Call for apllications: Cadbury Fellowships 2014 – Class in Africa, a reassessment

University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom
10 May 2014 - 17 May 2014

The Cadbury fellowships programme, run by the Department of African Studies and Anthropology at the University of Birmingham, invites applications from early-career researchers who are based in African institutions and wish to spend a period of ten weeks discussing and developing the results of their primary research.  Fellowships will cover return air-fare, accommodation and living costs for this period.

Deadline: 22 November 2013

The programme will culminate in an international conference to be held at the University of Birmingham from 15 to 17 May 2014.  The visiting fellows will present their papers alongside a range of established and younger participants who share their interest in this year’s theme.

This year’s theme is Class in Africa: a reassessment. Developing the dialogues arising from the Africa Talks series at the University of Birmingham in Autumn 2013, seeking to revisit old debates about class in Africa, and connect them to new research and emerging trends.

Invited are applications from scholars working across the arts, humanities and social sciences, whose work touches on one or more of the following areas:

– Conceptual / historical – Is class still relevant in the analysis of historical and contemporary transformations in Africa?  If so, how should the study of class proceed?

– Cultural / comparative – How can idioms of class in particular linguistic and cultural contexts offer the basis for comparison between different African settings, and those beyond Africa?  Does literary and cultural production shed new light on African understandings of class?

– African workers and the global economy – Are Africans experiencing new forms of proletarianisation as a result of new trans-national flows of capital?  How do these ‘new workers’ understand their social and economic position, and are new forms of solidarity emerging?

– Rural / urban Africa – Is landlessness on the increase, and if so, how is this altering the livelihoods and coping strategies identified in seminal studies of African labour migrants?  What is the place of a labour / working class focus in settings where widespread joblessness and increased informalisation make wage-earners look like aristocracies of labour?

– The state against the middle class – Have Africa’s middle classes been overly-dependent on the state since the colonial period, and in what sense has the state turned upon the middle classes since the 1980s?

– Who is middle class now? – Have the expansion of formal education, new remittance flows and dramatic increases in the value of urban land contributed to new forms of social and economic mobility?  In what respects do men and women aspire to middle class status, and do they adopt different strategies in their efforts to achieve this?  How are we to relate these approaches to the middle class with recent policy-focussed research definitions which emphasise levels of income?

Applicants’ research should be relevant to the theme of Class and Africa, and they should be ready to discuss their findings and interpretations in a series of reading groups, seminar presentations, journal workshops and other activities over a ten-week period, before presenting their paper at the international conference.  It is expected that fellows will seek to publish their paper as a journal article.

More information about the program me and how to apply :




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