Conference Information

This free, two-day conference took place at the East Lansing Marriott at University Place, East Lansing, Michigan from April 8-9, 2016; and brought together seminal scholars and students of West African History, to elucidate the region’s role in world affairs, the cultural linkages between West Africa and its Diaspora, as well as the impact of globalization on this western portion of the African continent.

Twenty-four established US-based and international West Africanist scholars, of Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabophone histories presented papers that explore the state of the field, as well as new directions on the following panels: (1) Women, Gender, and Sexuality in West Africa; (2) History, Health, Security and Contemporary Media in West Africa; (3) West African Narratives of Slavery and the Slave Trades; (4) West African and Diasporic Religions; (5) West African Oralities and Oral History; and (6) Traditional Archives and New Media.s.

The three distinguished keynote speakers—Dr. Johnnetta Cole, President Emerita of Spelman and Bennett Colleges, and Director of the National Museum of African Art (NMAfA); Akwasi Opong-Fosu MP, Minister of State at the Presidency, Republic of Ghana; and Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, former Nigerian Federal Minister of Solid Minerals, former Nigerian Federal Minister for Education, former Vice President of World Bank’s Africa Division, and founder of the “Bring Back Our Girls” Campaign— addressed the gathering.