According to a wide-spread notion, urban anthropology in sub-Saharan Africa began in the 1950s with the work on the Copperbelt mining towns by researchers at the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute in colonial Northern Rhodesia, later known as “Manchester School”. However, prior and parallel to the research at the Rhodes Livingstone Institute, there were a number of studies in urban Africa by social anthropologists since the 1930s who worked individually or in multidisciplinary teams. While some works that were published in the 20th century have attained quasi-canonical status, others were not widely read or are forgotten today. This is especially true for publications in other languages than English and for contributions by African and female scholars. This panel therefore calls for a critical reappraisal of social anthropologists’ contribution to understanding city life in Africa from the 1930s to the present day. It welcomes papers that deal with certain periods, particular works, methodological approaches and individual authors.
Convenor: Katja Werthmann, University of Leipzig, Germany

Please send paper proposals by mail to katja.werthmann[at] by 8 March 2020 latest.