|The conference will feature scholars from across the globe presenting papers, panels, artistic renderings, posters and other presentations on the theme “GREENING THE DIASPORA: DISPERSING SEEDS, GROWING CULTURES”. Participating scholars will take on a multidimensional and multifaceted inquiry into this question of the Diaspora. This concept lends itself to studies of the African Diaspora as it manifests in all parts of the world. These discussions could include, but not be limited to, those particular cultural forms established as a result of ancient trade routes, of the enslavement experiences and their global dispersal of African people, as well as more contemporary African cultural forms in the Diaspora that continue to grow and change in modern societies. With this idea of "greening" we have as well an opportunity to talk about the valuing of the environment and of the conservation of these material elements of culture that could very be lost because of neglect.
The event will therefore have papers, panels*, artistic renderings, posters and other presentations on these themes and will pursue a broad representation from across the Diaspora from West to East as well as, where possible, those submissions which help us to understand the various elements that link these cultures as seeds to the motherland.
If you are flying, the best option would be to fly into Shenandoah Valley Airport (SHD). Other locations to fly into include Charlottesville-Albermarle Airport (CHO)which is about 45 minutes away from Harrisonburg and Washington Dulles Airport (IAD) which is about two hours away. Ground transportation to/from Charlottesville and Dulles is limited and not reliable. Below are the options:
1. Green Shuttle Harrisonburg (Charlottesville/Dulles)
2. Shuttle. Car rental services are available at airports
Parking at JMU:
Campus visitors presenting at the conference will receive temporary parking spots valid October 19th. This allows guests to park in specific lots on the East side of campus. Presenters will receive information on the specific lots before the conference dates. Others attending the conference may park at Convo A lot without parking permits. Refer to the JMU campus parking map. [Note that this does not allow guests to park in specialty spaces such as service vehicle spaces, fire lanes, handicap spaces without proper permit, or expired meters].
Hotel Reservation Information:
Click here for a list of local accommodations. James Madison University has a special rate arrangement with:
12:15 - 1:00 pm Craft Presentation
1.00 p.m. - 2.00 p.m. Special Session/Featured Lecture
James Madison University Africana Studies
4th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference
GREENING THE DIASPORA: DISPERSING SEEDS, GROWING CULTURES
James Madison University, October 18th – 19th, 2012.
Keynote Speaker: Michael A. Gomez, PhD, New York University.
Special Session Featured Speaker: Joseph C. Miller, University of Virginia
The James Madison University Africana Studies invites your attendance and scholarly contribution to our annual conference, focused on the collective experiences and representations of the African throughout the varied parts of the diaspora. The theme speaks to both our rationale for engaging this critical topic as well as to the type of diverse experiences we would like to facilitate for students, contributors, and attendees alike.
We speak of “dispersing seeds.” The centrality of Africa in global affairs and human concerns is at least partly a result of both forced and voluntary migrations of African people and cultures throughout the world. Like the notion of a divine truth that is cast about in search of fertile soil, these have found their way to the farthest reaches of the human experience. These are the seeds of a common mother who places her impeccable imprint on each of her children, marking them and giving them a unique identity and character all her own in the process wherever they may roam.
We speak of “growing cultures.” When these seeds are planted, they do remain inert, but begin to take shape and give rise to cultural forms, institutions, and expressions that are on the one hand, inextricably connected to the historical commonalities of the seeds themselves but yet complexly and syncretisticly interwoven with the particular historical, social, political, economic, and philosophical contexts of the gardens in which they grow. At times these forms appear as mutually exclusive and perhaps totally autonomous moments in the African experience, yet we believe that behind the surface they bespeak an agrarian heritage that calls all back to the core of civilization and humanity that is the continent and that is its collective memory.
We propose, therefore, a multidimensional and multifaceted inquiry into this question of the diaspora. This concept lends itself to studies of the African Diaspora as it manifests in all parts of the world. These discussions could include, but not be limited to, those particular cultural forms established as a result of ancient trade routes, of the enslavement experiences and their global dispersal of African people, as well as more contemporary African cultural forms in the diaspora that continue to grow and change in modern societies. With this idea of "greening" we have as well an opportunity to talk about the valuing of the environment and of the conservation of these material elements of culture that could very be lost because of neglect.
We call, therefore, for your papers, panels*, artistic renderings, posters and other presentations on these themes as you might define them. We expect and welcome submissions that are cross-disciplinary, multidisciplinary, collective, artistic, and engaging. We will pursue a broad representation from across the diaspora from West to East as well as, where possible, those submissions which help us to understand the various elements that link these cultures as seeds to the motherland.
Prospective speakers are invited to submit a 200-word proposal along with a cover note indicating the title, author’s name, affiliation, telephone number and e-mail address to the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*We welcome panel proposals for up to three presenters. A proposal should be provided for each presentation on the panel.
Competitive academic articles from interested presenters at the James Madison University Africana Studies 4th Annual Interdisciplinary Conference will be published in a journal issue with one of the peer-reviewed journals (journal to be determined based on the final selection of articles) at the Africa Knowledge Project: http://www.africaknowledgeproject.org/. Please submit completed articles by November 30th 2012 to the issue editor, Dr. Lindah Mhando at email@example.com. Be sure to copy submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Africa Knowledge Project style sheet is available at the following link: http://www.africaknowledgeproject.org/akp-journalstylesheet.pdf.
Dr. Lindah Mhando (Issue Editor)
Lindah Mhando holds a PhD in Sociology and a feminist certificate of graduate studies from State University at Binghamton, New York . Her research is focused on three broad areas: The relationship between cultural forms and power, the politics of knowledge and representation, and the dynamics of gender and the question of women’s rights in the Africa and diaspora. She has published extensively, including an edited book, Birthing Masculinity: Dialogues of Peace and Social Justice (African World Press). With Ali Mazrui, she co-authored Julius K. Nyerere: Africa’s Titan On A Global Stage Perspectives from Arusha to Obama (Forthcoming). Lindah, a recipient of numerous awards including: Research Fellow Gender Institute. School of Oriental and African Studies, (SOAS) London, UK; Fellow, Rock Ethics Institute/ Schreyer Honors College, Penn State; Future of Minority Studies/Mellon Fellowship Cornell University, etc. Mhando is an Assistant Professor in the Department of African & African American Studies and Women Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. Currently a Visiting Scholar and a Research Associate at the Department of African & African American Studies at Duke University.