Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

South African Review of Sociology

For a Special Issue on

(in)Between Africa and Latin America: Circulation of experiences, activism and ideas

Manuscript deadline
15 December 2023

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Laura Efron, University of Buenos Aires - CONICET
[email protected]

Natalia Cabanillas, UNILAB
[email protected]

Marisa Pineau, University of Buenos Aires
[email protected]

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(in)Between Africa and Latin America: Circulation of experiences, activism and ideas

In 1993 Paul Gilroy published “The Black Atlantic: Modernity and double consciousness”, a book that marked a turning point in the studying of the exchanges between the Caribbean and Europe. His contributions to how we analyse the links between modernity and Black history were based on the idea that slavery, identity, culture and race had complex relationships and were created through time in and through the Atlantic ocean. From Gilroy’s perspective, the ocean itself was one of the main characters in the history of Blackness. This special issue aims to engage with the book on its 30th anniversary by proposing a new approach to Gilroy’s ideas and extending the notion of the Atlantic ocean as a space where history was produced to the Southern hemisphere.

Based on that, this special issue will focus on historical experiences and theoretical reflections on links between Africa and Latin America in contemporary history and the idea of the South Atlantic Ocean as a space of exchanges and dialogues. Although a lot has been written on the links between both continents during the Slave Trade, reflections on recent exchanges and connections are necessary since the links between
both continents continue contributing to the creation of alternative projects, alternative to the ones conducted by the North.
The circulation of South Atlantic links is a research area that still needs to be developed. Few studies have been done on these dialogues and exchanges of ideas and generally they are either brought together in the person of political or intellectual leader -such as Paulo Freire and his ideas (Puiggrós, 1994; Blackburn, 2000; Moujan, 2010)- and some scholarship on comparisons of popular and alternative educational experiences
between the continents (Puiggrós, 1994; Kane, 2001; Yoo, 2007; Moujan, 2010; Crowther, 2013).

There are a few cases in which academics highlight and use trans-Atlantic and trans-national approaches to promote the study of the historical South Atlantic dialogues and exchanges. One example is David Fig’s PhD dissertation, which traces the historical links between South Africa and Latin America’s political-economy. He places emphasis on secret economic and political agreements made by the military and authoritarian governments’ (Fig, 1992). Coming from the other side of the ocean, Gladys Lechini has been examining the relationships between Africa and Latin America – using international policies as her lens of inquiry (Lechini, 2006). Most recently another attempt to recover the history of South Atlantic ideas is by Eduardo Devés Valdés, who looks at the history of circulation of Latin American ideas in Africa (Devés Valdés, 2008 and 2012). The author analyses how Latin American ideas arrived in Africa by focusing on specific intellectuals and their trajectories. Critical as his work is for mapping the South Atlantic circulation of ideas, Valdés’ research is based on well-known individuals (Frantz Fanon, Aime Cesaire, Walter Rodney, etc.); it does not pay attention to the everyday life of everyday people, to the circulation of people’s experiences, activism and Ideas.

These attempts to create a wider understanding of the history of the Atlantic ocean from a southern perspective are important and meaningful. They recover historical experiences and demonstrate the existence of a field that still needs to develop. While not properly documented, during the 20th and early 21st century, intellectuals, political movements, governments, civil organisations and others, from both continents, were paying attention to and studying the events and social processes that were taking place on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. From left wing thinkers and projects during the 1960s and 1970s to right wing government alliances in the 1970s and 1980s, the two continents were engaging with their past and present, thinking through and looking for alternative futures. In other words, African and Latin American experiences were circulating and in dialogue but this has not been yet properly documented.

For this special issue we are looking for papers that will look at experiences from both continents, contributions that could provide new viewpoints to understand current contexts and engage with alternative ways to solve local problems and to imagine democratic futures.
Recovering contemporary exchanges between both continents promotes new and more enriching approaches to Global South history. Taking under consideration the fact that the division of labour in knowledge production in academia is still based in the coloniality of power that reproduces and privileges the North, the following special issue aims to bring together articles produced in the Global South by Global South
researchers who are thinking and writing about connections between Latin America and/or Africa.
The issue aims to contribute to creating a wider understanding of the African and Latin American historical experiences by reflecting on transnational histories and intertwined experiences.

Articles should address one or more of the following topics:
Heritage, archives, non-official archives, monuments, memories, public spaces.
Activism, civil organisations and social justice.
Intersectional perspectives and positionality.
Arts, cultures, ideas and struggles.

Submission Instructions

We will accept and consider abstracts written in Spanish and Portuguese but final articles must be written in English.

We invite 300-word abstracts to be sent to [email protected] by 27th of March 2023. Please include "Special Issue submission" as the title of the email.

Tentative timeline towards publication:
Feedback on successful abstracts will be provided by the 5th of April 2023.
An extended abstract (1500-2000 words) must be submitted by 10th of May.

Review process
First Stage:
Full papers (5000-8000 words) must be submitted by the 10th of July 2023 to the
email address above for the first internal review process.
Comments will be sent to authors within 6 weeks of submission (20 August 2023).
Authors will have a month to revise their papers and submit directly on the ScholarOne
platform for SARS. Estimated date 20 September 2023 (guidance will be provided).
Second Stage:
Double blind external review process: estimated 4-6 weeks
Reviewer comments will be provided by end November.
Final submissions must be done by 15th of December on ScholarOne
Please note that final decisions about publication lie with the editorial collective of SARS.

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