Feminist Scholarship, Universities and Social Transformation in Africa
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Date and time: 
Wed, 2017-03-29 09:38

Application Deadline: 15th May 2017

Date: 12 -23 June 2017
Venue: Dakar, Senegal

Call for Applications
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa,
CODESRIA, invites applications from academics and researchers from African
universities and research centers to participate in the 2017 session of
the Gender institute, which will take place in Dakar, Senegal from June
12-23, 2017.

Over the last two decades, CODESRIA has convened an annual gender
institute to fortify efforts at integrating gender research and
scholarship into the mainstream of social science in Africa. The overall
objective of the gender institute continues to be to contribute to a
greater awareness about gender issues in African social research milieus,
the integration of gender analysis into social research undertaken in
Africa, and the inclusion of gender approaches in the agenda of social
science debates on methodology. Besides, the institute has served as a
strategy to catalyze efforts by feminist academics in the universities to
create space  for  women?s  studies  as  a  new  epistemology  in  the
study  of  the  disciplines  and challenge the prevailing androcentric
view of society and culture. Ultimately, these efforts were not meant to
be ends in themselves. They were part of the broader efforts to make
universities in the continent much better and entrench them as critical
spaces for the continent?s transformation.

After slightly over two decades of CODESRIA?s engagement with issues of
gender scholarship using various fora, including the Gender Institute, the
2017 session of the institute seeks to provide an opportunity for
participants to reflect on gains made and persisting challenges. This is
especially in respect to the ways in which the engagements have made
universities in Africa better institutions to spearhead the project of
social transformation.

Universities in the continent have grown tremendously. New continental,
regional and national level development blueprints such as the African
Union?s vision 2063 place higher education and gender dimensions as
central to realizing the visions articulated in different policy
documents.  At the institutional levels, enrollments are surging,
institutional diversity is growing and missions have been reviewed to
refocus the teaching and research functions of universities to better
address societal needs. Feminist scholarship now flourishes in a number of
institutions compared to the situation two decades ago. Revised
curricular, new
access policies and funding interventions have increased the number of
women participating in the institutions.

At the same time, there is a sense that the institutions continue to
operate in a manner that does not engage more organically with emerging
problems in society. Increased graduate unemployment has, for example,
been blamed on lack of better preparation at the institutions;   growing 
pressures   for   curriculum   reform   and   decolonization,   including
pressures to decolonize feminist scholarship abound; new challenges in
graduate education are emerging, including the urging to connect graduate
level teaching and research to global trends; among others. These issues
bring into focus the need to re-examine how the various developments,
including a greater embracement of feminist and gender scholarship, have
contributed or limited the potential of the institutions to connect more
organically with society.

Universities have since their establishment been conceived as critical
drivers of social transformation and change. At the very least, this
conception implies that universities have to work in ways that trigger
fundamental changes in society?s core institutions, the polity and the
economy, with major implications for relationships between social groups
or classes, and for the means of the creation and distribution of wealth,
power and status.  This means going beyond the reproduction outcomes that
have often been more apparent to examining the potentials that academic
discourse creates to fundamentally reshape social relations for the common
good. The immersion of feminist scholarship into all aspects of university
life in Africa therefore logically creates an expectation of alternative
outcomes. Indeed, transformation is at the very core of feminist praxis.
As a theory of knowledge and an intellectual practice, feminism
deconstructs the epistemological foundations of patriarchy and contributes
to the emancipation of women as subjects, but also in the transformation
of institutions as sites for critical intellectual engagements.

Feminism and gender discourses have potential to create alternative
visions of society by challenging structural obstacles to progressive
social change. While past scholarship has focused on examining how the
institutions have been made receptive to feminist scholarship and to the
female gender in a physical and epistemological sense, it is time
reflections were made on the extent that feminist scholarship has made
universities in Africa better institutions for society; for the
transformation project.   How empowering has gender scholarship been in
imagining better approaches to studying and producing knowledge on and
about Africa?

Candidates submitting proposals for consideration as laureates should
critically interrogate the outcomes of feminist and gender scholarship in
connection to the broad debate on the role of higher education in social
transformation; understood more generally as the radical and fundamental
changes in society?s core institutions, the polity and the economy, with
major implications for relationships between social groups or classes, and
for the means of the creation and distribution of wealth, power and
status. Proposals should more specifically interrogate issues revolving
around trends in knowledge production and consumption, its content,
quality, utility and demand for Africa?s transformation and its fit with
regards to sustainable development concerns in Africa.

Laureates
Candidates submitting proposals for consideration should be PhD students
or early career academics in the social sciences and humanities and those
working in the broad field of gender and women studies. Scholars outside
universities but actively engaged in the area of policy process and/or
social movements and civil society organizations are also encouraged to
apply. The number of places available for laureates of this Institute is
only fifteen (15). Africa-based academics and non-African scholars who are
able to support their participation are also encouraged to submit
proposals for consideration.

Applications
Applications for consideration as laureates for the institute should include:
1. One duly completed application form;
2. An application letter indicating institutional or organizational
affiliation;
4. A curriculum vitae;
5. A research proposal of not more than ten (10) pages, including a
descriptive analysis of the work the applicant intends to undertake, an
outline of the theoretical interest of the topic chosen by the applicant,
and the relationship of the topic to the problematic and concerns of the
theme of the Institute;
6. Two (2) reference letters from scholars or researchers known for their
competence and expertise  in  the  candidate?s  research  area
(geographic  and  disciplinary),  including  their names, addresses,
telephone numbers and e-mail addresses.

Deadline
The deadline for the submission of applications is 15th May 2017.
Laureates will be informed
of the outcome of the selection process by 30th  May 2017.  Selected
laureates will be
expected to prepare and submit completed draft research papers to be
presented during the Institute to CODESRIA no later than 15th  June 2017.
Laureates will be expected to work on the submitted draft (and not on the
abstract of the proposal) and prepare it during the Institute for
subsequent possible publication.

All applications should be sent by email to: gender.institute@codesria.sn

For further information, please contact: CODESRIA
Gender Institute
Tel. (221) 33 825 98 21/22/23
E-mail: gender.institute@codesria.sn

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Expiry Date: 
Sat, 2018-03-31 09:38