[URBANTH-L]CFP: The Locations of Power

Angela Jancius acjancius at ysu.edu
Tue Oct 18 12:58:14 EDT 2005





Southern Africa presents acute questions concerning power, authority, and
the challenges of democratization. While all countries in the region have
made attempts to adopt democratic institutions and good governance
practices, they have also all experienced the limits of liberation. These
limits are only partially imposed by global structural conditions ranging
from the workings of the international financial markets and institutions
(IMF, World Bank, derivatives markets). These global constraints interact
with regional and domestic factors in terms of a lack of transformative
capacities of the state, of governmental skills, economic stagnation, and
the resurgence of 'traditional' authority structures. The symposium seeks
papers that explore the following themes.

1. The Problem of Authority and Power: Contributions may touch upon a wide
variety of issues, for instance, centralized authority and the legacies of
colonial decision-making structures both local and national; the role of
'informal authority' in terms of chiefs and traditional healers; or more
general discussions around the issue of the conceptualization of authority
in Southern Africa. How can we come to grasp the concept of power and
authority in the region?

2. State Formation and Capacity: Contributions may touch upon issues such as
the history of state formation and nation-building; issues of state capacity
in terms of service delivery; the democratization project and the underlying
socio-structures that might delimit such efforts such as poverty, crime,
lack of skills in the public sector and so forth. How are we to understand
the relationship between modern state building and the capacities of the
state to transform society?

3. The Sociology and Anthropology of Tyranny: Contributions are sought on
the issue of tyranny and non-democratic decision-making in the region and
elsewhere despite heavy international pressures towards practices of good
governance; how can we account for such developments in the region? How are
we to understand the developments in Zimbabwe and Malawi? What accounts for
the continuation of the structures of tyranny at the local and national

4. Democratization in a Globalizing World: Contributions are sought that
explicitly address the issue of globalization and democracy in the region
and elsewhere; what are the factors encouraging democratization emanating
from the global level to the local and what are delimiting factors? What are
some of the economic, social, political, geo-strategic factors influencing
local efforts at democratization?

5. Violence and Memory. In the aftermath of the TRC how do we understand
memories and the production of histories on and around violence? To what
extent do conceptions of violence in a masculine frame help suppress the
identification of rape and other forms of sexual violence as political acts?
How might historians, sociologists, anthropologists and literary theorists
approach the issue of the memory of violence differently? And what insights
might oral history add to our understanding of state violence.
The Symposium is organized around the critical discussion of pre-circulated
papers. In addition, the organizers will solicit papers from scholars
working on similar themes from other areas of the world. The Symposium is
committed both to deepening our understanding of Southern Africa and to
locating the region in a global and comparative framework.

The Symposium grows out of a long-standing and productive relationship
between the University of Cape Town and Emory University. The Symposium will
convene every two years. The 2008 Symposium will take place in Cape Town.

The Steering Committee is made up of Clifton Crais and Pamela Scully (Emory
University), Thomas Koelble, Maanda Mulaudzi, Owen Sichone (University of
Cape Town).

To apply to attend the symposium, contact Clifton Crais (ccrais at emory.edu)
and Thomas Koelble (tkoelble at gsb.uct.ac.za) by April 7, 2006. Applications
should include a one page abstract of the paper and a current CV.
Participants will be required to submit a completed paper and a five page
abstract six weeks prior to the symposium. Financial support is limited to
members of Emory University and the University of Cape Town.

Clifton Crais
Department of History
221 Bowden Hall
Emory University
Atlanta, GA 3032-
404-727-4959 (fax)
Email: ccrais at emory.edu

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