Twelfth VIVA AFRICA conference invites participants to engage in a discussion of mutual encounters, inventions, constructions and relations of all kinds taking place between Africa and Europe, in the past, present and future. Especially – although by no means exclusively – we invite scholars studying the exchanges and entanglements between African countries and those parts of Europe that are not conventionally associated with colonialism (e. g. most of Central and Eastern Europe), but which have nonetheless participated in global economic and cultural transfers, benefited from them and developed their own colonial imageries and discourses, and which have, by the virtue of their lack of an official colonial history, only recently been drawn into the discussions on postcoloniality and decolonization. One of the aims is to give more nuance to the postcolonial debate that tends to use reified notions of ‘Europe’ as simply part of the ‘West’ or the ‘global North’, forgetting about ongoing, if more subtle, developments between European countries ‘without colonies’ and the African continent.
The conference seeks to shed light on the nature of the exchange of ideas, knowledge, goods, cultural artifacts and people under various political and economic circumstances and regimes of imagination and knowledge production between Africa and Europe. This interdisciplinary conference welcomes submissions on current as well as historical topics from diverse academic as well as regional and cultural perspectives. Comparative approaches are especially appreciated.