"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


guest post: UT-Austin Africa Conference

Today I'm pleased to have a guest post from University of Texas at Austin graduate student Jessica Achberger. Jessica is running the university's annual Africa Conference next spring and extends an invitation to you here:
First of all, I would like to thank Texas in Africa for allowing me to guest post on her blog. It is very much appreciated and I hope that it encourages a wide variety of interest in our conference.

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jessica Achberger and I am PhD student at the University of Texas at Austin. Each year at UT we hold an Africa Conference the last weekend in March, dedicated to a different theme in African studies. This upcoming March 25-27 I will be co-coordinating the 2011 UT Africa Conference 'Africa in World Politics,' with my colleague Charles Thomas. The three-day conference will feature panels, round tables, and discussions related to various topics within this theme.

In the past, the conference has largely been made of up of scholars from different disciplines and from around the world. However, this year we hope to take it a step further by putting scholars into conversation with activists and policy-makers who are actively involved in the actual political process. We hope that this multi-faceted approach will allow a better understanding of how different groups approach similar topics and how these approaches can be used together.

I invite you to check out our website for more information, to see the call for papers, and find out how you can become involved. If you are not interested in presenting a paper but would still like to be part of a discussion, please let me know. There will certainly be opportunities to participation in round tables or chair panels that do not require the submission of an abstract for registration.

And, of course, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me. We look forward to seeing you in Austin in March!
Just to add to Jessica's encouragement, a few personal notes as to why you should consider attending:
  1. This is one of the few conferences I know that garners consistent participation by a significant number of African scholars who are based on the continent.
  2. Opportunities for policy makers and activists to engage with scholars of the continent are often few and far between, or so selective as to be meaningless. This conference provides you with an opportunity to hear from a wide variety of scholars with very different opinions on a range of topics.
  3. You get to hang out in Austin for a few days in the springtime. Enough said.


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