directory of PhD theses on Africa produced in the territory’s universities, a solid measure of the vitality of the study of Africa in the city of Canberra.

Reviewing both directories, it is revealing to note that the vast majority of research on Africa is produced by disciplinary experts (environmental scientists, economists, demographers, etc.) rather than area studies experts. This means that the study of Africa is woven into the fabric of the research culture of the ANU and the ACT’s other universities in ways that are not necessarily apparent.

As the project to increase awareness of Africa and African studies in the ANU and the ACT continues into next year, this website will be an important tool in organizing and promoting the study of Africa.

AFSAAP 43rd Annual Conference – University of New England – 03-05 Dec 2020

AFRICAN STUDIES ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALASIA AND THE PACIFIC

43rd Annual Conference

“Youthful Optimism for Africa”

University of New England, Armidale, NSW

03-05 December 2020

 

Call for Papers

The African Studies Association of Australasia and the Pacific (AFSAAP) calls for proposals for preorganized panels, roundtables, thematic conversations, and individual papers for its 43rd annual meeting to be held at the University of New England (UNE), Armidale, NSW, December 3-5th 2020.

If COVID 19 permits, there will be a physical conference at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW. If not, and for anyone who is not able to travel, there will be a ZOOM facility for presenting your papers and getting feed-back (UNE has more experience with distance education than any other Australian University).

60% of the population of Africa is under 25 – [sadly, this proportion may even increase if many older people die of COVID 19]. Whilst you are welcome to submit abstracts on any African topic you choose, we are encouraging you to think about youth and a brighter future.

We would welcome suggestions for panels. There will certainly be panels for peace/conflict, Afro-feminism, and environmental issues.

The deadline for abstracts is 01 September 2020. Abstracts should be 300 words maximum and cover question, methodology, findings. Paper presenters will be allowed 20 minutes for presentation plus 20 minutes for questions.

AFSAAP Postgraduate Day

A special feature of AFSAAP Conferences is our work with post-graduate students. PhD and other post-graduate students who submit a thoughtful abstract and wish to participate in the post-graduate day will be assigned an AFSAAP member with experience in their area as a mentor to help them work on their paper. Post-graduate work on African topics in Australia can be a rather lonely experience and it is good to be able to turn to a friend who can give you advice on how to get your ideas into shape and where you should be heading. December 3rd is post-graduate day and will be devoted to presentations in a warm and encouraging setting. Those presenting their work on that day will also be encouraged to submit their finished papers to a special post-graduate ARAS edition.  Details forthcoming.

Abstracts of proposed papers, panels and roundtables should be sent by to Professor Helen Ware at: vice-president@afsaap.org.au

A preliminary program will be announced in October 2020. Registration and conference fees must be paid before the start of the conference.

Call for Papers: Religion, Spirituality and the New African Diaspora

The Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, the publication of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion, is inviting expressions of interest for a planned special issue on the theme of “Religion, Spirituality and the New African Diaspora” to be published in 2021.

In contrast to the African diaspora created through the slave trade, the “new” African diaspora is the product of recent and voluntary human movement (Okpewho & Nzegwu 2009), as individuals, families and communities have sought asylum, education, employment and other opportunities outside Africa. Recognizing that continuities and changes in religious and spiritual practices are a foundational aspect of diasporic experience, and that religion can be the “motor” of migration and migrant identity formation (Adogame 2007), this special issue is open to research articles on all aspects of religion, spirituality and the new African diaspora. We are particularly interested in studies from the Asia-Pacific region, but welcome articles focusing on any part of the world.

Although the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion does not publish purely confessional articles, we welcome cross-disciplinary contributions from across the humanities and social sciences addressing the topic through various theories and methodologies. Representative (but not exhaustive) of the themes scholars may wish to address, we would welcome contributions engaging with: theories of the Black Atlantic, or more recent conceptualizations of the “Black Mediterranean” and “Black Pacific”; religion, spirituality and new expressions of racism and xenophobia; religion, identity, and the securitization of migration; indigenous African religions in the new diaspora; religion and spirituality as resources for individual and collective resilience and resistance; transnational religious networks; Pentecostalism and the new African diaspora; religion and the production of the local; religious music and popular culture in the new African diaspora; postcolonial and decolonial approaches to religion and spirituality in the new African diaspora.

Contributors should initially submit an abstract of up to 300 words and a brief biography by 31 July 2020 to both editors. Full papers will be due by 31 December 2020. Articles should not exceed 8000 words (including references).

Dr Ibrahim Abraham (Australian National University, co-editor JASR) ibrahim.abraham@anu.edu.au

Dr Victor Counted (Western Sydney University, guest editor JASR) v.counted@westernsydney.edu.au

References:

Adogame, A. 2007. “Raising Champions, Taking Territories: African Churches and the Mapping of New Religious Landscapes in Diaspora,” in T. L. Trout (ed.), The African Diaspora and the Study of Religion. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Okpewho, I. & N. Nzegwu (eds). 2009. The New African Diaspora. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

 

Lions of Khartoum: Sudan’s Wrestlers After a Revolution

Lions of Khartoum (29 minutes / Sudan / English subtitles) explores the role of Khartoum’s iconic wrestlers in the Sudanese revolution of 2019, through the voice of Mudawi, a childhood wrestler-turned-wrestling commentator. Until the 2019 Sudanese revolution, Khartoum’s local wrestling organisation was run by Islamist party acolytes (kīzān), who were more focused on making money from ticket sales than training the athletes or promoting the sport. During the horrific June 2019 massacre in Khartoum, one of the wrestlers was murdered by the Janjaweed, the former regime’s paramilitary forces. His face now adorns the wrestling stadium formerly controlled by the kīzān. Against the extraordinary backdrop of revolutionary change, however, the film shows us that the ordinary mundanity of life continues for Khartoum’s wrestlers. The film builds on the filmmakers’ 12 months of ethnographic fieldwork, living and training with Khartoum’s wrestling community prior to and during the Sudanese revolution.

WATCH HERE

FILMMAKERS

Paul Hayes is completing a PhD in anthropology at The Australian National University and has been an Associate Researcher at Centre d’études et de documentation économiques, juridiques et sociales (CEDEJ) in Khartoum since 2018. He completed 12 months of ethnographic research, living and training among Khartoum’s wrestling community, in the midst of the Sudanese revolution.

Mudawi Hassan is a commentator at Khartoum’s East Nile wrestling stadium, and has worked for numerous international researchers and filmmakers, in Khartoum and Darfur. In 2018, he graduated from Omdurman Islamic University with honours in communication and television. He participated in almost every major protest event in Khartoum during the revolution.

CO-FILMMAKER STATEMENT

This was a collaborative project between me, an Australian PhD student of anthropology, and Mudawi, a Sudanese wrestling enthusiast and community leader from Khartoum. The film, which focuses on Mudawi’s reflections after the revolution, will form part of my broader PhD thesis which explores the embodied material culture of Sudanese wrestling. For that, I spent over 12 months training and socialising with the East Nile wrestling community, while also living with Mudawi’s family. Unexpectedly, the fieldwork took place in the lead-up to, and during the start of the Sudanese revolution, which led to the army overthrowing President Omar Al Bashir in April 2019, after months of street protests. The footage for this film was shot only in December 2019, during a return visit to Mudawi’s family, precisely one year after the revolution began. The film tries to convey only a tiny taste of the lives of its interlocutors and their involvement in the revolution. It is a partial, tentative story, and one which I think raises more questions than it answers.
Paul Hayes, Canberra, March 2020

A History of the Impact of the Mining Boom in Zambia

Margaret O’Callaghan has posted her manuscript Copperfields: A History of the Impact of the First Decade of a Mining Boom in North Western Province Zambia, circa 2002-2015 online for free download.

“It has been a privilege to complete this task, although I know that not all will agree with my comments and some may even be offended,” O’Callaghan writes in the preface. “But as the North Western proverb says: ‘Mweenyi waleeta mupenyi waatwa’ (‘a visitor brings a sharp knife’).”