Upcoming Conference

ASWAD’s 9th Biennial Conference will be held in Seville, Spain from 7-11 November 2017

Please check back for details about the conference theme and the call for papers in the fall 2016

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Anuncio/Avis/Call for Conversation
ASWAD’s 9th Biennial Conference:
Sevilla, Spain 7-11 November 2017


Contemporary Europe confronts a crisis of un-precedented proportions.  At its core, reside fundamental issues of the modern state and the post-war legacy of the welfare state bringing into question the notions of “nation” and “national identity” but also the meaning of “what is Europe?” and “who is European?”  Even as the post-war consensus lingers it must be seen as faltering but in specific ways that imbue the contemporary crisis with a racial character.  The current migrant crisis obviously heightens the specter of race and difference but a longer historical perspective argues for a more ample optic that brings to the fore how Europe’s crisis and for that matter how Europe has from its inception been racialized.  Indeed, the idea of Europe—the product of a history of both endogenous and external colonial encounters and resulting political economies that define Europe’s relation with its former colonies and its subjects/citizens—has always been and continues to be framed by race and patriarchy and the anxiety that racial-patriarchal thinking produces.



For the first time since its inception in 2000, the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) will convene on the European Continent.  In view of this reality, the organizers are committed to staging more than a successful academic conference; we are interested in collaborating with activist and intellectual communities around a critique and engagement involving diaspora, race, gender, and citizenship alongside historical and contemporary patterns of racial formation.  As a relatively new organization but one that has already had an impact on the intellectual landscape in the United States, ASWAD’s intent is to forge meaningful dialogues with various international scholarly communities and civil society groups whose work engages the politics of difference shaping diasporic formations and population dispersal.


ASWAD in Sevilla

Sevilla, as the conference venue, is an UNESCO world heritage site and former medieval capital of Euro-African kingdoms, both Muslim and Christians, and later the head of the Spanish early modern world empire, a neural center in the history of the African diaspora connected to Europe and America and where it remains a living heritage.  Historical perspectives on the diasporic phenomena should never be forgotten, in spite of the urgency for action in relation to present issues.

Pablo de Olavide University, ASWAD’s 2017 conference host, is the youngest Spanish public university with a strong commitment to international cooperation and social justice.  As conference host and coordinator Pablo de Olavide University will bring together other universities and research institutions, archives, cultural centers and foundations in arranging ASWAD’s ninth biennial conference and its first in Europe.


Conference languages are Spanish & English.

For inquiries in Spanish contact: Dr. Igor Pérez Tostado (ipertos@upo.es)

For inquiries in German/ Dutch contact: Dr. Peggy Piesche (peggy.piesche@gmx.de)

For inquiries in English contact: Dr. Evelyne Laurent-Perrault (afrolat@gmail.com)

For inquiries in French/Portuguese contact: Dr. Herman Bennett (hbennett@gc.cuny.edu)


Spanish Portuguese German

ASWAD Post-Election

Over the past two weeks, in the aftermath of a hotly contested presidential election, a wave of racist and xenophobic attacks has swept across the United States. In elementary and middle schools, young Latino/a children are taunted with chants of “Build the Wall” and “Go Back to Mexico.” At universities, similar jeers taunt our Black and Brown students, as students and others who are aligned with the White supremacist rhetoric of the U.S. president-elect feel they have gotten a “green light” to parade through campus claiming the space as their own (while occluding all space for non-White others). Muslim students are subjected to physical intimidation and assaults, particularly the women whose hijabs make them a target for religious persecution. Many college students are afraid to even leave their homes and attend class. And now, in the city streets and rural roads, undocumented immigrants are constantly threatened by the specter of arrest and deportation. These demonstrations of racism, bias, and bigotry are, unfortunately, just one small part of a growing populist movement representing a frightening legacy of historical periods of fascism across the globe. In Europe, Latin America, and throughout the African diaspora, people of color and members of the LGBTQIA community are facing increasing levels of harassment and violence.

During these troubled times, the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) denounces all forms of harassment, aggression, and violence based on race, gender, religion and sexual orientation. Although we always stand in opposition to such bigoted acts, we feel it is important to assert our position even more clearly in light of recent events. We are concerned about the President-elect’s courting of White nationalists and supremacists. We are alarmed about the advancement of rhetoric that forecasts the transformation of Islamophobic, anti-Semitic, sexist, and racist campaign discourse into tangible policy. We consider the current climate antithetical to all that we rigorously and passionately work to achieve as scholars in the realm of social justice and respect for humanity. As a result, we call upon President-Elect Donald Trump join the growing demands for an end to racist, misogynist, homophobic, and discriminatory attacks. We also urge universities and cities around world to become sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants.

As scholars of Africa and the African diaspora, we are committed not only to producing and disseminating scholarship on the global Black experience, but also to defending the most vulnerable in the places where we live and study—the members of our worldwide community who are people of color, LGBTQIA people, Muslims (and other religious groups facing discrimination), immigrants (documented and undocumented), the differently abled, and women. We stand in solidarity with all those who are struggling to fight against discrimination, intolerance, and oppression, and we pledge to foster an inclusive, welcoming intellectual and political environment at our upcoming 2017 conference in Seville, Spain.

Leslie M. Alexander, President
Elisa Joy White, Vice President
Laura Rosanne Adderley, Secretary
Walter C. Rucker, Treasurer

On behalf of the Executive Board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)

Call for Papers – Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe Sixth Biennial Network Conference, University of Tampere, Finland, 6 – 8 July 2017


The scientific committee of the 6th Afroeuropeans: Black Cultures and Identities in Europe network conference has now accepted over 30 sessions that explore the multidisciplinary nature of the scholarship and create dialogue between academics, activists and artists from around the world. Titles and descriptions of the accepted sessions and instructions for submissions can be found on the conference website http://www.uta.fi/yky/en/6thafroeuropeans/callforpapers.html. Proposals that do not directly deal with the topics of the accepted sessions can be submitted under the category “Other” on the electronic form.

African European Studies and Black European Studies explore social spaces and cultural practices that are characterized by a series of contemporary and historical overlaps between Africa, the African diasporas, and Europe. The sixth biennial network conference, organized by the University of Tampere and the international Afroeuropeans – Black Cultures and Identities in Europe research network, aims to contribute to the existing scholarship in Europe with a view to establish it more firmly in its several disciplinary locations. The general theme of the Afroeuropeans 2017 conference is African diaspora and European cultural heritage. The confirmed keynote speakers are:

  • Professor Paul Gilroy, American and English Literature, King’s College London
  • Professor Elisa Joy White, African American and African Studies, University of California at Davis and Vice President, Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)
  • Dr. Henry Mainsah, The Oslo School of Architecture and Design
  • LL.M Domenica Ghidei Biidu, Member of European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)
  • Jani Toivola, Member of the Finnish Parliament

For more information on the conference programme and the cultural programme organized together with our collaborators, please visit the conference website https://www.uta.fi/yky/en/6thafroeuropeans/index_en.html.

For inquiries please contact: afroeuropeans2017@uta.fi

On behalf of the local organizing committee and the international Afroeuropeans – Black Cultures and Identities in Europe research network,

Anna Rastas
Dr. Soc.Sc., Docent of Social Anthropology, Academy of Finland Research Fellow
Chair of the local organizing committee, University of Tampere

ASWAD BLM Solidarity

The Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD) stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and all organizations throughout the African Diaspora that are committed to asserting the humanity of African-descended peoples across the globe. Recent protests against the murders of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, and countless others have caused a disturbing backlash against the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its mission to end police brutality and state violence against Black people. On numerous occasions the media and opponents of this movement have unfairly demonized and stigmatized BLM, and ASWAD objects to this disparaging mischaracterization. During these troubled times, ASWAD declares its unity with the Black Lives Matter movement and with the global struggle to proclaim Black humanity.

As multidisciplinary scholars of the global African experience, we are painfully aware that current events represent just one moment in a long history of anti-Black racism that has spanned centuries. The contemporary dehumanization of African peoples has its roots in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade that began in the fifteenth century. During that era, a racist ideology developed to justify the enslavement of millions of Africans, which later transformed itself to validate colonization, segregation, and systems of class and caste throughout the world. This belief in Black/African inferiority—indeed, the belief that people of African descent are not equal humans—still lies at the heart of the problem of global racism and white supremacy. Today, we witness the proliferation of state violence, socio-economic exploitation, and mass incarceration against African peoples, not just in the United States, but also in Brazil, France, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Maghreb region, and in every corner of the African Diaspora. Across the globe, African peoples are being stripped of their citizenship and their humanity because some people’s lives are still deemed more valuable than others.

ASWAD is committed to the global fight for Black humanity and we are pleased to see that peaceful protests are taking place in London, Berlin, and Paris, in cities across Latin America and the United States, and around the world, which give voice to the belief that BLACK Lives Matter everywhere in the Worldwide African Diaspora.

Leslie M. Alexander, President
On behalf of the Executive Board of the Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora (ASWAD)

ASWAD Election Results – Incoming Executive Board

Click here to view the page.

ASWAD Statement on the Charleston Shootings

ASWAD extends its condolences to the families of those massacred at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church on June 17, 2015 in a criminal act of domestic terrorism.  We share in the pain of all who are suffering, but also in the outrage that anti-black violence continues to erupt in societies that continue to cling to the ideologies of racial supremacy, inequality, and ignorance that constituted the very foundations on which they were built.  (more…)

ASWAD Statement on Ferguson (Michael Brown) Grand Jury Decision

The Association for the Study of the Worldwide African Diaspora stands with the thousands of people outraged over the refusal of the Ferguson grand jury to send the case of the murder of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson to trial. We stand also with the families and communities of other black youth around the world facing similar targeting and violence at the hands of police, such as the React or Be Killed movement (FB group “Reaja ou Sera Morto”) in Bahia, Brazil seeking justice for Davi Alves and other black men murdered or disappeared in police custody. (more…)

ASWAD Co-Sponsors Journal of Africana Religions; Members to Receive Free Subscription

Evanston, Illinois, — “This journal,” declared Dr. Cornel West, “signifies a rich coming-of-age in the study of African and African Diasporic studies.”

West was reacting to news that the Journal of Africana Religions, the world’s first and only English-language journal to examine black religions in global perspective, will be published quarterly in both print and electronic form by Pennsylvania State University Press starting in January, 2013. (more…)