CALL FOR ABSTRACTS – African Indigeneity in the Neoliberal Era; SfAA

Call for Abstracts for the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology

“African Indigeneity in the Neoliberal Era: New Cartographies of Inclusion and Exclusion in Resource Conflicts”

We are seeking a few more submissions for this panel on indigenous movements and resource conflict in sub-Saharan Africa for the Political Ecology Society portion of the upcoming Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Denver [March 19-23, 2013].

Session organizers:
Amber Huff, Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia
Dave Himmelfarb, Center for Integrative Conservation Research, University
of Georgia

In keeping with the conference theme, “natural resource distribution and development in the 21st Century,” we are seeking contributions for a volunteered session that address the role of identity and indigeneity in the context struggles over rights, resources, and spaces in sub-Saharan Africa.

If you are interested in presenting a paper in this session, please send
your name, affiliation, paper title, and an abstract (with a maximum of 100
words) to Dave Himmelfarb ( by October 5, 2012.

Preliminary session abstract:
Indigeneity is a powerful theme in international policy discussions related
to environmental justice and development. In the past three decades, social
movements employing discourses of indigeneity have made great strides in
influencing formal recognition and rights of historically marginalized
people throughout the world. These efforts have culminated in a series of
influential and widely recognized international agreements and conventions
that lend legal and discursive support to self-identifying native and
indigenous groups in their struggles for land rights and

However, as scholars have long observed, boundaries, whether social or
geographical, necessarily entail inclusion and exclusion. Increased
recognition of indigenous rights can be seen as a triumph over centuries of
inequity and a significant step toward a more inclusive transnational
political field. However, policies and movements expressing concern for
indigenous recognition do not always achieve the goals touted by
international agreements and can be strategically invoked by a plurality of
actors to justify political, economic, or geographic exclusions in
conservation and development contexts.

This panel examines emergent indigeneities in the context of struggles over
resources and value(s) in sub-Saharan Africa. In conjunction with the
circulation of ideas, capital, and people propelled by the
neoliberalization of nature and economic development, the
institutionalization of the global indigenous movement has led to a
proliferation of claims and claimants that invoke indigeneity in
sub-Saharan Africa. By bringing together scholarship exploring (1)
strategies and experiences of indigenous claimants, (2) imagery,
narratives, and metaphors that support claims of indigeneity, and (3) the
significance of indigeneity to changing relationships among peoples,
landscapes, states, and broader national and global society, we hope to
advance a comparative approach to issues of indigeneity in sub-Saharan
Africa and to chart emerging topographies of inclusion and exclusion.