from Africa in Transition

African Studies Assocation 53rd Annual Meeting, San Francisco, November 18-21

November 17, 2010

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

My research associate, Asch Harwood, and I will be there, in the Tappert Brothers “shameless commerce division,” promoting my new book, Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink, that so annoyed the current Nigerian foreign minister. I am participating on a panel, “Nigeria at 50: The Academia, Research and the Nation” on Friday, November 19 at 8 am. Come by, listen (critically) to our wisdom and even take a look at the book, or visit the Rowman & Littlefield Publishers stand.

The Annual Meeting provides an intellectual feast. To take three at random, among the sessions I am looking forward to are panels on “New Approaches to the Slave Trade in East and West Africa,” “Southern Africa: Liberation Struggles and Historiography,” and “Dictatorship and Democracy in Historical Perspective."  But, the list goes on and on, and Asch will cover those sessions that I cannot.

Conferences also provide the opportunity to reconnect. I am looking forward to seeing graduate school colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, including David Newbury, now at Smith College, then an apartment mate whom I have not seen since 1970. (David and other Madison colleagues were in African studies. I was still in my Tudor-Stuart academic period, but listening to them at various watering holes was my introduction to Africa.) Also present will be a number of academics who I first met in Oxford at the September African Studies Association-UK meeting. It will be great to trade ideas with them again.

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