Syracuse University’s Africa Initiative to host statewide conference April 3 and 4
Syracuse University’s Africa Initiative to host statewide conference April 3 and 4March 24, 2009Judy Holmesjlholmes@syr.edu
The Africa Initiative in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences will host the 33rd Annual New York Africa Studies Association (NYASA) Conference, “Reconstruction, Peace and Transformation in Africa,” April 3-4. The conference will feature scholars from across the United States and abroad who will present a series of discussions on the political, social, economic and cultural issues affecting the African continent.
The conference is open to the general public, but registration is required. The cost is $100 for the general public and $50 for senior citizens and students. The registration fee includes two meals, as well as NYASA membership. Further information is available at http://www.nyasa.org/conference/ or by calling (315) 443-9353.
The keynote speaker for the conference is Adigun Ade Abiodun, former chief of Space Applications in the United Nations Outer Space Affairs Division and founder of the African Space Foundation. He will speak at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 3, in the Shaffer Art Building’s Shemin Auditorium.
A native of Nigeria, Abiodun served as the United Nations expert on space applications and chief of the Space Applications Section of the U.N.’s Outer Space Affairs Division from 1981 through his retirement in 1999.
Abiodun holds a Ph.D. in civil and hydraulics engineering from the University of Washington, Seattle. He began his career at the U.N. in 1977 as a remote sensing specialist. During the course of his career, he initiated, designed, implemented and supervised the U.N. Space Applications Program.
Since his retirement, Abiodun has served as the senior special assistant to the president of Nigeria on space and science technology (2000-03); as a member of the College of Commissioner for the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (2000-present); and chairman of the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (2004-06).
A special Teachers Conference will be presented from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Friday. This part of the conference is designed to offer teachers in upstate New York new insights on teaching about Africa.
In addition to the keynote presentation, the two-day conference will include a series of concurrent panel discussions. Ali A. Mazrui, the Albert Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, will host a roundtable on “Kwame Nkrumah and the Birth of Modern African Diplomacy: A Centenary.”
Other discussions include “Peace and Reconstruction in the Horn of Africa;” “Between Liberating and Enslaving Religious Traditions in Africa’s Transformation;” “Feminisms and Their Impact on Africa’s Reconstruction;” African Writers and Writing Advocacy for Healing, Change and Reconstruction;” “Democracy and Criminal Injustice in Africa;” “Africa’s Youth and Voice in Discourse of War, Peace, and Social Change;” and “The Other Competition: Brazil, Russia, India and China in Africa.”
One panel discussion will be presented entirely in Kiswahili, the primary language spoken by people living in East Africa. SU undergraduate students from The College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual and Performing Arts will also present a panel discussion called “Humanitarianism and Economic Reconstruction in Africa.”
The conference will conclude on Saturday evening with a banquet, music and dancing. The evening celebration will include presentation of distinguished scholar and service awards and a keynote address by James Turner, founder of the Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University and professor of African and African American politics and social policy.
Further information about the program is available at http://www.nyasa.org/conference/.
The New York African Studies Association (NYASA), founded in 1967 as the SUNY African Studies Faculty Association, is a nonprofit membership association, incorporated as NYASA in 1975. The association is dedicated to advancing the discipline of Africana Studies and promoting opportunities for the scholarly and professional development of educators, and enhanced education for community members, leaders and activists.