International Conference: Oral Memories by Africans and People of African Descent – Extended call for papers

Within the scope of the projects MEMORIALIST DISCOURSES AND THE BUILDING OF HISTORY, based at the Center for Comparative Studies (CEC)/ School of Arts and Humanities of the University of Lisbon, and AFRO-PORT:  Afro-descendance in Portugal: Sociability, Representations and Sociopolitical and Cultural Dynamics (FCT, PTDC/SOC-ANT/30651/2017), based at the Center for African and Development Studies (CEsA)/ Lisbon School of Economics and Management of the University of Lisbon, we are organizing an international conference (11-13 December, 2019), with the objective of identifying memories and perceptions of subjects who have lived either the process of struggle for independence (mainly in the Portuguese-speaking countries, but not only) or the colonial war.

The conference aims to stress the importance of the memories of those who, as protagonists or not, have experienced the colonial period from the capital of the Empire.  In this context the purpose is to challenge the usual narratives centered on European memories of Africa and their experiences in the African continent. Also, the perceptions of people of African-descent and Africans in the Diaspora, in the Americas, in Europe, and in other spaces where the presence of Africa is involved in the construction of contemporary societies.

In the realm of oral memory, we also aim to include the wisdom of the body such as the heritage of cultural and artistic practices, literature, music, dance, theatre and performance in general, weather of ritual or vernacular nature. Therefore, considering this production as expressive and creative instrument of cultural practices and as crossroads of collective and individual memories, we also welcome presentations related to the various manifestations of oral culture and somatic memory crystalized in collective practices, as dynamic places of cultural exchange and memorial construction.

On this base it is essential to consider that the techniques for the recording of history related to discursive and performative oral manifestations are being transformed with the advance of technologies, which have imposed new forms of management and dissemination of the narratives as well as new ethical and aesthetic challenges and specific methodological issues.

Based on this diachronic and interdisciplinary perspective this Conference aims to collect interventions on the topics related to: History, Oral Memory, Memorialism, Africa, African Descent and Diaspora. Submissions of papers and (closed) panels or roundtables  can address but are not limited to:

  • Oral history and African Historiographical Narratives
  • Technical, Aesthetic and Ethical Aspects of Oral History Appropriation
  • Memorialism and Memory Conflicts
  • Conflicts and Incongruity of Memorialist Construction
  • Memorial Archives: Tradition and Innovation
  • Oral Memories and their Circumstances
  • Cultural and Artistic Forms of Memory
  • Memory and Literary Production
  • Orality and African Descent Identities
  • Linguistic Traditions and Identity


Panels, roundtables and papers proposals must be addressed by October 12, 2019 to:


Registration fees: 

Paper presentation: 35€

Other participation with Certificate10€

Students: Free

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