A Joint Hybrid Conference of Feminist Africa and the International Feminist Journal of Politics
Maputo, Mozambique, and online, July 25 to 28, 2024
Concept Note and Call for Papers
Extended Deadline for Submissions: 17th December 2023
The world is in the midst of a technological revolution characterised by the rapid development of digital technologies and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Like any revolution, this one is full of contradictions, promising new freedoms and opportunities on the one hand, while spawning frightening disruptions and disorienting innovations on the other. The powerful interests fuelling these disruptions are embedded in patriarchal, capitalist and imperial logics. Though digital divides are a major impediment for women and marginalised persons in resource-constrained contexts, this is not only a matter of access. Issues of online violence and harassment, digital surveillance, and new forms of labour informality thrive in these oppressive logics marked by intersecting inequalities of class, race, gender, generation, as well as rural/urban divides. Proponents of AI, notably machine learning, promise that it will enhance human capacities for creating better worlds while ignoring the fact that existing inequalities are often baked into these new technologies.
As technological developments outpace projects of social justice, we consider it urgent to interrogate the phenomenon of digitalisation and AI from the vantage point of the African continent, its diasporas, and beyond. We are proposing a conference jointly organised by Feminist Africa and the International Feminist Journal of Politics. We seek to understand the imperial, neocolonial, and patriarchal dynamics of digitalisation and AI as they play out in the spaces structured by the operations of transnational digital corporations. Convening in Mozambique, we highlight Africa and its diasporas as zones of creativity and resistance in the face of diverse colonial histories and structures of domination, amid shifting geopolitical configurations of power.
From a pan-African feminist and decolonial perspective of Africa-centred development, we are interested in exploring the threats and opportunities that digitalisation and AI present for African women and persons Othered by class, rural/urban divides, sexuality, race and other dimensions of inequality, in Africa, its diasporas, and globally. While we privilege contributions from the African continent and its diasporas, we welcome feminist contributions addressing the dynamics of digitalisation and AI elsewhere in the world. We recognise that across the globe, multiple structures of inequality shape polities, economies, and societies in contextually-specific ways; our focus on the dynamics of digital technologies and AI in diverse contexts engages this complexity by decentring the nation-state and facilitating transnational, transregional, and transdisciplinary conversations.
The locus of our attention, all the while, is on the implications for building feminist futures that transcend capitalism, patriarchy, and imperialism, that is, feminist futures which sustain freedom from violence and injustice, while promoting human flourishing. We invite proposals for papers on three broad themes, outlined in greater detail in the call for proposals: a) governance and democracy; b) work; and c) knowledge production.
Read the full Concept Note and Call for Paper here