U.S. Foreign Policy & Africa in the 21st Century

 April 13, 2012


Before World War II the United States did not pursue an active policy toward Africa. In the postwar period, the continent continued to remain rather inconsequential in America’s foreign relations despite wartime economic and strategic needs that compelled a more dynamic interest in the continent. The close of the Cold War, an era in which the United States viewed Africa primarily from the lenses of Superpower ideological rivalry, provided for Washington the opportunity to engage Africa in a more constructive manner.

Questions relating to the direction of U.S. policy in Africa persist, although it has been over two decades since the demise of the Cold War. Since the dawn of the 21st century, the American-led war on transnational terrorism has introduced a new dimension into United States-Africa relations. It has enhanced Washington’s strategic engagement with the continent. This conference will offer scholars and other participants a unique platform from which to deliberate on critical issues defining contemporary American foreign policy toward Africa. Within the broad theme of the conference, potential topics for presentation may include but are not limited to the following sub-themes:  

  • The spring revolutions in North Africa
  • Military and strategic partnership with Africa
  • Trade and investment in Africa
  • Intractable African conflicts and conflict resolution
  • Economic growth and sustainable development in Africa
  • Africa in the war on terrorism
  • The Obama administration and Africa
  • Fragile states in Africa
  • The debt crisis in Africa
  • Democratization and good governance in Africa
  • Human rights in Africa
  • Political Islam in Africa
  • The HIV pandemic in Africa
  • Piracy in the Horn of Africa
  • Bilateral relations 

The keynote speaker is the distinguished teacher, author, and award winning scholar of African and Diasporan African history, Dr. Toyin Falola, the Frances Higginbotham Nalle Centennial Professor of History and University Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas, Austin. 

Date of Conference
Friday, April 13, 2012 

Tennessee State University - Avon Williams Downtown Campus
330 Tenth Avenue North
Nashville, TN 37203  

Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Professor of History
Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN 37209

Dr. Wosene Yefru
Professor of African Studies
Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN 37209

Abstracts/Panel proposals
Each prospective presenter should submit electronically an abstract of 500 words or less to Ms. Cordia McCutcheon at cmccutcheon@tnstate.edu by December 30, 2011. Abstract prepa#cc6633 as Microsoft Word document should include the presenter’s name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address). Please, note that submission of abstract automatically grants conference organizers the right to publish it in the conference program and website. 

Conference Registration Fees
Mandatory non-refundable registration fees for the conference are:
Regular: $50 by Dec. 30; & $60 by Feb. 15 (banquet included).
Student: $30 by Dec. 30; & $40 by Feb. 15 (banquet included).
Banquet only: $25 by Feb. 15.
Please, make your check payable to Tennessee State University. 

Publication of Selected Papers
Selected conference papers will be published as a book.

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Major Gifts & Planned Giving