Dr. Clare Buswell attended the AEGIS Conference on behalf of AFSAAP. She wrote the following to the AFSAAP Executive –
I would like to thank AFSAAP for providing funding to attend this renowned international European conference on African Studies in Paris, July 7-10 2015. The conference is organised by the Africa-Europe Group for Interdisciplinary Studies (AEGIS) held every 3 years and brings together scholars from all over the world who are passionate about African research. This conference had 1800 participants, (three of whom came from Australia), 1000 papers were presented, 24 books launched, and cost 350,000 Euros to run. It was held at the Paris-Sorbonne University in conjunction with a weeklong major arts event titled Africa Acts. http://africaacts.ecas2015.fr/.
The major book sellers publishing material relating to Africa were present, James Currey, Brill, Oxford, Codesria, African book collective to name a few, and if I did not have a weight limit on my flight home I would have purchased a lot more than I did. Papers were presented in either English or French. At one session I attended translations into German were made by audience members. Participants of the conference could be found in debating not only in the panel sessions, but also in corridors, courtyards and coffee shops around the university. It seemed that not only were old friendships renewed, I ran into David Moore and Peter Limb, but new ones made. The scope of the papers presented was of course wide ranging from Laughter in Social Transformations in Africa, (about the use of humour/comedy and social change in Uganda, Cote d’Ivoire and Benin) to problems relating to abortion in Eritrea, Burkina Faso and Kenya, to panels on Pandemics in Africa, Guy Rights, governance, and to the problems of Land grabbing, agriculture. There were round tables where no papers as such were presented, but people gathered to discuss specific items such as: problems of Ethics and research, getting published in African Studies Journals, Gender and African citizenship, Boko Haram, and policy issues relating to Border problems to name a few. You can visit the conference website and download the programme at: http://www.ecas2015.fr/ The next conference will be Basel, Switzerland June 2017. My only advice is: Go to it.
Dr Clare Buswell (July 2015)