2024 Conference: Filiations and Affiliations

2024 Keynote Speakers

Sarr PhotoFelwine Sarr

Felwine Sarr is a humanist, philosopher, economist, and musician and the Anne-Marie Bryan Chair in French and Francophone Studies at Duke University. He is the author of Afrotopia (University of Minnessota Press, 2019, tr. by Drew S. Burk). Well-known for his groundbreaking report “The Restitution of African Cultural Heritage: Toward a New Relational Ethics,” Sarr taught at the University of Gaston-Berger in Saint Louis, Senegal, where he was previously dean of its Economics and Management department. His research focuses on economic policies, the development economy, econometrics, epistemology, and the history of religious ideas. In addition to Afrotopia, he has published the meditative essay Dahij (Gallimard, 2009), the collection of short stories 105, rue Carnot, the philosophical text Méditations africaines (Mémoire d’encrier, 2011), as well as the essay “Habiter le monde” and the collection “Ishindenshin,” both published by Mémoire d’Encrier. Further, he cofounded the Laboratory for the Analysis of Societies and Powers/Africa-Diasporas (LASPAD) in Saint Louis, as well as the publishing company Jimsaan in Dakar. In 2016, he co-created with Achille Mbembe the annual Dakar and Saint Louis workshops Ateliers de la pensée, which sought to stimulate a “non-colonial” school of thought. Sarr also co-founded with Achille Mbembe the Ateliers de la pensée’s doctoral school.


Wicomb PhotoZoe Wicomb

On 23 November 1948, South African-Scottish author and academic  Zoë Wicomb was born near Vanrhynsdorp, Western Cape, in South Africa. In 2013, she was awarded the inaugural Windham–Campbell Literature Prize for her fiction.

Growing up in Namaqualand, Wicomb went to Cape Town for high school, and attended the University of the Western Cape. After graduating, she left South Africa in 1970 for England, where she continued her studies at Reading University. She lived in Nottingham and Glasgow and returned to South Africa in 1990, where she taught for three years in the department of English at the University of the Western Cape. In 1994 she moved to Glasgow, Scotland, where she was Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Strathclyde until her retirement in 2009. She was Professor Extraordinaire at Stellenbosch University from 2005 to 2011. 

Wicomb is best known for the short story collection 'You Can't Get Lost in Cape Town' (1987). This semi-autobiographical work is a collection of connected stories featuring mixed-race South Africans—called "coloured" by the apartheid government—and their lives and experiences somewhere between white and black society. She als founded and edited the London-based 'Southern African Review of Books'.