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SERSAS-SEAN conference Spring 2017

21st Century Resiliency: Sustainable Development and U.S.-Africa Relations

The Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies (SERSAS) and the SouthEast Africanist Network (SEAN) are pleased to announce a joint conference to be hosted by the College of Charleston on Friday evening and Saturday, February 3-4, 2017, in historic downtown Charleston, SC.

Sustainable Development has garnered increased attention and support in recent years in the West, but has long been applicable to Africa, where many countries are witnessing declines in poverty and hunger, and improvements in national economies. This is therefore a propitious time to reflect on Africa’s social and economic trajectories, in the past, present and future.  In what ways do African examples reflect possibilities for a more resilient world?  At the same time, the United States is just emerging from a bruising presidential election in which Africa did not play a notable role in public debates, and the president-elect has evidenced little interest in, and even less knowledge of, Africa.  How are his proposed policies, to the extent that there are any, likely to affect given countries or regions in Africa?

Faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students are all encouraged to participate.  In preparing proposals, please keep in mind that this year’s conference explicitly seeks to disrupt the conventional “three people reading papers” session.  We seek innovative and unconventional proposals from all fields for this interdisciplinary conference (for example, we invite you to propose an experimental session with 5 presenters making presentations of 7-10 minutes each).  More traditional proposals for individual papers, entire sessions, round-tables, interactive workshops, and conversations, are still of course welcome.  SERSAS will award the graduate student who presents the best paper at the conference the SERSAS Graduate Student Prize, which carries a stipend of $100.

The full program can befound here.

Please register here:


Conference Sponsors

Southeastern Regional Seminar in African Studies; SouthEast Africanist Network; UNC African Studies Center; University of Florida Center for African Studies; and the US Department of Education.

On-site Conference Organizers:

Tim Carmichael

Simon Lewis

Chris Day

UNC-CH Conference Organizers:

Stacey Sewall

Barbara Anderson


The conference registration fee of $30 for faculty and $20 for students will be payable at the conference and will cover most food expenses. However, REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

Hotel information

****update***** There are still rooms available for the reduced rate.

A limited number of rooms will be placed on hold for conference attendees for Friday, Feb. 3 and Saturday, Feb. 4 at the La Quinta-Riverview in Charleston at a rate of $98.10/night.  SERSAS/SEAN will pay for occupied rooms for attendees for Friday night only, but attendees who share a room will have both nights covered.  Attendees who stay the second night in a single room will need to cover that cost themselves.  Rooms must be reserved by the attendees with their own credit card. If attendees cannot attend the conference, they must cancel their room reservations in advance or their credit card will be charged. Attendees should make individual or shared reservations by contacting the hotel directly.  This can be done by calling the local hotel at (843) 556-5200 and requesting the block "SERSAS/SEAN." Additional charges such as phone and meals will not be covered by SERSAS/SEAN.   Parking at the hotel is complementary but attendees will need to pay for parking at the municipal parking garage near the conference site.  Carpooling from the hotel to the College of Charleston is recommended.

For further information, please contact Tim Carmichael at for details pertaining to the program or Stacey Sewall at for details pertaining to travel and accommodation.