Call for Papers
Theme: The genre of reality
Subtitle: African Philosophy in the Covid-19 crisis
Type: 8th Asixoxe – Let's Talk! African Philosophy Conference
Institution: Centre of Global Studies, Academy of Sciences Prague
Centre of African Philosophy, University of Bayreuth
The global shock generated by the virulence of Covid-19 pandemic and
various measures taken to curtail the spread of this pandemic put in
question the way people negotiate their daily reality, and their
relationship to the world. We no longer access the real through
simulacra; the real itself is in transformation and is confronting
us. Our very bodily reality has changed, impacting the way we meet,
the way we interact, our relationships. Human interactions have been
limited by face masks, social distancing, but also transposed into
We invite you to join the 8th Asixoxe-Let’s Talk! African Philosophy
conferenceand to explore with us following questions and more:
- How is Covid-19 pandemic talked about in Africa? What are the texts
and the textual genres that conceptualize Covid-19? How are these
expressions culturally specific? What are the narratives of Covid-19,
both in the sense of accounts of the experience of suffering from
Covid-19 and in the sense of broader societal conceptualizations of
the pandemic? How is Covid-19 talked about in African languages?
- What about medical ethics regarding the anti-covid 19 vaccine
research, clinical trials, and its application to humans? Is there
any philosophical argument in support of the growing up anti-vaccine
activism in Africa? How far does the global medical system integrate
indigenous knowledges in the struggle against Covid-19? What kind of
metaphysics shapes the African countries health public policies? How
do our perceptions of solidarity change in the global scramble for
the anti-Covid 19 vaccine?
- How to reconcile the right to freedom of African people with
the restrictive measures imposed by the state on the grounds of
fighting the Covid-19 pandemic? How do anti-Covid measures affect
social and cultural practices, and beliefs of African people, as for
instance the metaphysics of sickness and death, or burial and
mourning practices? How does the mask change our interaction with the
face? How does it change the gaze? How do we approach the other and
alterity in a situation of "covered faces"?
- How are digital technologies accessed and used by Africans in the
effort to help mitigate the effects of Covid-19 and of the anti-Covid
measures? Is there any philosophical reading of the increasing
digital divide between developed and developing countries?
This year's Asixoxe – Let's Talk! African Philosophy Conference will
be held online. The conference will also host a virtual reception to
launch the ERC Consolidator Grant "Philosophy and Genre: Creating a
Textual Basis for African Philosophy". The conference is hosted
jointly by the Centre of Global Studies, Institute of Philosophy,
Academy of Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic, and the Centre of
African Philosophy, University of Bayreuth, Germany.
Confirmed keynote speakers include:
Rogaia Abusharaf (George Town University in Qatar)
Paulin Hountondji (National University of Benin)
John Lamola (University of Johannesburg)
Dismas A. Masolo (University of Louisville)
Irina Turner (University of Bayreuth)
Next to panels with invited keynote lectures, the conference will
include a "Roundtable Discussion" and an "Early Career and Graduate
Student Forum". To understand the experiential impact of the pandemic
and to explore alternative, especially narrative or artistic, ways of
accessing the real, the conference will conclude with a
"Phenomenological and Narrative Forum". We invite contributions to
these three platforms, following the guidelines below (please
indicate in your abstract to which of the three you wish to
- Roundtable Discussion:
We invite established researchers to contribute to this discussion;
the abstracts will go through a rigorous peer-review process to
select the ones most pertinent to the topic of the conference.
- Early Career and Graduate Student Forum:
We invite contributions from early-career researchers and students,
especially at graduate level, to highlight ground-breaking research
related to the topic of the conference.
- Phenomenological and Narrative Forum:
We invite contributions from Covid-19 survivors, their relatives and
friends, as well as people who were critically affected by the
anti-Covid measures imposed by governments, and who wish to share
their experiences. We expect the participants to present a
"phenomenology of Covid-19" and its related phenomena, to narrativize
these experiences and to develop philosophical reflections on the
basis of these experiences, in other words, to philosophize the
Covid-19 experience. We also invite reflections on pandemic fiction
related to Africa.
Registration and participation in the conference is free of charge.
Scholars wishing to participate without giving a presentation are
asked to email the organizers to receive the link to the event.
Please submit your abstracts no later than 24th May 2021 to Dr Albert
Kasanda or Professor Dr Alena Rettová.
Dr Albert Kasanda
Centre of Global Studies, Institute of Philosophy, Academy of
Sciences, Prague, Czech Republic
Professor Dr Alena Rettová
Centre of African Philosophy, University of Bayreuth, Germany