Call for Papers
Disability and African Indigenous Thought
Organized by the Disability and Inclusion Africa Network
African indigenous thought – with specific reference to sub-Saharan Africa – informs understandings and conceptions of disability. Such conceptions of disability include explanations for, and representations of, different forms of disabilities, attitudes towards disabilities and persons with disabilities, and ways of coping with, and managing health-related and other challenges related to disability. These explanations are not only long standing in local cultures, passed from generation to generation, but they are also deeply rooted and entrenched in the fabric of community life. They permeate daily existence and have real consequences for persons with disabilities. Even in modern-day Africa, with the influx of scientific explanation for disabilities into African places and growing awareness of medical and social models of disability indigenous explanations and understandings
remain intensely felt and continue to shape the lived experiences of persons with disabilities in these societies.
The Disability and African Indigenous Thought workshop is organised by the Disability and Inclusion Africa Network, as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Global Challenge Research Fund funded research project, ‘Alternative Explanations: Disability and Inclusion in Africa’, to explore African explanations for, understandings and representations of disability. The primary objective is to expose how these conceptions and representations of disability and disabilities in African indigenous thought impact positively and negatively the lives of persons with disabilities, particularly in terms of how they inhibit or promote wellbeing, dignity and inclusion. Proposals are hereby invited that explore the following and related themes and areas:
• Conceptualising African indigenous/traditional thought
• Conceptions and representations of disability in African thought
• Traditional understanding of specific disabilities e.g. albinism, epilepsy, autism, blindness, etc.
• Epistemological, ontological and moral foundations and concerns
• African traditional religion and disability
• African arts or literatures and their engagement with traditional understandings of disability
• The negative impact of indigenous thought on wellbeing and inclusion for persons with
• Aspects of indigenous thoughts to explore for the promotion of wellbeing and inclusion for persons with disabilities
• African indigenous healthcare and disability
• Historical perspectives on the origin and basis of African thought on disability
Proposals in these and related areas should not be more than 250 words and should be sent to Dr Elvis Imafidon firstname.lastname@example.org and Dr Charlotte Baker email@example.com by 31 December 2020.
The submitted document in MS Word or PDF should contain the title of the proposed presentation, name(s) of author(s), affiliation and summary of proposed presentation. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified by 7 January 2021 with details of the workshop, which will be held online in early February.