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African Mobilities: the Means and Modalities of Movement(s) Within and Beyond Africa: SERSAS/SEAN 2021 Virtual Spring Conference

March 12 - March 13

The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people move through the world in unprecedented ways. While many choose to shelter at home as a public health measure to prevent the spread of the virus, this is not possible, realistic, or desirable for others. Some states and institutions across the globe have implemented strict guidelines and regulations against movement and gathering, while others have not. Through the restrictions of movement and moral discussions about the choice to leave the home and circulate during a pandemic, power relations and the politics of difference are laid bare in tremendous ways. Strategies of movement and mobility, whether through large-scale migration patterns or quotidian pathways of circulation, have captured global attention, perhaps like never before.

The context of COVID-19 is an opportunity to interrogate the means and modalities of movement in Africa. One of the striking elements of the pandemic in African contexts is the power of social movements, in spite of – indeed, because of – the pandemic. Widespread public protests calling for the resignation of the president of Mali, the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and corruption in Nigeria, and demonstrations in Khartoum to protest poor living conditions and economic strife are examples of the power of social movement, physical gathering and marching even within the context of a pandemic. Examples such as these urge us to interrogate the multiple meanings of movement and movements in the context of Africa, from deep in the past to our volatile present.

Conference fee: Given the virtual platform for this year’s spring conference and budgetary constraints at many institutions, there will be no conference fee this year. For those who are able and inclined, SERSAS/SEAN accepts donations to the treasury, which will be used to support prizes and awards. https://www.sersas.org

Conference Program and Registration


March 12
March 13