Development schemes are based on a broad set of economic, social, cultural, and political understandings, and their impact upon local communities is often reflected in a multiplicity of physical, material and ideological landscapes. Decades of research on development policy and practice have revealed the need for applying a broad lens in order to bring into view the wide-ranging and deep impact that schemes can have on communities and individuals. While we have come to appreciate the broad implications of both successes and failures in development planning and implementation, insufficient attention has been paid to the long-term significance of development schemes once they are completed. Particularly after decades of poor performance and disappointments with outcomes, we need a better understanding of the lingering presence that development schemes can have in local landscapes. Whether schemes are completed or abandoned, they continue to have relevance for individuals, community, and country that was both intended and unintended by original planning. Development interventions can produce unplanned consequences that involve multiple forms of social, cultural, spiritual and ideological change. Thus, the view over the long-term can provide vital perspectives on both “failure” and “success,” as these take on new meanings over time. Looking at the afterlives of development, we can appreciate how communities and individuals reinterpret and reclaim development initiatives to meet evolving agendas and processes.
The Tamar Golan Africa Centre at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev invites proposals for presentations at the upcoming conference, “The Afterlives of Development.” The conference will focus on the lifespans of development schemes beyond the intended scope of projects. Presentations should offer perspectives on how local communities and individuals experience, respond to, and remake initiatives in the years following the end of development initiatives. Proposals can examine afterlife as either a set of continuities or ruptures. The goal of the conference is to uncover imaginaries, initiatives, and criticisms that either reinvent or reinvigorate the impact and significance of development schemes long after they cease to operate. We encourage scholars of all disciplines to consider participating, including history, anthropology, regional studies, political science, economics, sociology and cultural studies.
The conference will be held at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel.
Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. Please submit abstracts of no more than 300 words to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Abstracts should be submitted by September 15, 2019. Please include your name, institutional affiliation, and email address and a short biography (up to 200 words) along with your abstract. Notifications of acceptance will be sent by October 25, 2019.