Showing posts from October, 2010

On Coping with Post Submission Slump

For the last three weeks I have been trying to get down and write that proposal. I never really got started. There was so much I still felt I should have been reading or rereading before I actually set down and started writing. And, of course, now after I had submitted I had the freedom to read firs t … and reading was something I could easily do from my bedroom, right? – Actually, no! Capital NO. I ended up sleeping, chatting to my flatmate, watching films and telling myself it was just fair enough, after all, I had been working hard, very hard for the last few months in order to finish my PhD, right? Well, right, yes but, capital BUT: life goes on so you just got keep on running along, or at least try. Or you miss the train, the opportunity, the job opening of your dreams … Or alternatively end up like me stitching it all together in a week’s nightshifts. Not the proposal itself, luckily, I got a few more days for that, but the draft I wanted to present at the UCL West Africa Seminar. Bad enough. But, kind people as they are, they didn’t give me too hard a time. Instead, I got some really interesting suggestions and ideas that I will have to work into my proposal. Most importantly, I was told to please further contextualise the religious posters I collected at Kurmi Market in 2008 in the wider context of local visual culture, in particular different practices surrounding political posters. Didn’t they, Mruray Last asked, in their own contexts serve a similar purpose to political campaign posters, i.e. advertising and promoting a particular religious teachers to potential disciples? Interesting. And, on the whole highlighting once more how little I actually do know about the objects I wrote about in my PhD, the ideas and practices that informed their production and consumption. Embarrassing. But apparently rather normal. One always forgets to ask all the relevant questions. Apparently. And reassuring to know. On a completely different note, Barrie Sharpe, suggested that Christian religious posters very similar to some of the more narrative scenes I collected in Kano and equally imported from Cairo circulated, at some point, within Pentecostal communities in the Nigerian Middle Belt. Now this is fascinating. I will have to chase him up on some more detailed references or points from which to start connecting these different markets! But not this weekend. This weekend I am instead hoping to test drive some of the ideas for my proposal by starting to inquire about some religious posters I have seen on salehere in London. Between you and me, I officially announce this here in order to put some pressure on myself. Otherwise I just fall back into the slump of reading, or rather not reading randomly around my topic in the comfort of my home, or chatting to my flatmate . So, expect a short ‘fieldwork’ report some time next week!

CFP: 4th European Conference on African Studies

… I’m supposed to finish off this proposal but … yeah, its urgently time for some procrastination, so let’s quickly post on the blog, nothing I write myself, so it won’t take long, right, but long enough to … eh, delay writing that theory section for another minute or two …

Conference Announcement

4th European Conference on African Studies, 15-18 June, 2011 in Uppsala, Sweden

Conference Theme: African Engagements: On whose terms?

In the past two decades, Africa has experienced some dramatic changes. Between 1990 and 2005, in more than 42 African countries peaceful and democratic changes of government took place through competitive multiparty elections, notwithstanding more recent setbacks in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Gabon. On the economic front, Africa emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing regions in the wake of a boom in the international commodities market, despite the recent global financial crisis. Some African countries have put in place appropriate macroeconomic, structural and social policies that have contributed to improved growth rates and some progress towards meeting the MDGs. Significant efforts are also being made to reverse the productivity decline in agriculture and the decline in higher education and basic research in the face of equally daunting challenges including poverty, and post-conflict reconstruction and democratic consolidation. However, there are encouraging signs that the Africa Union and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are playing important roles with some international support in dealing with potentially disruptive national crises, such as in the Sudan, Somalia, and most recently Guinea and Niger.

Call for Papers ECAS 4

The call for panels for this conference is now closed and a list of the accepted panels and short panel descriptions can be found here.

We hereby invite all interested scholars to submit paper proposals for presentation on one of the approved ECAS 4 panels. Please submit your paper abstract (maximum 400 words or 2300 – 2400 characters, including spaces) via the link below. To submit your abstract you will first be requested to register as an official conference website user. After registration you will receive an e-mail with access confirmation and further instructions on how to submit your abstract. Please read and follow these instructions carefully.

To be accepted paper proposals need to fit into one of the approved panels. The deadline for the submission of paper abstracts is Wednesday 22 December 2010. All paper proposals will be reviewed in January 2011, and those who have submitted abstracts will be notified no later than 28 February 2011 as to whether their paper has been accepted or not.

For questions relating to papers you wish to propose to panels, please contact the panel organiser directly. Contact details of panel organisers can be found in the list of panels and above each of the panel descriptions.

For general questions concerning paper proposals, please contact the Organising Committee of ECAS 4 at: .

Each panel session will last two hours and will accommodate a maximum of four papers. If a panel attracts more than four strong and relevant paper proposals, the panel organiser may consider organising an additional session and should, in this case, consult with the Organising Committee accordingly. The decision on double sessions will be made upon request by the panel organisers, based on the number and quality of paper proposals uploaded to the panel via the abstract submission system. The issue of double panels may also be limited by time and/or space factors.

Click here to access the abstract submission system.


For the organization of ECAS 4 the Nordic Africa Institute is financially supported by some external institutions. Part of the contributions will be used for sponsoring of participation in the conference by African students and researchers based in Africa. Details on how to apply for a sponsored participation will be made available as early as possible.

ECAS 4 Conference Registration

The registration is now open! Click here to register.

Registration fees:

All conference fees are charged in SEK (Swedish Krona), including VAT. Payments should be made in advance of the conference. The corresponding fees in EUROS stated below are approximate and exchange rates may vary.

For current exchange rates, please visit

Type of registration/participation


Early registration (15 October 2010 – 15 March 2011)

SEK 1200 (EUR 130)

Standard registration (16 March 2011 – June 2011)

SEK 1500 (EUR 160)

PhD/Master students - early registration (15 October 2010 – 15 March 2011)

SEK 800 (EUR 85)

PhD/Master students - standard registration (16 March 2011 – June 2011)

SEK 950 (EUR 100)

One conference day

SEK 600 (EUR 65)

One conference day PhD/Masters students

SEK 400 (EUR 45)

Conference dinner only

SEK 500 (EUR 55)

*VAT is included in all fees.

Reduced price for PhD/Masters students will only be accepted upon verification of enrolment:
In order to register as a PhD or Masters student you should send a signed letter from the Head of your department to the following address: or by fax: +46 18 56 22 90.

Find more details here.

BBC World Servide International Radio Playwriting Competition

Say what you want, as a networking tool Facebook can be a blessing … so, that’s for all you interested playwrights out there:

What it's all about

The biennial International Radio Playwriting Competition is run by the BBC World Service and the British Council and is now in its twelfth year.

It is a competition for anyone resident outside Britain, to write a 60-minute radio drama for up to six characters.

There are two categories: one for writers with English as their first language and one for writers with English as their second language.

The two winners will come to London and see their play made into a full radio production, which will then be broadcast on the BBC World Service. They will also each receive a £2,500 prize and there are also prizes for the runners-up.

The play must be in English, unpublished and must not have been previously produced in any medium. Whether you're experienced, new, or somewhere in between, we want to hear from you.

Just check the Rules and How to Enter sections to find out more about sending us your play.