Sunday, December 4, 2016

The 6th Annual International Igbo Conference
Theme: Legacies of Biafra: Reflections on the Nigeria-Biafra War 50 years on
SOAS, University of London, April 21-22, 2017

Call for Papers

The Annual Igbo Conference has carved out a unique space, serving as a bridge between the community and academia. It is held at SOAS, University of London in association with the Centre of African Studies.

The ‘Legacies of Biafra’ conference seeks to explore the on-going impact of the war locally and globally, considering how the first civil war in independent Africa has influenced the perception of the continent internationally as well as its impact on the political and social structures within Nigeria. As 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the outbreak of war, this conference will provide a timely reflection on the war as a watershed moment in contemporary African history.

The Nigeria-Biafra war sparked strong reactions from around the world. British participation in the war was informed by the desire to maintain the colonial entity that they had created, as Biafra’s declaration of independence presented a challenge to the legitimacy of African countries created during the colonial era. Global media coverage presented the first images of children starving in Africa, which became the dominant visual representation of the continent in the international press, and one of the lasting impacts of the war.

The conference will explore the consequences of the war, which include changes to Nigeria’s social and political structures, approaches to intervention in conflict zones and developments in humanitarian assistance. It will also explore trauma, internal displacement and the psychology of conflict resolution.

We are particularly interested in papers that engage with the following themes:
  • Christopher Okigbo and his Generation: Biafra’s Loss of Life and Talent
  • Women and Biafra: Women’s Contributions during the War and the Post-War Recovery Period
  • The War and its Key Actors
  • Trauma, Memory and Re-Membering
  • Biafra and the World
  • In the Wake of Biafra: Developments in Humanitarian Assistance
  • Biafra’s Child Refugees in West and Central Africa
  • Physical and Spiritual Displacement and the War
  • Post-War Religiosity and Narratives of Survival
  • The Ahiara Declaration and its Pan-African Vision
  • Britain and Biafra
  • Post-War Cultural Nationalism and the Shifting Margins of Identity

Organiser: Igbo Conference in association with Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London

The conference will be held in the Brunei Gallery Building, SOAS, University of London, April 21- 22, 2017.

Please send abstracts in an attached word file, and please do not use all capital letters when writing. Participants who require a British visa are encouraged to submit their abstracts as soon as possible. Please email abstracts of up to 300 words including the paper title, your name, current position, institutional affiliation (where applicable), email address and phone number to and no later than 31st December 2016.
Presenters will be invited to submit expanded versions of their papers to be considered for publication in an edited book.

Participants are responsible for sourcing their own funding for travel, accommodation and conference fees. For information on the Igbo Conference, please visit and

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