CFP: Reconciliation in Post-Colonial, Post-Conflict and Multi-Ethnic Africa

Submission deadline: January 31, 2012

Conference date(s):
April 16, 2012 - April 18, 2012

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Conference Venue:

School of Philosophy and Ethics, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Durban, South Africa

Topic areas


One of the difficult challenges facing many African countries today is the problem of negotiating successful transitions from histories tainted variously by colonialism, racial segregation, oppression and conflicts to a truly democratic dispensation.  South Africa, Rwanda and Sierra Leone are representative examples of countries on the continent that have attempted to confront violent and fractious histories of Apartheid, Genocide and Civil War respectively through the establishment of reconciliatory processes. The success of these processes are debatable and many of the problems that continue to plague African countries may well be attributed to the failure of post-colonial, post-conflict and multi-ethnic African states, to fully integrate. How new dispensations deal with an oppressive past will have a huge impact on how they consolidate their democratic gains.

The 18th annual conference of the International Society of African Philosophy and Studies hosted by the School of Philosophy and Ethics of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (Pietermaritzburg campus), South Africa, from the 16th to the 18th of April 2012, will bring together scholars from a variety of intellectual backgrounds to explore the question of reconciliation in (post-colonial, post-conflict and multi-ethnic) Africa. The conference will enable participants to explore this broad theme in relation to nation-building and democratic sustainability in Africa

The organizers welcome ground-breaking contributions in African philosophy and African studies and in general the humanities and social science disciplines, addressing issues such as reconciliation and forgiveness as contested notions; transitional justice and, in particular, restorative and/or retributive justice; international conflicts and reconciliation; the role of the international community in attaining reconciliation; interpretations of truth and the success of truth-commissions in bringing about reconciliation and integration; ethnic jingoism, conflict transformation and nationhood; the possibility of nation-building and national unity; strategies of coping with the past; the nexus between trauma and forgiveness; collective memories, narrative self-understanding and reconciliation; traditional approaches to justice and reconciliation in Africa; the nexus between political apology and reconciliation. In addition, papers that take a multi-disciplinary approach will be most welcome. Hence presentations could range from the psychology of forgiveness or reconciliation to the sociology of reconciliation; from the history of reconciliation to the politics of nation-building; from the anthropology of healing to how popular culture/music responds to issues of healing; from literary fictional narratives of war and reconciliation to ‘big screen’ representations of reconciliation.

Abstracts of no more than 500 words in Word and Rich Text formats, with the name and institutional affiliation of the author should reach the local organisers no later than the 31st of January 2012. Email your abstract to the following email contacts: Bernard Matolino ([email protected]) and Oritsegbubemi Oyowe ([email protected])

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