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Cultura Africa Association

in co-operation with

Metropolitan University Prague


Department of Political Science, University of Hradec Králové


is announcing






Venue: Pilsen, Czech Republic
Date: October 24 - 25, 2013
Abstracts submission deadline: September 10, 2013

Theme: Tradition versus modernity in contemporary Africa
The assumptions of initiators of development projects in Africa that all "traditional" such as beliefs in ancestors, witches and occult powers will disappear as a result of further political and economic development, and the growth of education in Africa, were soon rebutted after decolonization. The unprecedented process of "re-traditionalisation" as an intrinsic part of dynamic process of modernisation identified by anthropologists throughout Africa since the 1980s proved the contrary. The return to "traditions" has been interpreted as a result of the failure of modernization efforts, as a response to the crisis of modernity accompanied by deepening social and economic differences caused by unequal access to material resources, education and power. The process of "re-traditionalisation" in contemporary Africa is characterised not only by enforcing the importance of the sphere of religiosity (i.e. revitalisation of witchcraft, boom of the African Independent Churches etc.), but also by return to traditional models of organisation of political power, resurgence of ethnicity as well as increase of ethnic violence.

The theme of the conference Viva Africa 2013 "Tradition versus modernity in contemporary Africa" endeavours to incite the debate about the process of modernisation in Africa, to discuss how the modern and traditional approaches as two apparently separated realms are closely interlinked and overlap in politic, economic, social and cultural reality of everyday life. We aim to tackle the contradictions, paradoxes and dilemmas, important dimensions, trajectories and locations of modernity in Africa.

Invited are contributions aimed both at analytical/historical examples of the genealogies of modernity in Africa, and ethnographic studies of current manifestations of modernity in Africa.

Suggested topics:

• Implementation of modern institutions in Africa.

• The "invention of tradition" phenomenon.

• Development of notions of personhood and belonging in modern African society.

• Effects of ideologies of modernity.

• Role and development of imported technologies, popular culture and mass media in Africa.

• Changing face of religion in African contexts.

• Conceptualization of modernity in relation to Africa.


Welcome are anthropologists, political scientists, historians, linguists and other researchers, who have Africa as their field of study. The conference is open for professors, academic scholars, PhD. students, and other specialists who want to present results of their primary research. The language of the conference will be English.



Please send your abstracts of max. 300 words

before September 10, 2013,

to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Successful papers will be selected by the scientific committee composed of Czech Africanists: Vlastimil Fiala (University of Hradec Králové), Hana Horáková (Metropolitan University Prague), Tomáš Machalík (University of West Bohemia), Kateřina Mildnerová (University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius), Jan Prouza (University of Hradec Králové), Petr Skalník (University of Hradec Králové).

Successful abstract authors will be invited not later than September 14, 2013 to participate as paper givers in the conference.


Selected papers will be reviewed and published in a monograph. For that purposes, authors might be asked to submit their full-length papers (via the above mentioned e-mail address) by February 1, 2014. The scientific committee will review the submitted papers and make a selection for the publication.

Conference fees, travel, accommodation

There are no conference fees, but the participants are expected to cover their accommodation and travel expenses in full. The organizers will provide information about suitable lodging, its reservation, optimal travel routing and general local conditions in Pilsen.

May 20, 2013

Viva Africa – International Conference on African Studies

Scientific committee:

Vlastimil Fiala (University of Hradec Králové),
Hana Horáková (Metropolitan University Prague),
Tomáš Machalík (University of West Bohemia),
Kateřina Mildnerová (University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius),
Jan Prouza (University of Hradec Králové) and 
Petr Skalník (University of Hradec Králové).

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