Crossroads 2018 has an exciting line up
The Utility of African Cultural Studies: National and Global Formation and Intervention
Boulou Ebanda de b’Beri,, Professor & Director, Audiovisual Media Lab for the Study of Cultures and Societies, University of Ottawa, Canada;
Nyasha Mboti, Associate Professor, University of Johannesburg, South Africa;
Keyan Tomaselli, Distinguished Professor, University of Johannesburg (& Emeritus Professor, University of Kwa-Zulu Natal) South Africa;
Handel Kashope Wright, Professor & Director, Centre for Culture, Identity & Education, University of British Columbia, Canada
Conceived and Introduced by:
Handel Kashope Wright, Professor & Director, Centre for Culture, Identity & Education, University of British Columbia, Canada

Brief Introduction to Panelists:
Boulou Ebanda de B'béri is the Founding-Director of the Audiovisual Media Lab for the study of Cultures and Societies and Professor of Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Ottawa. Some of his major publications include: Women in the Promised Land, (with N. Reid-Maroney and W. Thomas-Bernard), Canadian Scholars/Women’s Press, 2018; Global Perspectives on the Politics of Multiculturalism in the 21st Century (with F. Mansouri) Routledge Comparative Politics Series (2014); The Promised Land: History and Historiography of the Black Experience in Chatham-Kent’s Settlements and Beyond,(with N. Reid-Maroney & H. K. Wright), University of Toronto Press (2014).
Nyasha Mboti is an Associate Professor and outgoing Head of Department in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of Johannesburg. Mboti is currently researching possibilities for the emergence of a new theoretical paradigm called “Apartheid Studies”, itself the subject of his forthcoming book Apartheid Studies: An Inquiry into the Nature & Causes of the Wealth of Nations (AWP, 2018). Apartheid Studies examines how capitalist modernity is constructed, governed, regulated, nourished and maintained by a variety of interconnected and integrated “circuits of apartheid”.
Keyan G Tomaselli is Distinguished Professor, University of Johannesburg, and Professor Emeritus, University of Kwazulu-Natal (UKZN). He is editor of Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies and founder and c-editor of the Journal of African Cinemas. He was previously director of the UKZN Centre for Communication and Media Studies.
Handel Kashope Wright is Professor and Director of the Centre for Culture, Identity & Education, University of British Columbia; co-editor of the book series African and Diasporic Cultural Studies (University of Toronto Press) and editorial board member of several cultural studies and education journals and book series. He has published extensively on Africana cultural studies, critical multiculturalism education, anti-racism, critical race theory, and qualitative research. His books include Precarious International Multicultural Education (Sense, 2012) and Transnationalism and Cultural Studies (Routledge, 2012). His most recent publications include edited journal issues on “The Worldliness of Stuart Hall” (International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2016) and on “Contemporary African Cultural Studies” (Critical Arts, 2017).
The Utility of African Cultural Studies: National and Global Formation and Intervention

Panel Abstract:

Cultural Studies has spread internationally and mushroomed from a hedged, radical anti-discipline of the Birmingham CCCS to an established (sometimes reluctant) international discipline. On this panel we outline the articulation of African cultural studies (continental and diasporic), both in terms of its loose formation and its interventionary global presence. Our premise is that African cultural studies is a formation in the making involving the ongoing articulation of various national and regional discourses (e.g. South African, West African, Arab) which spill over into the diaspora principally as Black cultural studies. Drawing on the examples of South African and Canadian Black diasporic cultural studies, the papers collective articulate and point to the limits of cultural studies, asserting that African cultural studies is necessarily in process, plays an underappreciated role in the struggle for representation, equity and social justice not only in the world but within cultural studies’ own global discourse.

Paper One and Two (Joint, double length): African Cultural Studies I Presume? Continental and Diasporic Encounters and the Articulation of African Cultural Studies
(Handel Kashope Wright & Keyan G. Tomaselli)

What happens to African cultural studies when its continental and diasporic forms meet? Do they reveal and revel in an always already unified discourse or do they collide and fracture, emphasizing a chasm of difference? Can diasporic Blackness bear continental African cultural studies’ dual assertion that it is more than black and rejection of the continent as the taken-for-granted premise of black identity? Is there a stance the (white) continental figure can take in the diaspora other than inauthentic representative or grateful supplicant and is there a stance the (black) diasporic figure can take on the continent other than paternalistic helper or romanticizing novice? This jointly authored paper explores issues of representation and the articulation and utility of African cultural studies at the ambivalent but potentially generative point of encounter between the continental and the diasporic.
Keywords: African cultural studies; diaspora; representation; articulation; Black cultural studies

Paper Three: There Ain’t No Such Thing as Global South nor Global Cultural Studies: A Négritude Intervention into Some Conceptualizations of the Study of Cultures
(Boulou Ebanda de b’Béri)

Is it possible to study the continent of Africa, to learn about the cultures of the people of Africa’s ideological practices, discursive articulations, complex identity formations without, necessarily framing such a study with the so-now-called Cultural Studies canons? Could we, “contextually”, pose a Cultural Studies question, that is to study an object of knowledge, a political object within its context of production and its context of knowledge? This paper is not only about the usually political methodologies, the messy western (trans)disciplinarity in Cultural Studies, even the contested ones, but a non-objective intervention with anew, different, and neglected Cultural Studies project, a Négritude’s intervention. I would like to ask what we could learn with the Négritude’s philosophy of culture, and to what extent this philosophy was not, also, a real cultural studies project, a project that was de-centralized by some nowadays Africans and Western canons in the field of culture.
Keywords: Negritude; transdisciplinarity; African philosophy; cultural studies canon.

Paper Four: “Circuits of Apartheid” in our Modern Times: An Apartheid Studies Approach
(Nyasha Mboti )

This paper is drawn around a set of questions, scaffolding my interest in the project of founding a long overdue field of studies known as Apartheid Studies. Why are there no Apartheid Studies in South Africa or in any other country across the globe? Why are we not studying apartheid systematically and formally? Why has there not been a single theoretical framework to emerge out of the paradigm of apartheid? Apartheid is a mode of obtaining power in a quantity hitherto without example, an algorithm of domination reincarnated and re-embodied throughout history in manifold forms and manifestations, from South Africa to Sudan, Canada to Australia, and Brazil to Belgium. In this paper I use the novel theoretical lens of Apartheid Studies to appreciate the general neglect to read, recognise and call out the persistent “circuits of apartheid” that are at the heart of capitalist modernity and globalisation. Using examples drawn mostly from the global South, I note how we rarely expose these “circuits”.
Keywords: Apartheid studies; modernity; globalization; algorithm of domination.