May 31st – June 3rd, European Conference on African Studies (ECAS9 2023), University of Cologne.
Manifestations of religiosity have increasingly pervaded public universities in sub-Saharan Africa during the past decades and shaped social interactions within these spaces. This panel discusses the ways in which students engage with academic training and religious practice at the university, and how religiosity may affect higher education in sub-Saharan Africa. The panel focuses on Pentecostal and Salafi discourses and practices as these groups have recently gained a strong foothold in public universities across the continent. The objective is to understand the motivations of these actors and the influence they may have on the educational landscape. They are not only “reformers” within their respective religion, but also social leaders who try to shape students towards academic excellence, professional success, and religious practice. In other words, a sense of moral accountability and decolonization drives their social and political agendas. University campuses become a privileged ground for religious training and a competition arena between religious elites. How does this competition materialise on campus? What do religious leaders preach to students and how does their audience react? How do religious discourses affect the academia as a site of knowledge production? How do religious leaders, students and lecturers define the mission of institutions of higher education for their society? Taking into account the religious movements’ social and historical trajectories in their contexts, the panel interrogates the aspirations of an educated and religious youth as it envisions the future individually and collectively. The convenors welcome contributions that address these topics from different perspectives and disciplines.
Graduate students and scholars are invited to send their proposals directly on the ECAS website (https://ecasconference.org/2023/programme#12457) until January 9th, 2023. Applicants will be notified by mid-February 2023. Please contact one of the conveners if you have any questions (Vincent Favier: Vincent.Favier@zmo.de or Dr. Koudbi Kaboré: firstname.lastname@example.org).