The next young scholars' meeting takes place on Wednesday, 27 June 2018, during the VAD conference „African Connections“ in Leipzig.

African Connections – Connecting African Studies?

Young Scholars` Conference on Networking and Networks

The VAD Young Scholars’ Conference looks at connections in a very practical sense. It aims to discuss what “connections” mean for young scholars researching in and about African contexts, and how processes of connecting and dis-connecting take place in the academic world more generally. Although African Studies networks exist on various scales, scholars are engaging with them differently. This is often due to hierarchical access opportunities ranging from individual status criteria (e.g. academic position, gender) to north-south relations. The young scholars’ meeting aims to address these challenges and create new opportunities for networking in academia and beyond. It is a place for people to discuss and exchange thoughts on research approaches and practices, and invites young scholars to connect. The conference will specifically address the following questions:

  • What is the place and role of African Studies and African Studies networks in Germany, Europe and beyond?
  • What enables (young) scholars to better connect with peers of their discipline, or to establish networks across disciplinary and geographical boundaries?
  • What is the role of digital research tools in strengthening connections and how can they be used effectively for one´s own research purpose?
  • What are specific networking constraints that scholars from the Global South and especially from African countries are facing and how can they be resolved?
  • What connections could and should be established between academic and non-academic worlds, such as those of researchers and political activists?

Our aim is to address these questions in an open-minded way and through different formats: workshops, roundtables, film sessions, and ordinary networking activities. The conference is open to all scholars working on connections in and beyond Africa. We specifically welcome young scholars currently working on their Master or PhD thesis.


Diana Ayeh (

Kai Roder (