Researching Africa Day

Researching Africa Day 2015

16th Annual Researching Africa Day Workshop 

Saturday, 7th March 2015, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford 09:00 - 17:45

Every year, Researching Africa Day brings together post-graduate and early career researchers from across a range of disciplines. The Day offers an opportunity to discuss research strategies and approaches, to develop ideas in a constructive, stimulating, and engaging environment, and to network with other researchers. The 2015 Researching Africa Day will bring together post-graduate and early career researchers to reflect imaginatively on where African welfare is found, who provides it, and why.

The title of the 2015 workshop is:

Imagining Welfare in Contemporary Africa: Interdisciplinary Reflections

There are an inordinate number of institutions involved in sustaining, securing, and improving African lives: international donors, global policymakers, humanitarian interventions, scientists, governments, activists and families.  Implicated in this work are particular constructions of the ‘good’ life in Africa, as well as ideas about who is responsible for safeguarding and providing it. How is it that African lives become a project for development, democracy or global citizenship? What can we learn from current and past interventions? 

The numerous actors and actions involved in African lives and livelihoods impress upon the terrain in which Africans carve out life and living.  In the making of their everyday lives in Africa, people have negotiated multiple institutions in pursuit of survival, personhood and prosperity. How have they used, reproduced or remade these institutions in the process? 

Researching Africa Day has long been about inter-disciplinarity and this year we hope to push this even further. This conference aims to bring into dialogue researchers from the humanities and social sciences with those in public health, social policy, medicine, the natural sciences and the creative arts. The conference will feature both panel discussions and an exhibition of visual and material objects from the field. 

Potential paper topics include:

Livelihoods and labour

The everyday production of family life

The gendering of welfare

Children and youth as actors in welfare struggles

Claiming welfare from the margins of citizenship: refugees and immigration

State interventions in welfare

Securing African lives: policing and military interventions as welfare policy?

Safeguarding life and livelihoods: resource security

The making of African lives as a project for intervention

The meaning of the welfare state in Africa

Critical explorations of ‘development’ in Africa

Public health and African life 

For the exhibition we hope to display a range of visual and material objects, including:





Print cultures

Short films

Medical or scientific instruments

The deadline for submitting paper proposals, or visual provocations, is 25th January 2015. Proposals for papers and exhibits should include a 250-word abstract and title, as well as the author's name, email address, and institutional affiliation. Please send all proposals or any questions to:

We particularly invite participation from students beyond Oxford. While the cost of travel is not normally reimbursed, appeals for assistance with travel expenses will be considered in exceptional circumstances. We have limited funding and encourage speakers to pursue funding opportunities at their home institutions first. Accommodation for those who wish to stay the night may be available at your own expense.