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Enchantings: Modernity, Culture, and the State in Postcolonial Africa

April 26, 2012 @ 9:00 am - April 28, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

Poster for "Enchantings..." Symposium depicting an image of the African continent covered with country flags in the shape of each country
Poster: “Africa, Governed: Over? Under?” Image: geopolitical map by http://www.flicker.com/photos/27204576@N07/4756143742/; composite of map, shadow, and background map by Scott Carter; concept by Tejumola Olaniyan


2012 Burdick-Vary Conference:


The symposium aims to bring into close systematic interaction three composite entities that traditionally are the objects of different study areas and therefore are studied together most often casually or rarely: contemporary African cultural and social forms and practices, the postcolonial African political state, and the larger modern context that subtend the two. The goal is to help us better understand in a multi-sided way (1) the sociopolitical underpinnings of African cultural and social forms and practices; (2) the cultural and social determinations on the character and performance of the African state as a genre, and (3) the modern context that is the generative canvas of the interactions.

Convened by Tejumola Olaniyan



Akin Adesokan (Comparative Literature, Indiana University)

Kunle Ajibade (TheNews, Lagos, Nigeria)

Florence Bernault (History, UW-Madison)

Matthew Brown (African Languages & Literature, UW-Madison)

Patrick Chabal (History, King’s College, London)

Nevine El Nossery (French & Italian, UW-Madison)

Sarah Harrison (English, UW-Madison)

Luis Madureira (Spanish & Portuguese, UW-Madison)

Anne-Maria Makhulu (Cultural Anthropology/African & African American Studies, Duke University)

Louise Meintjes (Music/Cultural Anthropology, Duke University)

Teju Olaniyan (English/African Languages & Literature, UW-Madison)

Niyi Osundare (English, University of New Orleans)

Lark Porter (French & Italian, UW-Madison)

Ato Quayson (English, University of Toronto)

Sofia Smatar (African Languages & Literature, UW-Madison)

Michael Schatzberg (Political Science, UW-Madison)

Olúfémi Táíwò (Philosophy, Seattle University)

Helen Tilley (History of Science, UW-Madison)

Ken Walibora Waliaula (African Languages & Literature, UW-Madison)