The Classical Association of Ghana
University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Theme: Global Classics and Africa: Past, Present, and Future
The late 1950s and early 1960s ushered in a period when many African countries were gaining political independence. Immediately, there was an agenda to unite African nations, and a policy of Africanization began to gain ground. In the area of education, this Africanization process was vigorously pursued. In Ghana the Institute of African Studies was established, and an Encyclopaedia Africana project, originally conceived by W. E. B. DuBois, was revived. In Nigeria, new universities were established to counter the colonial-based education that was present at the University of Ibadan, and in some East African countries there were fears that foreign university teachers would not be able to further the Africanization of university education.
One of the fields of study singled out in this process of Africanization was Classics. Classics was believed to serve the interests of colonialism and neo-colonialism. Part of the agenda of this Africanization was to highlight African contributions to world civilization and to show that the ‘Western’ world could not lay claim to any superior heritage. As part of restitutive measures in the field, scholars have begun exploring the idea of ‘Global Classics’, showing how the Classics connects with the broad spectrum of humanity and society. While there is evidence to show that this kind of link has been explored since (or even before) the independence of African nations, it has begun to garner attention across the world. Yet, there are still places in Africa and other continents where Classics continues to be inward-looking and does not open itself to interdisciplinarity, collaborations, nor to other civilizations besides the Graeco-Roman world.
In the present context of globalization, and the decolonization and Africanization of education in Africa, how might we account for the role of Classics in Africa, and to what extent can the idea of ‘Global Classics’ be the way forward? We seek papers that explore these questions, from the earliest presence of Classical scholarship (broadly defined, and including archaeology, literature, material culture, anthropology, history, philosophy, linguistics, etc.) in Africa, and project what the future holds for Classics in Africa. We also welcome papers that draw lessons from non-African contexts. Papers may explore any of the following, as well as related, themes:
- academic freedom and politics
- African studies and global history
- Africanists/African-Americanists and the Classics
- art, museums, and architecture
- citizenship, migration, and cosmopolitanism
- classical connections with cognate and non-Classics disciplines
- comparative cultural reflections
- decolonization, pedagogy, and curriculum development
- economy, trade, and diplomacy
- gender and sexuality
- geography, environment, and development
- globalization, capitalism, and education
- race, ethnicity, and identity
- science, technology, and society
- war, peace, and democracy
Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words for 20-minute papers to email@example.com by December 15, 2019.
We hope to send notifications of acceptance by January 31, 2020. Details of registration, travel, and accommodation will be communicated later. For enquiries, please email Gifty Katahena (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Michael Okyere Asante (email@example.com).
Gifty Etornam Katahena, University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana
Peter K. T. Grant, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana
Michael K. Okyere Asante, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Daniel Orrells, King’s College, London, United Kingdom