"Re-Imagining Africa: A Closer Look at Autonomy, Identity and Perspective" 

Leopold Senghor in his article African Negro Aesthetics provides a detailed and comprehensive definition of the black African man. According to Senghor, he is a man of nature, a man of "first of all sounds, odors, rhythms, forms, and colors". There is business to his art and spirit of his thought. (Leopold Sedar Senghor, "African-Negro Aesthetics" Dio-genes 1956 4:23)

In addressing issues of hunger, political and military unrest, as well as economic underdevelopment, what does it mean to be African or part of its diaspora? When and where am I African? What is the role of the global community in Africa? What impact does Africa have on the global community? "Is there a need to limit or de-note an African identity? In attempting to find answers to the questions above, it is necessary to discuss the re-imagination of Africa from an authentic, autonomous, and intellectual perspective.

To the modern, media-centric eye, Africa is a continent of extremes, forever trapped as an outlier. Often demeaned as a continent of marginalized populations or defended as one of equal measure to the western world. But with the youngest population in the world and many burgeoning economies not to mention beautiful natural landscapes and an incredibly diverse population, there is clearly more to the continent than is being projected by popular media outlets. The goal of this year's conference is to provide a space for the questioning of, engagement in, and digressing from the current, changing, and historical image of Africa, we incorporate the global community in the redefinition of Africa's future.