[IIAS Call for Proposals] Africa-Asia, A New Axis of Knowledge. ConFest 3

Deadline: 1 October 2024
ConFest dates: 11 - 14 June 2025
Location: Dakar, Senegal
Websites: English, Française, Português

Dakar is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a vibrant tapestry of history and creativity. It is the main cultural and intellectual hub of francophone West Africa, capitalizing on a long heritage of cross-cultural relations with the American, Caribbean, European, Middle Eastern and Asian world regions, and, of course, with the vast and diverse African continent itself. The city is located at the most western tip of the continent. The label ‘Teranga’ (hospitality in Wolof) best characterizes the capital of Senegal, where arts, music, dance, gastronomy, and the legendary Senegalese conviviality combine to capture any visitor’s imagination.  

Senegal is one of the countries in sub-Saharan Africa most open to international cultural and economic interactions, including with Asian partners. It is among the most peaceful societies on the continent, one of its most vibrant and stable democracies. This is particularly true in the aftermath of the recent presidential elections, which again saw a peaceful political transition as well as new hopes of transformation for a predominantly young population.

Geographically speaking, Senegal, with its capital Dakar, plays the role of a regional hub, located a relatively short flight away from other major airports in Africa, America, Europe, and the Middle East. It is now well connected to many Asian capitals as well. The climate is maritime with a warm sunshine weather throughout the year.

Thus, Dakar offers an ideal location for the third edition of Africa-Asia, A New Axis of Knowledge, and we look forward to meeting you there!

Call for Proposals

Building on the multiple encounters, interactions and dialogues initiated at the first Africa-Asia Conference (Accra, Ghana, 2015) and the second Africa-Asia Conference (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2018), this third edition of the ‘Africa-Asia, A New Axis of Knowledge’ event seeks to deepen the explorations of new realities and long histories connecting Africa and Asia.

The collaborative mission of Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD, Dakar, Senegal), Collective Africa-Southeast Asia Platform (CASAP, Bangkok, Thailand) and the International Institute for Asian Studies (IIAS, Leiden, The Netherlands) aims to stimulate inquiry into the rich resources offered by the city of Dakar and its surroundings. In this way, the city itself enables the materialisation of an experiential Conference-Festival (ConFest) that celebrates diversity within academia, but that also extends beyond academia into civil society and the arts.

The ConFest aims to solidify an infrastructure of engagement, bringing together participants from a broad array of disciplinary backgrounds and regional specialisations including scholars, artists, intellectuals and educators based in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere around the world. Over the course of four days in Dakar, participants will be encouraged to think both comparatively and holistically about the challenges and possibilities of cross-continental and trans-regional encounters.

Your proposal

When submitting a proposal, you will be asked to select the theme that best suits your interest. The goal is to facilitate transdisciplinary conversations among participants. Each ‘thematic cluster’ corresponds to academic trends within the global context. We constructed these clusters in broad terms to make them as inclusive as possible without losing their discursive coherence.

Thematic clusters are meant to be general starting points for your intervention. Your submission may touch on only some, or even one, aspect of the theme, since your paper will enrich other contributions and be enriched by them. You may also find your topic relevant to more than one cluster or format, but we still ask you to select a single thematic cluster for your presentation.

As part of our goal to develop an Africa-Asia ‘axis of knowledge’, we encourage proposals that directly depict Africa-Asia interactions. Participants working in either Asian or African contexts who seek to draw comparisons and connections between the two continents are also welcome to submit proposals. Proposals that demonstrate a commitment to diversity are strongly encouraged.

The notes on local context included in the description of the clusters situate each theme in the local and regional environment of the Conference-Festival: Dakar, Senegal, West Africa and beyond, crossing the Atlantic. Your proposal need not specifically connect to these local realities, since a variety of conference activities will help to stimulate transregional conversations and also to ground global concerns in the local environments of Dakar/Senegal/West Africa/the Atlantic.

Topics can be explored through various formats, including papers, panels, roundtables, posters, as well as audio-visual and other media. We welcome new formats and suggestions for activities, workshops and exhibitions that will enrich the exchange of knowledge and experiences.


  1. Human-Nature-Technology: Interactions and Responses
  2. Geo-political-economic Hegemonies: Cartographies and Historiographies
  3. Economic Globalisation: Prosperity or Pain?
  4. The Role of Local Communities: Society against States and Corporations?
  5. Knowledge-making: Institutions, Objects, Cultural Ownership
  6. Arts, (Digital) Media and Culture: Creativities, Contestations and Collaborations
  7. Multiple Ontologies: Religions, Religiosities, Philosophies and Languages
  8. Negotiating Margins: Power, Agencies, Representations, Resistances
  9. Foodscapes: Cultivation, Livelihood, Gastronomy, Agrico-Cultural Exchanges, Appropriations
  10. Well-being, Sport (football!), Medicine, Well-dying
  11. ‘Pan-Africanism’, ‘Bandung Spirit’, ‘Global South’ Futures and the New World Order
  12. ‘AfricAsia’ in an Entangled World: Migrations, Diasporas, Creolities

Visit our website for a description of each cluster.


Proposals should be in English, French or Portuguese, and be submitted online by 1 October 2024.

The submission portal will become available soon. If you leave your name and email address on our website, we will notify you as soon as submissions are possible.

Registration fees

Further information about registration fees, the venue and logistics will be provided on the Africa-Asia ConFest 3 website once the proposals have been reviewed.

Financial Support

Participants are expected to fund their own registration fee, travel and accommodation.

Limited financial support is available. Please note that the Africa-Asia ConFest operates on a limited budget and will not normally be able to provide more than a partial coverage of the costs of travel. The grant application process will only start after the review process, and eligibility requirements will be made available in due course.

Africa-Asia Book, Craft and Food Fair

Publishers and institutes are invited to exhibit at the Book, Craft and Food Fair at Africa-Asia Confest 3 to present their work to the large number of attendees. Should you be interested in exhibiting at Africa-Asia Confest 3, please email us: AfricaAsia@iias.nl

We also welcome proposals for art exhibitions and workshops. More information will become available when the submission portal will open.


For queries about Africa-Asia Confest 3, please visit our website or contact us at AfricaAsia@iias.nl.