SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

CANCELLED: The 9th Annual International Igbo Conference - Theme: Igbo Mobilities: People, Trade & Knowledge



Date: 2 July 2020Time: 9:00 AM

Finishes: 4 July 2020Time: 7:00 PM


Type of Event: Conference

The 9th Annual International Igbo Conference

Theme: Igbo Mobilities: People, Trade & Knowledge

Venue: Princess Alexandra Auditorium (PAA), The University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

2nd - 4th July 2020

The Igbo Conference is an annual international conference usually held at SOAS, University of London.The aim of the Igbo Conference is to encourage and promote Igbo Studies in the UK and beyond. In recognition of the limited avenues for Igbo language and cultural studies available in British Universities, the Igbo Conference seeks to provide a forum for intellectual and cultural exchange between scholars, students and members of the community.

As our conference serves as a unique bridge between the community and academia, each year we also include interactive sessions, masterclasses and workshops in our programme. In the last eight years, the conference has created discussions amongst contributors from all over the world. The ninth instalment of the Igbo Conference will be held in Nigeria for the first time at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

The study of ‘mobilities’ centres on the movement of people, goods and ideas. It explores the circumstances that bring about this movement, as well as the constraints to and the wider socio-political implications of this movement. We invite conference participants to engage with the concept of mobilities in relation to the Igbo experience in the pre-colonial, colonial and post-independence eras.

The Igbo have developed and sustained a reputation centering on their participation in commerce within Nigeria and abroad. The international dimensions to Igbo business practices provides one example of an Igbo-centred approach to the study of mobilities. The movement of people and goods along the river Niger was central to the development of cities in Igboland, and contributed to the development of the largest market in West Africa situated in Onitsha. Taking a historical view of mobilities, we encourage papers which examine the changing migratory patterns, trade routes and forms of knowledge exchange that have come about through Igbo mobilities.

In an increasingly networked and globalised world, we are interested in exploring the financial, cultural and intellectual impact and influence of the Igbo ‘abroad’ and at ‘home’. This conference encourages a broad view on the usage of ‘mobilities’, encouraging contributions which look both at movement and exchange between the Igbo and their neighbours as well as the Igbo presence in our globalised world.

We invite papers that examine a variety of approaches to Igbo mobilities which include, but are not limited to:

• Igbo entrepreneurship and transnational business

• Military rule and the ‘brain drain’

• The ‘been-to’ figure in literature & film

• Diaspora writing, music & film

• Igbo music in the local and global markets

• Igbo language and cultural presences in digital spaces

• Traversing national borders: issues of migration

• Hometown associations

• Xenophobia and Igbo communities abroad

• Igbo mobilities within Nigeria

• Nollywood films & their global circulation: iROKOtv, DStv & Netflix

• The river Niger & movement across West Africa

• Medicine and Health Matters

• Refugees & the Nigeria-Biafra war

• Igbo cultural production & the global market

• Igbo spirituality in the Americas

• Igbo language: differences in dialect & language in motion

• Igbo knowledge production & knowledge exchange

• The literature of Igbo writers in translation

• Trade and the development of Igbo towns & cities: Onitsha, Aba & Abiriba

• The Nsukka school of art & international gallery spaces

• Igbo Business incubation systems and Apprenticeship

Organisers : The Igbo Conference, in association with the Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka; SOAS University of London and City, University of London

Venue: The conference will be held at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, from July 2-4, 2020 at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium (PAA).

Participants are welcome to present in English or Igbo, but if presenting in Igbo we ask that an English Language translation is provided as well.

Please submit abstracts of up to 250 words including the paper title, your name, current position, institutional affiliation (where applicable), email address and phone number no later than 31st January 2020. To submit visit and follow the directions. We regret that we cannot guarantee that abstracts submitted via email will be read / considered. Please submit your abstract via the submission page at

We also welcome panel submissions. Proposed panel submissions should be made by the chair, and must provide details of the panel’s theme in addition to the names of up to four panelists, abstracts of up to 250 words for each paper, and details of each panelists’ name, current position, institutional affiliation (where applicable), email address and phone number. To submit visit

Participants are responsible for sourcing their own funding for travel, accommodation and conference fees.

For information on the Igbo Conference, please visit

Organiser: The Igbo Conference,Institute of African Studies, University of Nigeria Nsukka, SOAS,City University