The social, political and cultural life in Africa has in the past been expressed through performance and other popular expressive forms. The mass media is not simply a channel of mass production and mass participation in these forms, but was, and still is a defining attribute of African popular culture. The popular cultural forms often include such genres as music, paintings, personal diaries, cartoons, fiction, oral lore, film, fashion, urban cultures and many more.
However, digital media, through the spread of digital technologies such as mobile phones and related platforms such as social media and the vast array of digital cultures have tremendously disrupted how popular culture in Africa is produced and consumed. One of the clearest disruptions is how the former audiences are themselves becoming active producers of popular culture, and also how digital media are enabling new kinds of participation, expressions, and experimentation with popular cultural forms that would otherwise not be possible without them. The purpose of this panel is to gather a wide range of papers that shed light on the actors, the contexts, and the forms through which digital media technologies in Africa are shaping and enabling alternative forms of cultural production and consumption.
More specifically, the panel invites papers that interrogate how the spread of digital media and digital cultures in Africa is affecting and being affected by popular cultural forms. Are digital cultures producing an entirely new cultural product or are they simply refashioning the old? In what ways and to what extent are digital media shifting how popular cultural forms have been understood and conceptualized? Thirdly, how have new digital technologies included or excluded members or sections of a particular public, and how has this reconfigured power in Africa? In other words, how has popular culture, as a site of struggle and contestation over ideology, meaning and political struggles, changed with the spread of digital technologies? And related to this, how has the digital media helped popular cultural forms get into the centre of other social and political phenomena such as governance, social movements, religious expressions, sub-cultures etc? What traces, if any, are digital media leaving in how popular culture in Africa is understood? Papers dealing with these and such related questions are welcome.
Call for Papers
The ASAUK biennial conference will be held at the University of Cambridge (Robinson College) and will run from 14.00 on Wednesday 7 September 2016 to 15.30 on Friday 9 September 2016. It will coincide with the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Cambridge Centre for African Studies.
The deadline for the submission of panels (symposia) and streams has now passed and successful applicants have been notified. It is no longer possible to submit a panel.
The call for papers is now open. A PDF file of accepted panels (symposia) is available below for those searching for the appropriate setting for their papers. The PDF file is arranged alphabetically according to the name of the panel convenor but panels can also be identified on the ASAUK conference services (Oxford Abstracts) website by their IDnumbers which run in ascending order and which also are included in the file. Download panels here
It is possible to submit papers via the following link to the conference services website:
We do not require you to submit a full paper in advance, please submit an abstract of 250 words. The call for papers will close on 2nd April 2016.
We very much hope to see you at the conference!
If you have any queries please contact Dorian Addison: conference2016.cambridge [a] gmail.com
This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here: