SORAC 2002: Conference Program & Details

SORAC 2002 International Conference
“Internalist vs. Externalist Interpretations of Africa History and Culture”
Conference Program

List of papers accepted for presentation at SORAC 2002. The list will be updated as more presentations are included. This program is subject to change, so be ready to adjust to such changes should they occur.

Session Chairs: If you would like to chair a session, let us know which one.

Keynote speakers:

  • Professor Ali Mazrui, Binghamton Universit, “Africa Between Westernization and Islamization: Penetration and Response”
  • Professor George Ayittey, American University, “Biting Their Own Tails: African Leaders and the Internalist Intricacies of the Rape of a Continent.”

Friday, November 8, Ballroom AA/AB, Student Center, 6:00pm


Registration Desks

Registered participants can get their conference folder and materials at the registration tables to be set up according to the following schedule.

  • Thursday, November 7 (Morning Only): Dickson Hall, 8:00am-12:30pm
  • Thursday, November 7 (Afternoon): Student Center, 1:00-5:00pm
  • Friday, November 8 (All Day): Student Center, 8:00am-5pm

Morning Sessions: Plenary

Room: Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

8:30: Coffee and Bagels

9:00-12:00 – Plenary Session: Externalism vs. Internalism: De-Mining the Battleground

Room: Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall

Welcoming remarks by:

  • Institute for the Humanities
  • Dr. Richard Gigliotti, Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences


Professor Andre M. Kapanga, Illinois State University,Professor Kapanga is a former Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the United Nations,Title: Internalist vs. Externalist Implications of the Humanitarian Disasters in Africa’s Great Lakes Region

James Harris, Associate Dean of Students, Montclair State University,Title: Ubiquitous Visions: Black America in the Face of Itself

Professor Philip Lebel, Department of Economic, Montclair State University,Title: A Globalization Strategy for Africa

12:00-1:30 – Lunch Break

Afternoon (Parallel) Sessions

Session 1: Politics/Economy/Governance

Time: 1:30-4:30

Room: Ballroom C, Student Center

Session Chair: Tanto Richard Talla, University of Buea, Cameroon

Ayandiji Daniel Aina
Babcock University, Ikeja, Nigeria
Development of Underdevelopment: Historical Antecedents and Fragments of Evidence in Obasanjo Administration of Nigeria

Veronica I. Adeleke and Martin A. Ogunganjo
Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Nigeria
Title: Problems, Prospects and Challenges of Social Development in Africa: Viewpoints of the Internalists

Musa D. Ilu
Central Missouri State University
Title: The Politics of Ideology and the Politics of Governance in Africa

Theodora O. Ayot
North Park University
Title: Conflict Resolution: The Changing Perspectives and Challenges in Africa

Adebayo A. Lawal
University of Lagos, Akoka-Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria.
The Elite Class and the Underdevelopment of Africa: A Case Study of Nigeria.

Tanto Richard Talla and Ogork Janet Arrey
University of Buea, Cameroon.

“Colonialism and Traditional Farming Methods In the Bamenda Grassfields of Cameroon: The Need for a Maintenance Culture Policy”

Session 2: Colonialism/Imperialism/NeoColonialism/Orientalism

Time: 1:30-3:30

Room: 411, Student Center

Session Chair: Thomas Puryear, Montclair State University

Willie J. Harrell, Jr Wayne State University
“This is Primitive Art; These Artists Have No Names”: African Orientalism and European Obsession With the Other

Adedeji Adewunmi Olawale
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria
Colonialism and Imperialism: The Internalist and Externalist Analysis of African Underdevelopment

James E. Genova
Indiana State University
“Unequal Partners: Ethnography, Colonialism, and Negritude in French West Africa, 1931-1945.”

St. Mabol I. Olaolu
Olabisi Onabanjo Univeristy, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria
Title: Self Reliancism rather than Reparationism

Session 3: Diasporic Perspectives

Time: 1:30-3:00

Room: 417, Student Center

Session Chair: Kelvin S. Sealey, Columbia University

Carmen Kynard
Medgar Evers College of New York University

Title: Old School, New Rules: Black Students, Language, and (Neo)colonialism in Higher Education

Kelvin S. Sealey
Columbia University

Title: Postmodern Moments in the Present Tense: Moving Beyond African Subjectivities

Fred L. Johnson, III Hope College

Title: “Dangerous Distortions in African and African American Worldviews”

Session 4: Culture/Society/Contemporary Perspectives

Time: 1:30-4:00

Room: 419, Student Center

Session Chair: Leslie Wilson, Montclair State University

John Teye
Delaware State University

Title: Ghana, English, Cultural Alienation: A Multicultural Perspective

Karin Paasche
Salem International University

Title: Language: An Indicator of both Past and Present

John Cinnamon
Miami University Hamilton

Title: Sorcery Narratives, Power, and Explanations of State ” Crisis” of in Postcolonial Africa

Hannington Ochwada
Indiana University

Title: ‘Chokora-Mapipa’: The Evolution of the Street Culture in Urban Kenya

Jerry Cline-Bailey

Xavier University
Title: The Role of Indigenous African Languages in National Development

Erin Hanrahan Colby College
Title: Media and the Use of English in Tanzania


Morning (Parallel) Sessions

Session 5: Politics/Economy/Governance (Continued)

Time: 9:00-12:00

Room: Ballroom C, Student Center

Session Chair: Mark Korlie, Montclair State University

Victor Fakoya
Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Nigeria

Title: Corruption and Vicious Circle of Poverty in Africa: Internalist versus Externatlist Interpretations

Christopher G. Thomas
University of South Africa

Title: Democratic Revival and the Advancing of Social and Economic Rights in Africa: Lessons from the South African Experience

Fred L. Johnson, III
Hope College

Title: “Eagle On The Continent: U.S. Foreign Policy In East Africa, 1945-Present”

Gbenga Lawal
University of Ibadan, Nigeria

Title: The Normative Impediments to African Development: The Internalist and Externalist Interpretations

Nicholas E. Makana
West Virginia University

Title: Regional Economic Integration in Africa: Prospect and Retrospect

Session 6: Culture/Society/Contemporary Perspectives (Continued)

Time: 9:00-12:00

Room: 419, Student Center

Session Chair: Mary Holley, Montclair State University

Tanto Richard Talla and Ogork Janet Arrey
University of Buea, Cameroon.

Title: “Traditional Authorities and witchcraft Trials in Postcolonial Cameroon: The case of the Wimbum in Nkambe Division”

Joe Amoako
Delaware State University

Title: Taboo Left Hand Among the Akans of Ghana

Miroslava Prazak
Bennington College

Title: “Building a House: A Grassroots Perspective on The Fertility Transition in Rural Kenya.”

Peter A. Dumbuya
Fort valley State University

Title: “Punishing Genocide and Other War Crimes in Rwanda and Sierra Leone: A Comparative Analysis.”

James E. Lassiter

INS Office of International Affairs

Title: African Culture and its Influence on the Continent’s Internal Initiatives and External Relations

Session 7: Nationalism/Panafricanism/Postcolonialism/Postmodernism

Time: 9:00-12:00

Room: 411, Student Center

Session Chair: Rabia Redouane, Montclair State University

Mrs. E. O. Oduwole
Olabisi Onaganjo University, Iwoye, Nigeria

Title: The Intellectual Anomaly in the African Colonial and Post-colonial Predicament

Paul Emile Stephan Simon ColumbiaUniversity
Léon Mba: The Evolution of a Neo-Colonial Puppet

Uche E. Ezeadichie
University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Title: External Influence on Nation Building in Nigeria: A Critique

Rabia Redouane

Montclair State University

Title: Internalist Interpretation of the Algerian Dilemma: A Country in Need of Reconstruction

Shadrack W. Nasong’o
Northeastern University

Title: Regime Consolidation and the Betrayal of Nationalism in Kenya: The Dynamics of External Linkages

Maurice Nyamanga Amutabi
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Title: Fiction, Imagination and Colonial History: Revisiting the Debate on the Writing of Colonial History and the Rise of “Posts” in African History

Session 8: Historical Approaches

Time: 9:00-12:00

Room: 417, Student Center

Session Chair: Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia, Montclair State University

Felicien Assoumou and Justin Gandoulo
Université de Rennes 2

Title: Did Africa Have a Bad Start?

Emmanuel G. K. George
Babcock University, Ikeja, Nigeria

Title: Hindsight: A Look at the Shadows behind the African Problem

N. Oluwafemi Mimiko
Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba, Nigeria

Title: In the Haystack of History: The Historical Bases of Africa’s Extant Failures

John M. Mwaruvie
West Virginia University

Title: “Mali Ya Uma” Culture and the Genesis of Mismanagement of Public Resources in Africa

Esperanza Brizuela-Garcia

Montclair State University

Title: Internalist and Externalist in African Historiography: A History of Conflicted Identities

Peter Kanyandago
Uganda Martyrs University, Uganda

Title: Anthropological History and Interpreting African History and Culture

12:00-1:30 – Lunch Break

Afternoon (Parallel) Sessions

Session 9: Culture/Society/Gender

Time: 1:30-3:30

Room: 411, Student Center

Session Chair: Nina Berman, Ohio State University

Mouni Djekrif
University of Constantine, Algeria

Title: Nechra an ethnographic approach of women’s sexuality in Constantine

Thérèse Migraine-George

University of Cincinnati

Title: Beyond the Internalist vs. Externalist Debate: African Homosexuals’ Local/Global Identities in Woubi Chéri and Dakan

Nina Berman
Ohio State University

Title: Kenya in Contemporary German-Language Autobiographies: Internalist Interpretations of the Situation of Women

Agnes Loteta Dimandja

Cercles des femmes ingenieurs de la Republique Democratique du Congo

Title: The role and place of women in African societies

Session 10: Culture/Society/Science

Time: 1:30-3:00

Room: 419, Student Center

Session Chair: Jude C. Aguwa, Mercy College

Rosalind Chirimuuta
Queens Hospital

Title: The History and Science of Aids in Context of Internalist vs. Externalist Interpretations of African History

Jude C. Aguwa
Mercy College

Title: Change and Continuity in African Therapeutic Systems: The Impact of the West

Sada Niang

University of Victoria, Canada

Title: Imagining a Continent: The Films of Djibril Diop Mambety

Saikat Majumdar
Rutgers University

Title: Greenwich Village, Harlem and the Left Bank

Session 11: Culture/Society/Literature

Time: 1:30-4:30

Room: 417, Student Center

Session Chair: Thomas Lynn, Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College

Thomas Lynn
Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College

Title: Language and Ambivalence in Achebe’s No Longer at Ease

Jeanne-Sarah de Larquier
University of Cincinnati

Title: Ama Ata Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy: (He)Art-to-Heart Against Alienation

Raphael Comprone
St. Paul’s College

Title: The Dialectic of Internal and External Contradictions in Ngugi Wa Thiong’o’s Weep Not Child

Ben B. Halm
Fairfield University

Title: The Example of Obierika in Things Fall Apart: The High Cost of the Native Thinker’s Pandering or Non-Admission of the Truth

Shirin E. Edwin
Vanderbilt University

Title: « Le besoin post-colonial » in Aminata Sow Fall’s La Grève des Battù
Session 12: Philosophical Approaches

Time: 1:00-4:00

Room: Ballroom C, Student Center

Session Chair: Carolyn M. Somerville, Hunter College

Samuel Oluoch Imbo
Hamline University

Title: Roles for Contemporary African Philosophers

Daniel M. Mengara

Montclair State University

Title: On Internalism vs. Externalism: Rationale and Theoretical Framework of an Incestuous Paradigm

Michael C. Mbabuike

Hostos Community College of the City University of New York

Title: The Internalist vs the Externalist Debate on Africana: Simplistic Exercise in futility

Tsegaye Wodajo
Bronx Community College

Title: Black Africans as Coauthors of their Own Fall: An Analysis of the Healers

Carolyn M. Somerville
Hunter College

Title: Internalist vs. Externalist Interpretations of African History and Culture: Looking at Africa Through a Buddhist Lens


Keynote Speeches

Friday, November 8, Ballroom AA/AB, Student Center, 6:00pm


  • Professor Ali Mazrui Binghamton University “Africa Between Westernization and Islamization: Penetration and Response”
  • Professor George Ayittey American University“Biting Their Own Tails: African Leaders and the Internalist Intricacies of the Rape of a Continent.”

Please try to arrive on time (30 minutes before speech begin) as we will be starting on time.

Immediately followed by Banquet/Reception

Room: Ballroom AA/AB, Student Center


9:00-1:00 – Plenary Session: What Initiative for Africa?

Room: Cohen Lounge, Dickson Hall.

We preferred not to have presentations on Saturday to allow for a “town-hall” style of session where we would be able to discuss the following issues:

1) Initiative for Africa

The focus of this informal discussion will have to do with how we as African intellectuals and activists on the one hand, and we as intellectuals of all backgrounds working on African issues on the other, can help to shape or imagine a new future for Africa.

The issues and challenges that the continent is facing today are several and demand a fresh, pragmatic and non-apologetic approach. Examining African issues in the context of this conference will allow us to address such issues as a group and seek to imagine initiatives that may lead to positive and comprehensive outcomes for the continent.

2) Internationalization of the SORAC Executive Board and conference venues.

SORAC is ready to expand and internationalize its structure. The Society is also ready to begin rotating its conference venues by holding its meetings at institutions other than Montclair State University. We shall discuss how this can be done, elect a new board and, possibly, decide where the next SORAC conference might be held. For this, any person willing to have the next conference held at his/her institution may make such an offer during the meeting.

Note: Program subject to change.


Global Education Center, Montclair State University

Institute for the Humanities, Montclair State University

College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Montclair State University

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