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From the Desk of Professor Falola: Welcome

falolaThe theme for this year’s conference is “Nationalisms”. As in previous years, we received abstracts and panel proposals from scholars and practitioners from different corners of the world. We are pleased that you have chosen to join us for this year’s conference, which promises to be another intellectually stimulating exercise.

Scholars have approached the conference theme from a diversity of theoretical and methodological orientations. While some focus on the nationalist campaign against colonial domination in Africa, others are interested in the legacies of colonialism, as well as the Pan-African movements that swept across Africa in the period before and after independence. Other scholars engage with issues bordering on the intersections between identity (including LGBTQ and queer studies), religion, globalization, geo-politics, migration, women and gender studies, education, information technology, and nationalism in the digital age.

Given the diversity of the papers, I am hopeful that every delegate would identify with one or several presentations and in the process, have a fulfilling experience during the conference. I am confident that this year’s conference will continue the excellent tradition of its predecessors. I encourage you to engage fully with all aspects of the conference. Let us continue to build and strengthen friendly collaborations that would add value to us all. As scholars, we should be open to new ideas. We should not abandon our responsibility to question received wisdom, critically interrogate orthodoxy, and explore audacious new ideas.

Finally, as we engage in these three days of intensive intellectual exercise, I encourage us all to find time to see the beautiful City of Austin! It gives me great pleasure to welcome you all to the 20th Annual Africa Conference at The University of Texas at Austin.

Sincerely,
Dr. Toyin Falola
Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Professor, and Jacob & Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities, University of Texas at Austin; and FNAL, FHSN, D.Litt. (Monmouth University), D.Litt. (Adekunle Ajasin University), D.Hum. (CUNY-CSI), D.Litt. (Lead City University), D.ED. (Tai Solarin University of Education), D.Hum. (Lincoln University), D.Litt. (University of Jos), D.Litt. (Caleb University), D.Litt., (McPherson), D.Litt. (Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta).