Fourth Annual Michigan State University Africanist Graduate Student Conference:

Emerging Perspectives in African Studies

October 8-9, 2010, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan

The fourth annual Africanist graduate student research conference at Michigan State University will focus on thetheme, “Emerging Perspectives in African Studies.” This theme is meant to inspire graduate students focusing on African Studies, to explore new methodological, theoretical and topical directions among their peers and future colleagues. By doing so at MSU, one of the nation’s first African Studies centers, the organizers hope graduate students will acknowledge their debt to those who have gone before them even as they work toward developing new perspectives in African studies. The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for graduate students to discuss their research, receive constructive feedback, network with other students and scholars, and sharpen presentation skills in a comfortable and relaxed environment. Please note that we are especially seeking papers on Africans in Diaspora (or African Diasporas) in order to prepare students who will present at the 2010 African Studies Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, “African Diaspora and Diasporas in Africa.”

The conference is interdisciplinary and open to students at all levels of their graduate careers. The organizing committee invites papers from historical, political, sociological, anthropological, educational and literary perspectives. Students conducting research in the natural sciences, health, gender, and the arts are also highly encouraged to participate. Submissions may include research proposals, research designs, dissertation or thesis chapters, methodological models, work in progress, outlines of dissertations, and preliminary research findings.

Beginning this year, we are also looking for experienced graduate students to serve as discussants for the panels. Interested discussants should be ABD and have research experience in Africa.

Abstracts Due: August 1, 2010

Email submissions and questions

Abstracts should include the author’s name, address, institutional affiliation, email address, and phone number. In 300 words or less, provide a clearly identifiable thesis, information on methods and/or sources used, and describe the significance of the research to your field. Please also identify three key words. A $20 conference fee can be paid online through the conference website upon acceptance.

Interested discussants should send a curriculum vitae that includes areas of specialization. There is no conference fee for discussants. Students may also consider submitting a panel proposal, including an abstract for the panel and an abstract for each paper presenter. The panel abstract should include a statement about the panel topic and a brief summary of the arguments to be explored by contributing papers.

If you wish to be considered for a travel award, please submit your abstract by July 15, 2010. Please also explore other funding options upon submission. International students requiring letters of invitation and sufficient time to secure funding and visas should also submit early. Because of the short time frame between abstract submission and conference date, we will require attendance confirmation by September 1, 2010. Accepted papers should be submitted by September 13, 2010 to allow discussants ample preparation time.

More information can be found at the Conference’s website ( or you can join our Facebook group: MSU Africanist Graduate Student Conference.

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