The 5th Biennial conference of the African Studies Association of Africa (ASAA2023) will be held in Lubumbashi, the Democratic Republic of Congo. It will commemorate 10 years since the association was launched on October 25, 2013, at the International Conference on African Studies organized by the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana (October 24-26, 2013). For the first time in the history of the ASAA, the Biennial will be held in a Francophone country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, a key part of the association’s strategy to spread its work across different parts of the continent and its diaspora; and to strategically strengthen knowledge institutions with the aim of centering Pan Africanism as intellectual lens for critical inquiry.
The theme of this year’s conference is: “Repatriating Africa: Old Challenges and Critical Insights.” Africa’s encounter with other parts of the world is filled with contested histories. Slavery, the Transoceanic and Trans-Saharan trades, Colonization, and the continent’s current entrapment in global systems of accumulation continues to provoke critique amongst scholars, particularly with respect to loss, exploitation, and extraversion. Slavery, the slave trades and Colonization continue to be foregrounded, not just as hideous crimes against humanity, but also for its continuous impact on African knowledges and cultural heritage. Global crossroads with Africa continue and have always been accompanied by looting, destruction, and cultural obliteration.