58th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association

November 19-22, 2015
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina


Program Chairs:
Dismas A. Masolo, University of Louisville
Derek R. Peterson, University of Michigan

INQUIRIES: [email protected]

The African Studies Association (ASA) invites proposals for panels, papers, and roundtables that examine current scholarship and debates in all areas of African Studies. The Program Committee welcomes submissions from Africanist professionals and scholars at all stages in their careers. Proposals are particularly encouraged that focus on this year’s theme of “The State and Study of Africa.”

All proposals must be submitted on or before March 15, 2015. All proposals must be submitted in English.

Proposals will be provisionally accepted or rejected within 6-8 weeks by the Program Committee and notices will be sent out by email, with acceptance contingent on receipt of pre-registration fees. If your proposal is accepted, the conference pre-registration MUST be paid by June 15, 2015 by all participants. Payment of the pre-registration fee will result in a final acceptance. Failure to pay the pre-registration fee by June 15, 2015, will result in an automatic rejection.

Only those participants who are pre-registered by June 15 and receive a notification of final acceptance will be published in the program.

Accepted proposals will be listed in the Preliminary Program, which will appear on the ASA website,, in mid-June. Notification that the Preliminary Program has been posted to the website will be sent via email.

Each individual may make only one presentation: as a paper presenter or a roundtable participant. Individuals may chair or co-chair one panel or roundtable in addition to making one presentation. If you are on a panel that has been designated a board-sponsored panel, this presentation will not count toward your participation limit. Individuals may not serve as both the chair and a discussant on the same panel. If a participant is listed on multiple panels or roundtables on the program, they will be removed from panels and roundtables to ensure adherence to the ASA participation policy.

The Program Committee will review only complete proposals. All proposals must be submitted online.
We are unable to accept proposals sent by email, hard copy, or fax.

Every year, the ASA Board organizes or selects a few panels or roundtables to be designated “Board-sponsored” sessions. These sessions should address broad issues or important questions from a multi-disciplinary perspective and appeal to multiple constituencies of ASA members. Ideally, a session will reflect the meeting theme, but it can also engage other big ideas and debates. If you have an idea or recommendation for a possible Board Sponsored session, please email the Secretariat at: [email protected]

Individual proposals for presenting a paper should only be submitted if you are not presenting a paper as part of a pre-organized panel. The paper abstract should consist of a statement about the topic, the nature and extent of the research on which the paper is based, and a brief summary of the main argument(s) (a maximum of 200 words). The quality of the paper abstract is the main criterion for acceptance. The Program Committee will create panels from individual submissions with common themes and identify a panel chair and a discussant. Potential presenters are strongly encouraged to develop panel proposals by submitting a call for panelists on the ASA website (more information below). Please note that individual paper submissions may not be categorized as “Special Topics”. Any individual submission categorized as such will not be considered.

Paper presenters must be pre-registered for the meeting by June 15 in order to be accepted and listed in the program.

A panel has a chair, no more than four paper presenters, and a discussant. A panel proposal consists of 1) the panel title and abstract; 2) names, email address, phone number, and institutional affiliation for each participant on the panel; 3) paper titles and an abstract for all the papers. The panel organizers submit information about all the participants in the panel using the online form. Panelists on organized panels should not submit individually.

The panel abstract should consist of a statement about the topic and a brief summary of the main argument(s) to be explored (approximately 250 words). The quality of the panel abstracts is the main criterion for acceptance; a panel with a weak abstract or with two or more weak paper abstracts is unlikely to be accepted.

All participants on a panel, including the chair and discussant, must be pre-registered by June 15 in order to be accepted and listed in the program.

This year, the ASA will allow individuals to post calls for panelists on the ASA website before the March 15 deadline, so that participants may utilize the ASA network to find potential panelists. Calls for Panelists may be submitted through the form on the ASA website, beginning January 1, 2015. A list of proposed panels, along with contact information for their chairs, will be made available on a rolling basis on the ASA website. Please note that panel organizers must finalize their panel participants and submit an organized panel proposal by March 15, 2015.

A roundtable consists of a chair and no more than five presenters. A roundtable proposal consists of a title, abstract, and the proposed roundtable participants. The chair organizes the roundtable and submits information for all roundtable participants using the online form.

The roundtable abstract should consist of a statement about the topic and a brief summary of the main issues to be explored (approximately 250 words). The quality of the roundtable abstract is the main criterion for acceptance. A roundtable with a weak abstract is unlikely to be accepted.

All participants on a roundtable, including the chair, must be pre-registered by June 15 in order to be accepted and listed in the program.

An Author Meets Critic Roundtable consists of a chair and no more than five presenters. One of the five presenters must be the author of the work being discussed. If someone other than the author is submitting the roundtable, they must confirm that the author will participate if the roundtable is accepted. An Author Meets Critic Roundtable proposal must include the name and affiliation of the book’s author(s), the complete title of the book, the publication date and name of publisher (only books published in 2013 and 2014 will be considered), a brief statement on the significance of the book to African studies, and the names and affiliations of confirmed roundtable participants, and justification for why they were chosen. All participants on a roundtable, including the chair, must be pre-registered by June 15 in order to be accepted and listed in the program.

We are always in need of scholars who are willing to serve as discussants and chairs. Please indicate your willingness to serve in that capacity either 1) on your submission form for a paper, panel or roundtable or 2) on the separate link for discussants and chairs. Be as specific as you can when you list your areas of expertise so that the Program Committee can best take advantage of your expertise.

All proposals should designate the category/categories for which the proposal is most appropriate. Please note that some sub-themes are specific to the conference theme, and others are general categories. All proposals are reviewed by the Section Chair(s), who, together with the Program Chair, constitute the Program Committee.

ASA Coordinate Organizations may submit one proposal for a panel or roundtable to be accepted without review by the Program Committee. Coordinate organizations may also submit additional panel or roundtable proposals that will be evaluated by the Program Committee along with other submissions. All proposals must be submitted on or before the Call for Proposals deadline of March 15, 2015.

The Program Chairs, working with the Program Committee, have final responsibility for accepting or declining Annual Meeting proposals in accordance with guidelines that have been established by the ASA Board of Directors. All paper proposals will be reviewed separately, whether they have been submitted individually or as part of a panel.

Africa residents who experience difficulty in paying their pre-registration fees online may request to pay pre-registration on-site. All requests to pay pre-registration fees on-site from Africa residents are automatically granted upon filling out an online form on the ASA website.

Individuals submitting a paper proposal should submit their request to pay pre-registration fees on-site on or before June 15, 2015, to be considered. Individuals who plan to attend the Annual Meeting and are not submitting a proposal should submit their request on or before September 30, 2015.

Payment for membership dues cannot be made onsite at the Annual Meeting and must be paid in order to receive member benefits, including the discounted member pre-registration rate.

The ASA will provide a letter of invitation to assist individuals in expediting visas and securing funding. A request for a letter of invitation can be made by sending an email to [email protected] with “Letter of Invitation” in the subject line. If you need a letter of invitation, you should submit a request at the same time you submit your paper/panel/roundtable proposal. Please note: The ASA will honor such requests until September 30, 2015.

Your participation in the ASA Annual Meeting is a major commitment to your colleagues, to the African Studies community, and to the Association. Individuals may be seriously inconvenienced and disappointed when the attend sessions, only to find that persons they looked forward to hearing and seeing failed to appear. The Program Committee works hard to create a cohesive program and “no shows” detract from the success of the conference. Please avoid being a “no show,” since this may have implications for future acceptance to participate in the program. Those with medical or other emergency situations are exempted.

Presenters should notify the Secretariat in writing as soon as possible if they know they are unable to attend the meeting. The information will be reflected in the Final Program if the Secretariat receives it by September 1.

If a person who is assigned as a Panel or Roundtable Chair cannot attend the Annual Meeting, the replacement chair will be selected from the other panel/roundtable presenters on the basis of alphabetical order by last name. Efforts will be made to contact the chair of the panel affected by a change when it is made.

Annual Meeting pre-registration fee refunds will only be processed for an individual whose proposal has been declined, and only upon written request. Requests should be sent to [email protected], and include your preferred mailing address.

The African Studies Association is committed to ensuring that its services and meetings are accessible to all Africanists. If you have any special needs or require special assistance to participate in an ASA event, please contact the Secretariat via email at [email protected]

The ASA will provide video projectors and screens for all panels and roundtables. Individuals will need to bring their own laptops. Those needing audio capabilities in the presentation room should indicate this request at the time of submission.

The ASA Board of Directors established the Graduate Student Paper Prize in 2001 to recognize the best graduate student paper presented at the previous year’s Annual Meeting. All papers presented by graduate students at the Annual Meeting are eligible for the prize, which is awarded at the subsequent Annual Meeting. The editors of the African Studies Review will coordinate an expedited peer review process for possible publication of the prize-winning paper. Graduate students may submit their paper with a letter of recommendation from the advisor postmarked on or before April 30 of the year following the Annual Meeting. More information can be found on the ASA website.