SOAS University of London

Centre of African Studies

BARAZA: Swahili studies conference at SOAS

Date: 27 October 2018Time: 10:00 AM

Finishes: 27 October 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Venue: Paul Webley Wing (Senate House) Room: Wolfson Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference

Call for Papers

Abstracts are invited for short presentations at our fourth annual day conference addressing any aspect of the language, literature, translation, culture, philosophy or diaspora of the Swahili speaking peoples of the world. The aim of the meeting is to foster academic interaction and exchange about new or emerging research, developing ideas and interests for mutual benefit among Swahili scholars and students.

This year’s Baraza is dedicated to Dr Farouk Topan, leading Swahili scholar and writer who, with others, pioneered the study and teaching of Swahili Literature in Kiswahili at the University of Dar-es-Salaam and the University of Nairobi in the 1960s and 70s. He then taught at SOAS for many years until his retirement in 2006, and was one of the founder editors of the departmental Journal of African Cultural Studies (JACS). In more recent years, he has continued to provide leadership in Swahili studies at the Aga Khan University. Although we welcome all papers or presentations, this year we are actively soliciting academic papers, oral performance, and other ways of reflecting on the life, writing and scholarship of this outstanding scholar, whose career has exemplified many trends in the development of scholarship, institutional histories and transnational connections. Former students and colleagues are particularly encouraged to pay tribute to this great East African scholar.

Please email your 250-300 word abstract and title of your presentation (in English or Swahili) to: or

Free registration will take place on the day of the conference, but a preliminary programme will be made available before the conference. Tea, coffee and snacks will be provided.

This conference is organised by the Africa Section of the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics (SCLC), SOAS University of London, in collaboration with the Centre of African Studies.

The deadline for abstracts is 15th September, 2018

For those requiring VISA processing please send your abstract by the 15th August, 2018.