Whereas the African roots and “Africanist aesthetics” (McCains 2015) of salsa music and dance have been widely discussed by existing literature, the varied appropriations, encounters and meaning that this genre has generated in African cities has more rarely been the focus of comparative and collective discussions. Yet the appropriation of salsa has played a pivotal role in African urban landscapes: it contributed in asserting class distinctions (Shain, 2009), in claiming a right to the city after periods of segregation (Johnson, 2011), in renewing a Pan-African imagination (Carwile 2017), or in shaping transpolitan mobilities over Western African cities (Djebbari 2019).
This panel will gather different scholars working on salsa (and other Afro-Latin music and dance genres currently spread in African cities), to discuss the role of these music and dance practices in the making of urbanities, social classes, or gender identities in African cities. We argue that a focus on African appropriations of salsa sounds and moves could shed an original light on overlooked aspects of African urbanities, by considering how salsa tactile, sonic, intimate, and kinaesthetic connections participate in the making of urban social boundaries and identities. Through ethnographic or historical perspectives, presentations will offer sensitive insights into diverse African salsa scenes, and provide a privileged lens to understand the shaping of African urbanities through global connections.

Send your paper proposals to the following address: [email protected], before March 12.