Our Committees

Discussions at the Conference will proceed within three topical committees: Politics & Governance, Socioeconomic Transformation and Culture & Identity.

Committees at PAYC 2022

Discussions at the Conference will proceed within three topical committees: Politics & Governance, Socioeconomic Transformation and Culture & Identity.

Participants will be allocated to committees according to their order of preference as indicated through registration. The committees will proceed in a seminal reading format i.e. committee chairs will provide participants with readings.

Participants will be expected to do these readings in advance of the conference as these will form the basis of discussion within the committees. There will be a total of four sessions per committee over the duration of the conference.

Politics & Governance

Topic summary:

We must begin to reimagine our position within the gradual emergence of a global order that is not particularly different from what we have known but rather a new ordering/configuration of global coloniality. In the face of existing and emerging geopolitical contexts such as the consolidation of right-wing nationalism, neoliberal globalism, perennial austerity, wars-without-end and other “events”, there is an urgency/ need to rethink alternative modes of driving political development that simultaneously centers the domestic, transnational, inter-country and global.

Once previously received truths/existing narratives that serve certain ideological narratives have been interrogated and de-linked, we must ask ourselves; How does one reimagine Politics and Governance at this juncture?

The Politics and Governance Committee will study the political ways of life and modes of thinking, possible alternatives and imaginaries borrowing from various categories of thought as well as interrogating political ideas and concepts such as statehood, sovereignty, power, order and security which continue to (mis)inform current political aspirations.

Socioeconomic Transformation

Topic summary:

The topic of development is a typical feature in discussions of Africa’s future. However, no definitive consensus has been reached on what pathways to development should include, as yet. Thus, if we, as Africans, want to secure our socioeconomic future, we must first identify the scope of development we are working towards, and qualify the rationale behind our priorities. This committee will unpack the concept of development from a lens of political economy, incorporating critical reflection on the assumptions held in classic economics as well as the sociological frameworks that inform our views on the present realities of our continent and the future of the Africa we want.


Culture & Identity

Topic summary:

Attempting to improve our condition in the world ought to start with an understanding of ourselves. Yet, African identity remains highly contested. But who are we, as Africans? What is essential to being ‘African’ that makes us African? How has being ‘African’ evolved through the years? How did ancient Africans understand themselves?

How did these understandings evolve with the advent of colonialism and now post-colonialism? How has this understanding evolved since?

This committee will explore the question of being ‘African’ from both historical and contemporary phenomenological perspectives, recognizing that understanding of who we are, our place in the world and how we relate to it as well as what being ‘African’ means to each of us and to all of us is critical to our efforts of self-emancipation.



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African Students' Association, University of Notre Dame, 46556, IN