ABORNE Newsletter September 2011
Dear members of ABORNE and subscribers to our newsletter,
The Fifth ABORNE Annual Conference is only days away and many of you will be there. Whether or not you are among those who come to Lisbon, it is time to think ahead to some future activities.
This newsletter contains a number of conference calls that will be of interest to you, details on recent updates on the ABORNE website, and - very importantly: well groomed facial hair.
The Sixth ABORNE Annual Conference will take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, 6th to 9th of June 2012.
The conference theme will be ‘African Borderlands - Regional Integration from Above and Below'.
The ABORNE meeting will be organised as a stream of panels nested within the 50th anniversary conference of Edinburgh University's Centre of African Studies.
Colleagues are invited to submit panel or individual paper proposals by the (extended) deadline: 30th September 2011. The full call for papers is here.
In conjunction with this conference, ABORNE will offer two Exchange Visit Grants for borderland scholars to work for 2 months at the hosting institution. A call for applications will be opened before the end of September 2011 and advertised on the ABORNE science meeting page.
The Irmgard Coninx Stiftung in Berlin has a call for papers for a conference titled ‘Borders and Borderlands: Contested Spaces’ on March 28 – 31, 2012. Further details are here.
In case Africa is not the only continent your research is concerned with, our colleagues from the Asian Borderlands Research Network (ABRN) have just sent a call for papers for their 3rd conference titled
’Connections, Corridors, and Communities’, to be held at the Centre for Southwest Borderland Ethnic Minority Studies, Yunnan University in Kunming, China on 12th – 15th of October 2012. Further details are here.
Closer to home for some of you, the University of Durham will host a conference titled ‘Breaking Boundaries in Postgraduate Frontiers and Borders Research’ on 25th-26th November 2011. No time to loose if you are interested in that - the deadline for proposals is 19th September. Please write to for further details. Also, notice that the same institution will host a conference on 'Frontiers' from 21st-22nd March 2012. More details will be available in due course on this website.
New on the ABORNE website
A number of improvements to the ABORNE website have been made off late. Before we come to these, some bad news:
It’s time to pay your 2011 membership fees – NOW PLEASE.
If you are based at one of ABORNE's institutional member institutions or if you are based in Africa and have been granted a waiver, you can ignore this reminder. Everyone else: Here are the payment instructions.
The network cannot function in the long run without members paying up, so please consider that and don’t just take a free ride.
Now the good news:
We have added a ‘forgot password’ button below the login field on the ABORNE website. You need to login to the ABORNE website to have full access to an increasing number of functions that are only available to ABORNE members.
One of these is our brand new notice board, located in the right–hand column on all of the ABORNE pages. Members can post announcements regarding upcoming conferences, publications, or anything that is of DIRECT interest to the ABORNE community. The important word here is ‘direct’. An administrator will check all postings before they go online. A video showing how to post a notice is available in the section ‘Help’ of the Member Area.
There are many, MANY new entries in our fast-growing online bibliography, as well as an entirely new sub-category:
‘Non-Africanist Borderlands Classics’.
This is largely due to the tireless work of one student internee/up-and-coming borderlands scholar over the summer.
Across the different sub-categories, there are more and more references with full-text access (in many cases limited to logged-in members). We have also added a field for keywords, which will become linked to the website search function shortly.
All this will stagnate, wither, and eventually die without your active contribution. Please upload references, keywords, and full-text files you think should be there – such as your own publications, for example. It's very simple: login, click Edit bibliography and you're on.
Another perennial and urgent request to all network members to take action: Please keep your user profiles up-to-date, including details regarding your areas of expertise. These are searchable online and the network can only function in a very limited way if this information is not available. The same goes for the map of areas where ABORNE members work. A video showing how to update your profile is available in the section ‘Help’ of the Member Area.
A major effort is currently well under way to upload all papers delivered so far at ABORNE conferences and workshops to the relevant sub-pages in the section ABORNE Science Meetings. While conference calls, programs, and final reports will be in the public domain, the papers will only be available to logged-in members and contain a reminder to everyone that unpublished material may not be cited or circulate further without explicit permission from the author.
And finally, something you may find both interesting and entertaining: The German-French TV channel ARTE has recently produced a film on the 1885 Berlin conference. It is full of quite carefully researched details on the negotiations which, as you all know, represented a quintessential step in the creation of Africa’s boundaries as we know them today. The film also displays a rich and inspiring variety of well groomed facial hair styles! Have a look.
You need to be able to speak German, French and English to get the most out of it, but the DVD version apparently has subtitles in all these languages.
With warm regards from Edinburgh,
Wolfgang Zeller, Coordinator
and Paul Nugent, Chairman