63rd Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association
The Hour of Decision: Power, Persistence, Purpose, and Possibility in African Studies
November 19 – 21, 2020,
PROGRAM CHAIRS: Prinisha Badassy,  University of the Witwatersrand and Carina Ray, Brandeis University

Links to CFP Resources:

Full text of the 2020 CFP Theme
Login to myASA to pre-register

Please note that the CFP Submission Site will only accessible to those who have already registered for the 2020 Annual Meeting. Please click here to join, renew your membership and pre-register for the 63rd ASA Annual Meeting!

CFP Overview 

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 HOUR OF DECISION: POWER PERSISTENCE, PURPOSE, AND POSSIBILITY IN AFRICAN STUDIES.” REQUIREMENTS FOR ACCEPTANCE All proposals must be submitted on or before April 1, 2020.  Proposals will be provisionally accepted or rejected within 8-10 weeks by the Program Committee and notices will be sent out by email, with acceptance contingent on receipt of pre-registration fees.

Everyone who submits a proposal MUST pre-register by the April 1 submission deadline in order for the proposal to be reviewed. (The presenters included on the proposal must pre-register for the annual meeting by April 1). Please note that pre-registration is refundable if your submission is rejected by the Program Committee. Africa residents are able to select and complete a “request for onsite pre-registration payment” if they are unable to process payment at the time of the CFP. 

Accepted proposals will be listed in the Preliminary Program in mid-July. Notification that the Preliminary Program has been posted 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 or serve as a discussant or co-discussant on one panel or roundtable in addition to making one presentation. If you are on a panel or roundtable that has been designated a board-sponsored session, this presentation will not count toward your participation limit. Individuals may not serve as both the chair and a discussant on the same panel.  Author Meets Critic sessions and Flash presentations do not count towards participation rules, and will not be placed under consideration for Board Sponsorship. 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. Incomplete proposals will be automatically rejected.  All proposals must be submitted online. Proposals must be submitted in English. Diversity in gender, race, and institution must be incorporated in panel and roundtable submissions. We are unable to accept proposals sent by email, hard copy, or fax.


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 April 1 in order for the paper proposals to be reviewed.


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 April 1 in order to be accepted and listed in the program.


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 April 1 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, 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 April 1 in order to be accepted and listed in the program. Author Meets Critic sessions do not count towards participation rules, and will not be placed under consideration for Board Sponsorship.


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 Chairs, 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 April 1.


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.

Africa residents submitting a paper proposal should submit their request to pay pre-registration fees on-site on or before April 1, 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. 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 completing an online request form. 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, 2020.


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 they 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 – an individual whose proposal has been accepted, and had requested a letter of invitation from the ASA, but has been denied a visa; proof of the denial must be provided.

Requests for refunds should be sent to, and include your preferred mailing address.

If you are a presenter listed on the annual meeting program but cannot attend due to a visa or immigration issue, the ASA will ensure your ability to present your work through another presentation format (skype, video conference, or an onsite colleague who will present your work on your behalf).

Refunds for registration and membership will not be processed under any other circumstance.


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


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 March 15 of the year following the Annual Meeting. More information can be found on the ASA website.