Category Archives: Events

Workshop “Popular Culture in Africa- and Diaspora-related Research”

Invitation to join us for a



Popular Culture in Africa- and Diaspora-related research:

Politics and Positionalities


24 May, 2017

1:00 – 6:00 pm


Seminarraum 4,

Department of African Studies

University of Vienna Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 5.1.

1090 Vienna


Has scholarly thinking about popular culture in Africa changed in the discipline of African Studies since Karin Barber (“ Popular Arts In Africa,” 1987) published her highly influential article on popular arts in Africa 30 years ago? If so, how might we tie these changes to new social and cultural ways of perceiving and narrating societies in Africa in the last twenty years or so? What, if anything, does the rise of the new media have to do with the way popular culture is produced, disseminated and consumed?

On the basis of some selected texts dealing with the issues raised above and drawing from insights from current research projects by Onookome Okome, who is visiting the Department of African Studies, and members of the research project “Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces” at the same department, this workshop revisits key issues raised in Barber’s essay as entry points into questions such as:

Is the category of popular culture still useful in Africa- and diaspora-related research and in what sense?

How does it relate to other categories such as popular arts or, more recently, social media?

How can the relationship of popular culture and politics be thought through?

How might we think through the politics of popular culture and the representations of politics in the age of the new media?

What are the positions and what are the methods from which we can approach research on popular culture?


All are welcome to join the discussion – especially also interested students and younger scholars!


Preliminary Schedule:

1:00 – 1:30 pm:                 Introduction of the aims and format of the workshop,  introduction of all participants

1:30 – 3:30 pm:                 Discussion of concepts and approaches on the basis of selected texts

3:30 – 4:00 pm:                 Coffee break

4:00 – 6:00 pm:                 Panel with short inputs and time for discussion, with contributions by


  • Onookome Okome (University of Alberta) on „Nollywood“
  • Birgit Englert (University of Vienna) on film translation into Swahili in Tanzania
  • Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna) on popular culture in the context of ‘Franco-Comorian diaspora’ in Marseille
  • Hanna Stepanik (University of Vienna) on ‘Cape Verdean’ popular cultural practices and ‘diaspora’ in Lisbon


Key texts as input for discussion:

Englert, Birgit. 2008. Popular Music and Politics in Africa – Some Introductory Reflections. In: Englert, Birgit (ed.). Popular Music and Politics in Africa. Special Issue of Stichproben. Vienna Journal of African Studies, Nr. 14, 1-15.

Newell, Stephanie; Okome, Onookome. 2014. Introduction. Popular Culture in Africa: The Episteme of the Everyday. In: Newell, Stephanie; Okome, Onookome (eds.) Popular Culture in Africa: The Episteme of the Everyday. New York / London: Routledge, 1-23.

Willems, Wendy; Mano, Winston. 2017. Decolonizing and Provincializing Audience and Internet Studies. Contextual Approaches from African Vantage Points. In: Willems, Wendy; Mano, Winston (eds.). Everyday Media Culture in Africa. Audiences and Users. New York / London: Routledge, 1-26.

Further suggested reading:

Barber, Karin. 1987. Popular Arts in Africa. African Studies Review 30(3): 1-78.


Please register until 22 May 2017 by sending an email to

The texts will then be sent to you via email.


Organised by Birgit Englert, Katharina Fritsch and Hanna Stepanik of the research project „Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces“


funded by the Austrian Science Foundation (FWF) together with Prof. Onookome Okome, (University of Alberta).

In cooperation with the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna


“A tale of two Olympans: Race, Gender, Nation”

–  Talk by Prof. Dr. Shirley Anne Tate, University of Leeds, UK.

organised by Katharina Fritsch and Hanna Stepanik of the research project POCUTRAS in cooperation with „Forschungsverbund Geschlecht und Handlungsmacht / Gender and Agency“ and the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna.

30 November 2016, 18:00

Alois Wagner Saal, C3 – Centrum für Internationale Entwicklung,

Sensengasse 3, 1090 Wien

“Feminist Postcolonial and Decolonial Performativity Approaches“

Workshop with Prof. Dr. Shirley Anne Tate from the University of Leeds, UK.

Organised by Katharina Fritsch and Hanna Stepanik of POCUTRAS in cooperation with the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna.

The workshop takes place on 1 December 2016, 10 – 16, at the Department of African Studies, Spitalgasse 2-4, Hof 5.1., 1090 Wien


Please register until 7 November 2016 and indicate in which sub-group you would like to participate:

(1) Performativity and subjectivities (questions of belonging, identity etc.)

(2) Performativity and artistic performances / popular culture practices

(3) Performativity and Positionality/-ies (self-reflexivity etc.)

Talk: Postcolonial and intersectional im-/mobilities – Economic and artistic activities among migrants from the Comoros in Marseille

In the context of the series “Afrika Kolloquium” at the Department of African Studies at the University of Vienna, the following talk will take place. You are all cordially invited to attend!

Postcolonial and intersectional im-/mobilities – Economic and artistic activities among migrants from the Comoros in Marseille

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik (Aix Marseille University) and Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna)

Monday, 30th of November, 2015, 5 p.m.

Seminar room 1, Department of African Studies, UniCampus AAKH, Hof 5, Spitalgasse 2, 1090 Vienna

This talk presents first analyses of two different PhD projects, which share as much difference as well as points of encounter.

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik analyzes informalized trading activities among migrant women from the Comoros in Marseille. Situating these activities within a transnational space, he argues that the respective economic activities have been shaped by what Hirai (2009) describes as a ‘market of nostalgia’. Further, he analyzes these transnational activities as forms of resistance towards gendered power relations, located in the women’s family spaces in France as well as on the Comoros.

Katharina Fritsch focuses on the popular culture practice of Twarab, a cultural market embedded within socio-cultural, political and economic practices of Franco-Comorian communities in Marseille. She argues that the place of Twarab in Marseille has been shaped by a biopolitics of communitarization. It is then against the backdrop of such a biopolitics that she will analyze Twarab events and artists’ positionalities, letting appear the intrinsic relation of ethnicity/’race’, class and gender, with processes of im-/mobilization.

Ahmad Abdoul-Malik is a PhD student at Aix Marseille Université, CNRS, LEST UMR 7317, 13626, Aix en Provence, France.

Katharina Fritsch is a  PhD student at the Department of Political Science, and researcher in the FWF-funded research project ‘Popular culture in translocal spaces’ at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna.

The talk is organized in cooperation with the research project ‘Popular Culture in Translocal Spaces’ which runs at the Department of African Studies, University of Vienna from 2014-2018.

International Graduate Conference: Move On! Mobility Meets (Little) Resistances

We would like to invite you to an international graduate conference organised by a team of pre-doc researchers of the research platform “Mobile Cultures and Societies” of which our project is part. Please see below for all details:

International Graduate Conference:
Move On!
Mobility Meets (Little) Resistances
26-28 November 2015

venues: magdas Hotel (Laufbergergasse 12, 1020 Vienna),
Alte Kapelle (Spitalgasse 2-4, Court 2.8, 1090 Vienna)

Sudeep Dasgupta (Universiteit van Amsterdam)
Jennifer Ann Wenzel (Columbia University, New York)
Bilgin Ayata (Universität Basel)
Anna Lipphardt (Universität Freiburg)


Thursday, 26th November 2015

magdas Hotel

14.30: Opening

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Heinz Faßmann (Vice-Rector for Research and International Affairs, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ulrike Felt (Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Matthias Meyer (Dean of the Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies, University of Vienna)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Annegret Pelz (Deputy Head of the Research Platform Mobile Cultures and Societies, University of Vienna)

Team of magdas Hotel

15.00-17.30: Panel 1 – Political Mobilisation in Transnational Spaces (Senior-Discussant: Bilgin Ayata, Junior-Discussant: Felix Bergmeister)

Deniz Coşan-Eke (University of Munich, Germany): “Alevism. Boundaries and Identity”

Alev Çakır (University of Vienna, Austria): “The construction of transnational (political) spaces by Alevi and Kurdish Migrant Organizations in Austria” (Mediated Mobilities and Political Mobilization Processes: Negotiating Identity)

Carsten Schäfer (University of Vienna, Austria): “De-territorializing the Chinese nation state – China’s Overseas Chinese policy and its implications for Chinese in Austria: The case of the Austrian-Chinese webpage during the 2008 Tibetan Unrest”

Coffee Break

Alte Kapelle:

19.00-20.30: Keynote Lecture by Sudeep Dasgupta: “Re-imagining Europe: Alternative Trajectories toward Plotting Mobility Otherwise”


Friday, 27th November 2015

magdas Hotel

09.00-11.30: Panel 2 & 3 (parallel sessions)

Panel 2 – Sites of Resistance (Senior-Discussant: Sudeep Dasgupta, Junior-Discussant: Thomas Assinger)

Aila Spathopoulou (King’s College London, UK): “Degrees of Liquidity on the Aegean: Ships, migrants and Turkish tourists around Lesvos”

Tom Ullrich (University of Weimar, Germany): “Schere Stein Paris. A Visual Archaeology of Revolutionary Paris“

Zohar Elmakias (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel): „End of the line. The Ceasing of Movement at the Jaffa Train Station, 1892-2010”

Panel 3 – Performing Movements, Tracing Borders (Senior-Discussant: Alexandra Ganser, Junior-Discussant: Marianne Windsperger)

Cengiz Haksöz (University of Pittsburgh, USA): “Immobilizing the Violence. Yeryüzü Iftarlari as a Performance during the Istanbul Gezi Park Protest”

Iris Fraueneder (University of Vienna, Austria): “Mobilizing Images: Militancy and Anabasis”

Roman Kabelik (University of Vienna, Austria): “Looking Afar, Staying Nearby. Tracing the Mobility-Dispositif in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther

Coffee break

12.00-13.30: Panel 4 – Cultural Markets (Senior-Discussant: Tomi Adeaga, Junior-Discussant: Philipp Wagner)

Katharina Fritsch (University of Vienna, Austria): “The Place of Twarab in Marseille – between being fixed and resisting”

Celena Monteiro (University of Chichester, UK): “Mobile Hips, Mobile Identities. Dancehall Queen Performance as Resistance”

13.30-15.00: Lunch Break

15.00-17.30: Panel 5 – Politics of the State and Resistance (Senior-Discussant: Petra Dannecker, Junior-Discussant: Fanny Müller-Uri)

Raffael Beier (University of Bochum, Germany): “Urban Mobility, Resistance and the State. The Urbanism of Urgency in North Africa”

Eva Freudenthaler (University of Vienna, Austria): “Refugee Camps as bases of resistance. The case of Goma 1994-1996”

Anja Joos (University of Freiburg, Germany): “The fight of Yeniche minority for their mobile rights. The occupation of the Kleine Allmend in Bern, Switzerland”

Alte Kapelle:

18.30-20.00: Keynote Lecture by Jennifer Ann Wenzel: “Towards an Oil Inventory”

20.30: Joint dinner at Café Ansari


Saturday, 28th November 2015

magdas Hotel

09.15-11.45: Workshop with Bilgin Ayata

parallel: Visit to the Project Workstation Stop & Go – Nodes of Transformation and Transition by Michael Hieslmair and Michael Zinganel

Coffee break

12.15-13.45: Panel 6 – Positioning through Social Networks (Senior-Discussant: Birgit Englert, Junior-Discussant: Viktoria Metschl)

Abdoul-Malik Ahmad (Université d’Aix-Marseille, France): “Quand la mobilité constitue une forme de résistance aux mécanismes familiaux de domination“

Syntia Hasenöhrl (University of Vienna, Austria): “Mobilised narratives in a transnational space. New media as a political space for negotiating Malian-diasporic identifications”

13.45-14.45: Lunch Break

14.45-16.00: Endnote Lecture by Anna Lipphardt: “Tracing the Mobile Trajectories of Artists and Scholars in the 21st Century. A Reality Check“ andClosing Discussion


Organizing Committee: Alev Çakır, Katharina Fritsch, Syntia Hasenöhrl, Roman Kabelik, Barbara Maly, Viktoria Metschl, Carsten Schäfer, Joachim Schätz, Marianne Windsperger

Schnittpunkt Afrika Tag “Dimensionen von Mobilität”

Herzliche Einladung zum Schnittpunkt Afrika Tag

“Dimensionen von Mobilität”

am 9. Oktober 2015

ab 16 Uhr

Institut für Afrikawissenschaften, Universität Wien



16:00             Begrüßung und Einführung (Kirsten Rüther, Birgit Englert)

16:15             Vorstellung des Projekts (Carolin Knoop, Andreas Lampl)

16:30              “Mobilität/Immobilität– im Leben des tansanischen Künstlers Atakalo Soko”,

                        Kurzfilm von und mit Marion Haberl (A 2015, 18 Min., Englisch)

17:00              Podiumsdiskussion zum Thema

                       “Migration and Media – contemporary and historical perspectives“

unter anderem mit Lara Hagen (Der Standard), Liza Ulitzka (Puls4), Kalim Mugga (FDC – Forum for                                       Democratic Change), Walter Sauer (Uni Wien und SADOCC),  und Immanuel Harisch (Studierender der                               Afrikawissenschaften)

Moderation: Rosa Liebe (Studierende der Afrikawissenschaften)

18:30              „Das Entstehen einer Ausstellung – und eines Plakats“ (Isabelle Segur-Cabanac) gefolgt von einem                                       Ausstellungsrundgang mit den GestalterInnen

Ab 19:15        Buffet und gemütlicher Ausklang des Abends mit Musik – plaudern, kennenlernen, austauschen…

Hintergrund zur Veranstaltung:

Diese Veranstaltung wurde von Studierenden aus unterschiedlichen Studiengängen im Rahmen von zwei Lehrveranstaltungen am Institut für Afrikawissenschaften der Universität Wien unter der Leitung von Kirsten Rüther und Birgit Englert kuratiert.

Im Laufe eines Semesters wurde eine Ausstellung gestaltet, in der die transdisziplinäre Auseinandersetzung mit Begriffen und Konzeptionen wie Mobilität, Zirkulation, Austausch, Verbindungen/Vernetzungen, Wege/Routen und Diaspora mit Bezug auf Afrika visuell dargestellt wird. Die Breite, Vielfalt und Komplexität dieser Phänomene wird anhand von historischen und gegenwärtigen Prozessen beispielhaft sicht- und erfahrbar gemacht. Wege von Menschen, Waren, Ideen und Objekten innerhalb Afrikas und darüber hinaus werden in einer multimedialen Darstellung nachgezeichnet. Neben einer globalhistorischen Betrachtung wird die Dichotomie sowie Beziehung zwischen Mobilität und Immobilität aufgezeigt.

Die Ausstellung wird im Studienjahr 2015/16 in den Räumlichkeiten des Instituts für Afrikawissenschaften zu sehen sein.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihr/Euer Kommen!

Das Veranstaltungsteam “Schnittpunkt Afrika 2015”

Marion Haberl, Immanuel Harisch, Carolin Knoop, Andreas Lampl, Corinna Leitgeb, Rosa Liebe,

Sonja Nechansky, Isabelle Segur-Cabanac, Sonja Steinbauer, mit Birgit Englert und Kirsten Rüther

Mehr Infos zur Veranstaltung auf

Eine Veranstaltung des Instituts für Afrikawissenschaften (

in Kooperation mit der Forschungsplattform “Mobile Kulturen und Gesellschaften“ (


Institut für Afrikawissenschaften,

Seminarraum 1, 1. Stock, rechter Gang,

UniCampus Hof 5, Spitalgasse 2,

1090 Wien

WORKSHOP “Mobilität erforschen – mobil forschen: Methoden – Positionierungen – Repräsentationen”

Die Forschungsplattform

„Mobile Kulturen und Gesellschaften. Interdisziplinäre Studien zu transnationalen Formationen“

 lädt herzlich ein zum

WORKSHOP „Mobilität erforschen – mobil forschen: Methoden – Positionierungen – Repräsentationen“

 am 5. Mai 2015 von 13-18 Uhr

 im Alois Wagner Saal, C3 – Centrum für Internationale Entwicklung

Sensengasse 3, 1090 Wien

Ziel des Workshops ist der Austausch und die Diskussion über Forschungsmethoden im Themenfeld Mobilität sowie über Fragen der Positionierung als Forschende in mobilen Kontexten. Diese Fragen werden anhand von Inputs aus geistes- und sozialwissenschaftlichen Perspektiven reflektiert. Daher werden insbesondere auch Herausforderungen des transdisziplinären Forschens zu mobilen Subjekten und Objekten im Mittelpunkt der Debatten dieses Workshops stehen, der neben Inputs und Diskussion im Plenum auch Gespräche in Kleingruppen beinhalten wird.

Neben den an der Forschungsplattform (FoPla) beteiligten Forschenden sind alle, die sich für diese Fragen interessieren, insbesondere auch Studierende, herzlich willkommen.

Nach Möglichkeit bitte Anmeldung per Email an bis zum 1. Mai 2015. Spontane Teilnahme ist auch möglich, die Voranmeldung würde uns jedoch die Organisation erleichtern.

Organisation: Petra Dannecker, Birgit Englert, Katharina Fritsch


13:00 – 13:15

Begrüßung, Vorstellung des Ablaufs und der Vortragenden

13:15 – 14:45

Input mit anschließender Diskussion: Nadine Sieveking, Centre for Area Studies und Institute of African Studies an der Universität Leipzig

Nadine Sieveking forscht in den Themenfeldern Performance, Embodiment und Gender im Kontext von Transnationalisierung und Migration.

14:45 – 15:15


15:15 – 15:45

Input: Katharina Fritsch und Birgit Englert, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften, Universität Wien

An der Forschungsplattform beteiligtes Teilprojekt: „Populärkultur in translokalen Räumen. Prozesse von Diasporisierung bei Komorianer_innen in Marseille und Kapverdianer_innen in Lissabon“

15:45 – 16:15

Input: Marianne Windsperger, Franz M. Eybl, Annegret Pelz, Institut für Germanistik, Universität Wien

An der Forschungsplattform beteiligtes Teilprojekt: „Constituting Global Convivence. Album – Collection Book – Portable Archive“

16:15 – 17:00

Diskussion in interdisziplinär zusammengesetzten Kleingruppen

17:00 – 17:15


17:15 – 18:00

Präsentation der Diskussionsergebnisse im Plenum und abschließende Diskussion