Event: Africanizing Technology

This conference was hosted by Wesleyan University on March 5-6, 2015 and brought together scholars across multiple disciplines in the social sciences. The inspiration for the conference theme came from the concept of Africanizing Anthropology elaborated by Lyn Schumaker (2001). Schumaker asserted that colonial knowledge production about Africa was rooted in the collaborative research process of European Anthropologists and African research assistants; the European discipline of anthropology was transformed as a result of this shared practice.  Moreover, this intellectual move placed Africans at the center of knowledge production about Africa.

Africanizing Technology played on this idea by looking at the ways in which technology in Africa has been Africanized. Several crucial questions were addressed: How is technology rooted in a longer history of African experiences?  How do the emerging technological cultures on the continent contribute to our broader understandings of health, education, and social change?  How does Africanizing Technology reshape our scholarly understandings of development?  Can we speak of a broader pattern of Africanizing Technology in the current global circulation of digital media and other technologies?

This PECE essay helps to answer the STS Across Borders analytic question: "What events have marked the development of this STS formation?".

This essay is part of an essay on events that have helped to bring the "STS in Africa" formation together, which is part of a broader exhibit on "STS in Africa."

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June 2, 2018