Continuity and Change: Rethinking African-European Encounters

Continuity and Change: Rethinking African-European Encounters

Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria
University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus
Takes place
In Attendance
From - Until
18.07.2024 - 20.07.2024
Connections Redaktion, Leipzig Research Centre Global Dynamics, Universität Leipzig

The Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria invites scholars and students to an International Conference entitled Continuity and Change: Rethinking African-European Encounters.

Continuity and Change: Rethinking African-European Encounters

The Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in Collaboration with the Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Conflict, University of Chicago, The Transatlantic Research Group, The Center for Igbo Studies, Dominican University, Chicago, and the Whelan Research Academy for Religion, Culture and Society, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria, invites scholars and students to an International Conference entitled Continuity and Change: Rethinking African-European Encounters. The conference is scheduled for 18-20 July 2024 with a preconference workshop on Research and Fieldwork Methodology for graduate students on 17 July 2024 at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Campus.

The past few decades have seen intense debate on the role of European agencies in the transformation of African societies. Scholars of the African colonial experience agree that the historic arrival of Europeans in Africa, especially the colonial period, ushered in unprecedented change and transformation in African societies. What happened when Europeans encountered and mingled with African societies and people? What role did distinct categories of Europeans (Missionaries, Traders, Administrators, and Scholars) play in ensuring encounters? In what ways did Africans respond and react to this encounter? These discourses have been complicated by post-colonial studies and an increasing acceptance of African agencies in shaping the outcome of African colonial experiences. Such colonial discourses, including debates around the continuing legacies of colonial encounters, have highlighted the links between ideology, culture, and empire.

How can engagement with the history of this encounter help one speak to the present? These are the questions we will explore at the Rethinking African-European Encounters Conference, a three-day-long meeting of scholars at the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria.

The conference honors the life and work of Professor Felix Ekechi (1934-2023) whose illustrious historical career as a teacher and scholar centered on Africa’s engagement with Europeans. Ekechi’s most influential works include Missionary Enterprise and Rivalry in Igboland, 1857-1914 (nominated for the African Studies Association Herskovit’s Award); Tradition and Transformation in Eastern Nigeria: A Sociopolitical History of Owerri and Its Hinterland, 1902-1947; and Pioneer, Patriot, and Nigerian Nationalist, A Biography of the Reverend M.D. Opara, 1915-1965. These groundbreaking works speak to the ways European encounters with Africa shaped the history, indigenous responses, and identities.

Topics of Interest include but are not limited to:
- Control, restriction, and colonial hegemony
- Colonial Ethnography and Representation of Africa
- Construction of Identity and Difference
- Colonial Sources and Africa
- Christianity and African Spirituality
- Decolonial Thinkers and Critique of Eurocentrism
- Colonial Economic models and their aftermath
- Indigenous forms of Slavery
- Neo-slavery and other forms of servitude
- European Languages and Language Ideologies
- Labor and Production Relations
- Reproducing Colonial Political Economy
- Objects of Colonial Encounter
- Texts, Images, and Colonial Representation
- Otherness and Othering in the Colonial Context
- African Resistance and Colonial Institution
- Reinterpretations of Cultural Encounters
- Intersections of Race and Gender Biases
- Women and Colonial Ideology
- Mapping Gender in the Colonial Context

We invite scholars to send abstracts of no more than 250 words and a short biographical note (of 3-5 lines, including your current field of studies) as an attached in Microsoft Word file to on or before 20 May 2024. The author’s name, institutional affiliation, email address, and contact phone number should be provided under the proposed paper title before the abstract.

Successful abstracts will be announced by 27 May 2024.

Completed papers should be submitted no later than 30 June 2024.

Conference participation Fees
Participants from outside Africa: $100
Africa-based scholars and researchers: $50
Africa-based student participants: $25
Nigeria-based academics: ₦15,000
Nigeria-based student participants: ₦5,000

The conference presentation format shall be in-person and virtual.

Graduate students who are not currently holding any appointment in an institution may apply for financial support for the Research and Fieldwork Methodology workshop. Send your request to

All inquiries regarding submissions should be directed to

Prospective participants whose paper or panel proposals are accepted will be provided with further information on registration and details for payment.

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