Center of History and Cultural Anthropology
Institute for African Studies of The Russian Academy of Sciences
ru | eng

African students in the USSR and other former Eastern Bloc countries – 1960–1990: From national histories to an international context

logoThe research program ELITAF African elites trained in the USSR and in other former Eastern Bloc countries. Histories, biographies and experiences aims at understanding biographical trajectories and individual experiences, as well as larger cultural and political phenomena, in terms of contemporary nation-building processes and diplomatic and academic relations. The partnership between the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH) and the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (RGNF) has enabled ELITAF to develop research collaboration over the last three years with the Institute for African Studies (IAS) of the Academy of Sciences of Russia on African students in the USSR - 1960-1990: Mobility, experiences and professional prospects. Within this framework, the decision was made to organize an International Symposium in Paris at the Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme on November 20 and 21, 2014.

The main purpose of this two-day symposium will be to put together primarily historiographical research findings on the academic and scientific relationships between newly independent sub-Saharan and Maghreb countries, and the Soviet Union and nations within its sphere of influence. There are still very few interconnected histories of political and academic relations between the USSR and African countries. A more in-depth knowledge of the geopolitical context and its changes is required in order to grasp sometimes highly significant variations in student migratory flows from the same country and the differences between Africa’s sub-Saharan and Maghreb countries, as well as contrasts between the life stories of former students educated in the USSR but coming from different countries.

All paper proposals (approximately 500 words in French, Russian, or English) must be submitted to no later than April 30, 2014.
Participants will be notified whether or not their proposals have been approved no later than on May 31, 2014.
The working language of the meeting is French. All approved papers must be submitted by October 30, 2014.
Authors of approved papers are urged to find their own source of funds to cover their hotel and travel expenses.