Rethinking Politics in Africa

Conference at the Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School:



 Rethinking Politics in Africa:

Media, Knowledge Production, Techno-Politics



 Friday, April 26, 2013
 Kellen Auditorium, 66 Fifth Avennue, First Floor

This conference examines how media, knowledge production, and sovereignty are being recast in a post-Cold War Africa marked by new forms of interventions and techno-politics, cultures of legality, and modalities and technologies of representation and circulation. The continent is frequently depicted as the global exemplar of crisis – ravaged by civil wars, epidemics, and dysfunctional corrupt regimes. In contrast, this conference will explore how Africa, seemingly at the margins of world affairs, is in fact central to understanding new grammars of global governance, novel forms of knowledge production and experimentation, and shifting logics of sovereignty and democratic politics. Via a series of focused conversations on representation, knowledge production, and the techno-politics of sovereignty, this conference provides a forum to theorize global transformations from historically situated, interdisciplinary inquiries and thus to rethink politics not just on the continent, but more broadly in a postcolonial, post-Cold War world.

Organizers: Sean Jacobs, Manjari Mahajan and Antina von Schnitzler,
Graduate Program in International Affairs, The New School
Co-sponsored by NSPE, Global Studies, and the Center for Public Scholarship

Free; seating is limited; please RSVP



9:00 am Coffee & Registration

9:15 am Welcome
 Michael Cohen
Director, Graduate Program in International Affairs (GPIA)

9:30 am Keynote: “Beyond Nuremberg: Breaking the Cycle of Violence”
 Mahmood Mamdani
Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Columbia University, New York
Professor and Executive Director, Makerere Institute of Social Research,
Makerere University, Kampala

11:00 am Coffee


11:15 am Media, Representation and Power
Chair: Sean Jacobs
Neelika Jayawardene (English, SUNY-Oswego), “South Africa’s Cosmetic Surgery
Industry and the Performance of Power”
Hlonipha Mokoena (Anthropology, Columbia University), “Youth, Or, Living
the Postapartheid as a Visual Experience”
Riason Naidoo (South African National Gallery), “Representations of the
South African ‘Indian’ in DRUM magazine in the 1950s

 Discussant:  Lily Saint (English, University of Pittsburgh)

1:15 pm Lunch

2:30 pm   Knowledge Production and the Public Sphere
Chair: Manjari Mahajan
Sherine Hamdy (Anthropology, Brown University) “Re-thinking the Culture
Concept in Medical Anthropology: Poor Patients in Egypt and Their Challenges
to Biomedical Universalism”
Clapperton Mavhunga (Science, Technology and Society, MIT) “Anti-Colonial
Resistance as Technological Innovation: Shifting the Analytical Ground
Underneath Zimbabwe’s Liberation Struggle Narrative”
Grace Davie (History, Queens College, CUNY) title tbd

Discussant: Frederick Cooper (History, NYU)

4:15 pm Coffee

4:30 pm Sovereignty, Citizenship, Techno-Politics
Chair: Antina von Schnitzler
Michael Ralph (Social and Cultural Analysis, New York University) “Forensics
of Liability”
Brian Larkin (Anthropology, Barnard College & Columbia University), “State
Siba Grovogui (Political Science, Johns Hopkins University) “Technopolitics,
Colonial Archives, and Political Horizons”
Discussant: Juan Obarrio (Anthropology, Johns Hopkins University)
6.15 pm Reception


Free; seating is limited; please RSVP

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