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Is There a Future for African Studies in Europe?


Opening Roundtable

31 May 2023, 18:30 – 20:00


It seems contradictory, certainly at first sight. Can a European Conference on African Studies wiggle itself loose from the colonial past? Can one claim to offer spaces for encounters, knowledge transfer and an open exchange of ideas among scholars –from all parts of the world– in a context stained by growing bigotry and racism, by new walls being erected and visas denied? Did we enter a new era of epistemological nationalism? What does this mean for the future of such forms of academic exchange as ours? What is the consequence of the ongoing political and social change in the environment of scientific and scholarly work in a world that we would all like to see as being decolonized, but which isn’t?

This round table addresses the possibility and opportunities for the future of hosting African-European collaborations by taking serious the voices of young, rising African scholarly talent. Among the questions it addresses: how can we –given the current political context– create a more hospitable environment for scholars and early stage researchers from the Global South? Is there still a place for African Studies in Europe? How truthful are the academy’s claims towards decolonizing in a context that seems geared towards turning back the clock?


  • ShaNon Bobinger


  • Divine Fu (University of Cape Town)
  • Faisal Garba Muhammed (University of Cape Town)
  • Ndapewa Fenny Nakanyete (University of Cologne)
  • Jonathan Ngeh (University of Cologne)
  • Charleston Thomas (University of the West Indies)
  • Stha Yeni (University of the Western Cape)