2023 Conference: Crossings       

CFPs for Panels, Roundtables, Seminars


This page is intended to assist those who would like to collaborate with other members to organize panel, roundtable, and seminar proposals. Scroll down to see session CFPs.

For participants wanting to join a proposed session

If you would like to submit your abstract for consideration for one of the sessions listed below, please contact the session organizer directly, using the email address provided in the CFP. Please do not contact the ALA about session CFPs.

For session organizers

If you would like to organize a panel, roundtable, or seminar, but need others to join you, please consider posting a mini-call for papers here. You will need to formulate a working title for your session, a short abstract, and instructions for others to send you their own abstracts for consideration.

After you have gathered abstracts and composed your session, you will need to submit the complete panel, roundtable, or seminar proposal for consideration. Submit completed proposals here.


The ALA does not endorse any CFP and bears no responsibility for monitoring the content of CFPs.

Please note that, if your session proposal is accepted, every presenter will be required to complete conference registration and to be a paid-up ALA member.

To create your post, click here.

Trends in Oral and Written African Poetry and Poetics
Session type:
Organized by: Ernest N. Emenyonu
Send abstracts or inquiries to:

Session Type: Panel
Organized by: Ernest N. Emenyonu
Send abstracts or inquiries to: eernest@umich.edu (250—300 words by Dec.8, 2022)
There is a compelling need to examine the field of African Poetry and Poetics in considerable detail with a view to highlighting major developments and continuities in the practice of the art of poetry in Africa. Are there national or even regional imperatives? Are there global movements that reverberate in the practice of African poets? Are there continuities in the tradition(s) established by Africa’s pioneer poets and the work of the younger generations; and between the oral indigenous traditions and contemporary written poetry? Who are currently Africa’s foremost poets? Are there crucial innovations in the art? Are the forces responsible for the increasing attention to eco poetry and the like and the practice of the so-called “spoken word poetry” internal or external?
Panelists could focus on:
*Theories and Criticism of African poetry and presiding debates on current practice.
*The current state of the art, its preoccupations, preferred forms and key players
*The nexus between Africa’s oral poetic heritage and written poetry
*New themes and forms such as eco poetry and spoken word poetry
*The impact of important Literary Prizes such as the Nigerian Literature Prize on the development of African poetry
*Innovations in African Orality
Intending panelists should submit abstracts (250—300 words) to Ernest N. Emenyonu: eernest@umich.edu no later than Dec 8, 2022.

Intra-African Migration and Kinship Structures: Reframing Afropolitanism
Session type:
Organized by: Cristovão Nwachukwu
Send abstracts or inquiries to:

Afropolitanism has generated a great deal of debate and discussion, and many panels on Afropolitanism have been organized at African Literature Association conferences since the first such a panel in 2015. These discussions often point out how Afropolitan concepts can question national and geographical affiliations and dislodge fixed ideas of belonging in the contemporary world. Too often the scholarship focuses on Africans’ connections to the West, a focus that has provoked significant controversies and disagreements.

This panel, sponsored by the Journal of African Cultural Studies, revisits the Afropolitanism debates of the 2015 panel and aims to move the discussion forward by inviting speakers to respond to a particular version of Afropolitan belonging, namely depictions of intracontinental family structures. We invite abstracts that analyze the varied kinship structures that Africans form and re-form while migrating within the continent. In addition to the familiar statements by scholars such as Achille Mbembe who writes of African identities as “always … marked by if not cultural mixing, then at least the interweaving of worlds” (59), we urge participants to consider more recent theories and scholarship. For example, how does Rama Salla Dieng’s theorization of kinship in her edited volume Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond (2020) complicate the Afropolitan theories of Mbembe? What can be gained from focusing on families using the feminist and queer lenses developed by Serena Dankwa in her monograph Knowing Women: Same-sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana? Both Dieng and Dankwa investigate different conceptualizations of gender, family and kinship and their work moves forward our understandings of Afropolitanism and its potential to remake the world, by challenging the patriarchal and heteronormative status quo.

We welcome abstracts and proposals for presentations that explore Africa’s cultural diversity within the context of migration, and that pay attention to the representation in film and literature of the ways in which these movements affect families and communities, and shape and re-shape families. We ask participants to reflect on how migration is gendered or queered, and how migration can subvert or dismantle patriarchy.
Proposals do not necessarily have to address Afropolitanism but must include reference to intra-African issues of gender, migration and kinship or family structures. Please send abstracts of 250-300 words to Cristovão Nwachukwu at cristova.nwachuk@ufl.edu by December 1st 11:59 p.m. (EST time).

Dankwa, Serena. 2021. Knowing Women: Same-sex Intimacy, Gender, and Identity in Postcolonial Ghana. Cambridge University Press.
Dieng, Rama Salla. Dieng, Rama Salla. 2020. “A Young Woman’s Voice Doesn’t Break It Grows Firmer”. In Feminist Parenting: Perspectives from Africa and Beyond, edited by R. Salla Dieng and A. O’Reilly. Demeter Press.
Mbembe, Achille. Journal of Contemporary African Art. 2020, vol. 46, pp. 56-61

African Crossings in Online Spaces: Global Transmissions and Transmutations of African (Popular) Culture and Arts through Digital Media
Session type:
Organized by: Izuu Nwankwọ
Send abstracts or inquiries to:

With the proliferation of digital media especially in Africa, previously localized cultural productions have become increasingly globalized. Those who ordinarily may not have come across African music, comedy, films, and social media self-presentations and re-enactments of everyday life, are now not only consuming but also replicating these lifestyles. The successes of now more centralized genres such as Nollywood and Afrobeat, as well as the soft power influences of several dance and singing challenges across different social media platforms heralded by South Africa’s Jerusalema song, among others; have put African popular art, music, and literature at the centre of social media cross-cultural encounters today. Consequently, with these forms of digital cross-border movements, the continent has become one of the emergent cultural and entertainment hubs of the today’s world. While academic and mainstream media foci centre on the incidences of socio-economic hardship, conflicts, mass migration, and other realistic and contrived phenomena, the giant strides made in cultural production and dissemination through social media have remained understudied. For this purpose, this panel seeks to bring and refocus attention on the many ways Africa(ns) have been making inroads in propagating their pop culture through social media, and how such creations are affecting/influencing others across the globe. We therefore seek papers that discuss the myriad ways digital media enables Africa(ns) to cross into other cultures and how others engage with African cultural productions. Contributions are not restricted to mediatized performances but could also be live events or literature which are disseminated digitally; bearing in mind the wider audience reach that digital media provides for these cultural productions.