BIGSAS Workshop: Encounters – Crossing Perspectives – Crossing Disciplines

Iwalewahaus, University of Bayreuth, 14-16 November 2016


Nadine Siegert: «(Re)mapping Luanda. Nostalgia and utopia in aesthetic practise». Photo: Courtesy of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).


Text: Gilbert Shang Ndi

This pace-setting workshop brought together both experienced and early-career specialists on African and Afro-Diasporic Studies in order to share the results of their various projects and to map out ways of further strengthening South-South research co-operation amongst partners. Participants came from the host University of Bayreuth, the Federal University of Bahia – UFBA (Brazil), Federal University of Recôncavo da Bahia – UFRB (Brazil), University of Valle (Colombia), as well as the Eduardo Mondlane University (Mozambique). With interesting research presentations mainly from the domains of  Social Geography, Anthropology, Literary Studies, Media/Cinema and Linguistics, the debates centered around possibilities of strengthening trans-disciplinary research collaboration that would enable members of these universities to carry out joint projects that fit the agenda/competences of its researchers, promote the capacity-building of junior researchers (including PhD students) and come up with meticulous theoretical tools that do not just adequately address disciplinary diversity, but also contribute to knowledge building in interrelated but nevertheless peculiar spaces such as Africa and South America. In a deeply interesting keynote, Livio Sansone (UFBA) strongly encouraged researchers to pay special attention to new forms of movements, subjects, knowledges, imaginaries that ‘travel’ along the hitherto Middle Passage and explore the research opportunities that it offers. The key organisers, Ute Fendler and  Eberhard Rothfuß (University of Bayreuth) also presented the AGORA online platform  – the predecessor of our current Djumbaiala platform – aimed at visibilising research and artistic works of the stakeholders in the South-South initiative and also to reach out to new publics that are not necessarily academic in nature. This workshop was one of its kind and during the strategic meeting that closed the event, members discussed possible courses of action and the time plan for prospective events were envisaged.



Key organisers Ute Fendler and Eberhard Rothfuß (University of Bayreuth) with keynote speaker Livio Sansone (Federal University of Bahia – UFBA). Photo: Courtesy of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).


Workshop participants. Photo: Courtesy of Bayreuth International Graduate School of African Studies (BIGSAS).


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