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Symposium at Smith to Consider "African Development in the 21st Century"

"The dynamism that Africa has experienced since independence from colonial rule will surely continue in the years to come." This is the underlying premise of a three-day symposium, to be held at Smith September 24-26, titled "African Development in the 21st Century." Invited scholars from Africa, Canada and the United States will examine the challenges confronting Africa and embrace Africa's enormous diversity-political, social and geographical-to provide a forum for dialogue and analysis.

The symposium will be held in honor of the late Gwendolen Carter, a leading scholar of African studies, who taught political science at Smith from 1943 to 1964 and was the Sophia Smith chair from 1961 to 1964. While at Smith, Carter's focus was on the major countries of the British Commonwealth. Later she specialized in African affairs, particularly the political struggle in South Africa. A noted author and pioneer in the field of comparative study of African politics, she is probably best known for her work on apartheid. Carter wrote several authoritative books including, "The Politics of Inequality: South Africa Since 1948" (1958); "Independence for Africa" (1960); and "Government and Politics in the Twentieth Century" with John H. Herz (1961).

The symposium, which takes place in Seelye Hall 201, will begin with an overview at 2 p.m. Friday, September 24, followed by the first panel discussion, which is on the topic of economics and trade. Throughout the weekend four more panels will address land and environment issues; women and development; democracy and participation; and culture, history and development. Collected papers from the symposium will be published in a special volume of the African Studies Series of Rochester University Press.

The symposium and related activities are supported by the Gwendolen Carter African Studies Fund at Smith College. Additional assistance is provided by Five Colleges, Inc. The conference is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible.

Schedule of Panel Discussions/Paper Presentations

(All events take place in Seelye Hall 201)

Friday, Sept. 24
Conference Overview and Welcome: 2 p.m.

"Economics and Trade," moderated by Scott Taylor, Smith College. Presenters are Michael Chege, University of Florida, "Coming Full Circle: Trade and Development Policy in Africa in the 21st Century;" Celestin Monga, World Bank, "Outline for a Theory of African Economic Behavior;" Leonce Ndikumana, University of Massachusetts, "Financial Development and Economic Growth in Africa: Lessons and Research;" and Karen Pfeifer, Smith College, "Parameters of Economic Reform in North Africa." 3-5 p.m.

Saturday, September 25
"Land and Environment Issues," moderated by Elliot Fratkin, Smith College. Presenters are William Derman, Michigan State University, "Democratizing Environmental Use: Land and Water in Southern Africa at the End of the Century;" John Galaty, McGill University, "Environmental Narratives and Land Policy in Africa;" Girma Kebbede, "The Politics of Conservation and Ecological Rehabilitation: Lessons from Ethiopia;" Peter Little, University of Kentucky, "Living in Risky Environments: Pastoralism in East Africa." 9-11 a.m.

"Women and Development," moderated by Miriam Goheen, Amherst College. Presenters are Mbarou Gassama of Dakar, "Rural Women in the Sahel: Statement and Perspectives;" Dorothy Hodgson, Rutgers University, "Organizing for Change: Forms of Collective Action Among African Women;" Gwendolyn Mikell, Georgetown University, "Gender and Culture, Politics and Peace: Perspectives on Nigeria;" Jane Parpart, Dalhousie University, "The Participatory Empowerment Approach to Gender and Development: Panacea or Illusion?" 12:30-2:30 p.m.

"Democracy and Participation," moderated by Frank Holmquist, Hampshire College. Presenters are Steven Friedman, Center for Policy Studies, South Africa, "Beyond Consolidation: The State and Democracy in Contemporary Africa;" Richard Joseph, Emory University, "Nigeria and Democratic Renewal in Africa;" Steven Ndegwa, College of William and Mary, "Citizenship, Constitutionalism and Democracy;" Femi Vaughan, State University of New York, paper title to be announced. 3-5 p.m.

Sunday, September 26
"Culture, History and Development," moderated by Elizabeth Hopkins, Smith College. Presenters are Toyin Falola, University of Texas, "Cultural Identity and Development;" Angelique Haugeraud, University of Denver, "Globalization and Culture Wars;" Richard Waller, Bucknell University, "In Search of the Better Pastoralist: Development Ideas and Local Realities;" and Katwiwe Mule. 9:30-11 a.m.

September 9, 1999


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