SPP 2143 at the World Archaeological Congress in Prague

Entangled Africa – Identity and Inner-African Interaction. Session organisers: Steven Matthews [1], Abigail Moffett [2] and Thomas John Biginagwa [3]


This session addresses inner-African interaction and its contribution to the development of African societies and the formation of regional identities in the past. The study of cross-cultural interaction across Africa has traditionally emphasised extra-continental connections with the Mediterranean, northern Europe and Asia. As a consequence, some regions of Africa have received considerably more attention than others, whilst the inter-regional dimension of interaction and the connected histories of different areas within the continent remain underexplored.

The study of inter-regional interaction across the continent elucidates the rich cultural and technological diversity exhibited by African societies today, much of which has its roots in prehistoric and historic developments. We invite speakers to join us in exploring these inner-African interactions and the entangled identities of a connected Africa. In particular, we seek papers that explore interaction through the transfer of material culture, ideas, and people across the continent and the effect these processes may have had on local and regional identities through the entanglement of individual, group and collective affiliation and expression.

This session is co-hosted by researchers working in Africa in collaboration with the project ‘Entangled Africa: IntraAfrican relations between rain forest and Mediterranean, ca. 6000 – 500 BP’, which is currently funding a range of multidisciplinary studies whose objective is to render visible the entangled histories resulting from inter-regional interaction and transmission in the past (https://www.dainst.blog/entangled-africa/en/home/).

This session aims to bring together speakers from these projects alongside other researchers working on this important theme. We particularly welcome papers from speakers focused on those areas or periods of Africa not currently addressed by the Entangled Africa projects.

If you would like to participate, please contact the session organisers at africawac2020@gmail.com or go to the congress online submission page: https://www.wac-9.org/call-for-papers/

Financial and administrative support is available for researchers from African institutes who would like to attend the congress but may require assistance. Please contact the congress academic secretariat for further information: wac9@guarant.cz

[1] Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Berlin (DE)

[2] Department of Archaeology, University of Cape Town (ZA)

[3] Department of Archaeology and Heritage, University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (TZ)

Scroll to top