2023 marks the 55th anniversary of Equatorial Guinea’s independence from Spain, while we near five decades since Spain’s abandonment of its North African colony Western Sahara, which is still embroiled in an anti-colonial struggle. Spanish remains an official language in both Equatorial Guinea and the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, and yet the history, politics, and cultural production of these two countries, and that of Morocco where Spain had protectorates until the 1950s, often still remain absent on Hispanic Studies curricula, which – with important exceptions – tend to limit themselves to Spain and Latin America. On the other hand, research on cultural production from North Africa and Equatorial Guinea is currently flourishing, perhaps in part propelled by initiatives such as the International Academic Observatory on Western Sahara (OUISO), the Global Hispanophone rubric, and academic decolonisation efforts more broadly. This conference aims to facilitate a dialogue between scholars, cultural practitioners, and cultural activists working on or from Hispanophone Africa and its diasporas; on the problematics, politics, and potentials of theorising and teaching African cultural production, and Spanish cultural production on Africa, within, or perhaps beyond, or outside, the disciplinary confines of Hispanic Studies.
Potential topics might include the following:
- Teaching: Pedagogy; anti-racism in the classroom; decolonising the curriculum; reflections on teaching Saharawi, Moroccan, Equatoguinean and other African literatures in Spanish, as well as their oral traditions, in the classroom; the role of teaching in preserving cultural identities, and in offering anti-colonial solidarity.
- Hispanic Studies beyond Spanish language: cultural production from Western Sahara, Morocco, and Equatorial Guinea in, for example, Arabic, Hassaniya, Fang, Ndowé, or Bubi and its place in Hispanic Studies; alternative configurations for the study of Saharawi, Equatoguinean, or Moroccan cultures beyond the discipline of Hispanic Studies.
- The politics of culture: cultural activism; the political roles of translation, publishing, film festivals, and other forms of cultural dissemination; cultural practitioners as ambassadors for political causes; the role of culture in settler colonialism and neocolonial practices; the maintenance of cultural identity in anti-colonial struggles.
- Theorising Africa’s place within the Global Hispanophone: Literature, oral and cultural traditions, visual, plastic and performing arts of Equatorial Guinea, Morocco and Western Sahara; representations of Africa and its peoples in (current day or historical) Spanish literature, visual arts and media; colonial legacies in Hispanophone Africa’s cultural production.
Please send a 350-word abstract in Spanish or English to Joanna Allan, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 1 February 2023. Papers focused on practice, as well as on academic research, are welcomed. Final papers should be 15 minutes long. The online conference will take place on 12 July 2023, hosted online by Northumbria University, Newcastle, United Kingdom.