The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2019 ACIP workshop will be African Ethnographies. The project was proposed and will be organized by colleagues at the University of the Western Cape, Jung Ran Annachiara Forte (Lecturer, Department of Anthropology and Sociology) and Sakhumzi Mfecane (Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Anthropology and Sociology). Activities will take place in Cape Town, South Africa.
While the practice of ethnography has a long history in Africa, insufficient debate has emerged around it recently on the African continent. Far from being specific only to anthropology, ethnography has become a widespread mode of knowing inside and outside academic spaces. We would like to prompt reflection around this concept and practice, which is slippery, changing, dense, polysemic, and composed of a plurality of voices. The African Ethnographies workshop will raise questions about ethnography across disciplines, its contemporary forms – not exclusively written, and its publics. Ethnography enables conceptual work that transcends simple divides between the empirical, the methodological, and the theoretical. The workshop is particularly interested in understanding how ethnography and its conceptual work can allow us to grasp the complexities of contemporary African worlds, their precariousness, and their becomings. We are interested in exploring: (1) the work of theorization that ethnography makes possible; (2) understandings of public ethnography today; and finally (3) ways to re-rethink ethnography from the African continent. The workshop seeks to open a space of dialogue by bringing together emerging scholars across different disciplines and from institutions across Africa. By engaging in discussions around theory, methods, public engagements, and ethnographic sensibilities and modes of expression, we hope to better understand the challenges of doing ethnography in Africa’s contemporary worlds. The workshop will include a performance/ lecture that explores the performative potential of ethnographic work and will result in both an edited book and a film about ethnography based on the workshop and interviews with participants.
Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa through an annual ACIP workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities. Information about applying to organize the 2020 ACIP workshop and for the 2019 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards will be available in November 2018. The deadline for both workshop applications and student applications is 1 May 2019. For further information, see http://www.gs.emory.edu/about/special/acip.html and https://www.facebook.com/ivan.karp.corinne.kratz.fund.