Call For Abstracts: The Global Council on Anthropological Linguistics (GLOCAL) Conference on African Linguistic Anthropology  (AFALA),  University of Nairobi, Kenya, 19-22 October 2022. Deadline:  8 July 2022.

The GLOCAL AFALA 2022 theme, “Linguistic Landscapes, Cultural Climates,” “Mazingira Ya Lugha, Hali Ya Hewa Ya Kitamaduni,” well symbolizes the complexity of the complex set of inter-subjective identities throughout African urban and suburban centres. These increasingly complex climates become a highly fertile ground for Linguistic Anthropological scholarly attention, while scholars can draw from a range of peripheral yet pertinent fields to inform work on these geographical and cultural localities.

The GLOCAL AFALA 2022 thus invites work which addresses the complexity of African Linguistic Landscapes and their Cultural Climates. Papers and posters should acknowledge and describe processes of Linguistic complexity at these cultural centres, that is, of African regions, and by those working in African regions.

CISP: ArtXchange Storytelling Facilitator (Kenya)

“JobArtXchange Storytelling Facilitator, Community Initiative Support Program Kenya, Nairobi, Kenya (and online). Deadline: 30 August, 2021.

Community Initiative Support Program (CISP) is the lead agency of a consortium of partners implementing a multi-year and multi-country EU-funded project entitled ArtXchange “Connecting creative youth in Africa and Europe,” aimed at promoting intercultural dialogue, collaboration and exchange among youth professionals from the creative sector in Kenya, Somalia and Europe. CISP is seeking a qualified Consultant to provide high quality Storytelling trainings both online and in person (Nairobi – Kenya). This is an open retainer contract for 6 months only.

CFP IAMCR 2021 (Kenya and Online)

ConferencesCall for papers: Rethinking Borders and Boundaries, International Association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Nairobi, Kenya, 11-15 July 2021 (both online and a regional hub in Nairobi). Deadline: 9 February 2021.

Proposals submitted to sections and working groups can be centred on an aspect of the main conference theme, Rethinking borders and boundaries, as it relates to the central concerns of the section or working group, or they may address additional themes identified by the section or working group.


Call For Abstracts: The Global Council on Anthropological Linguistics (GLOCAL) Conference on African Linguistic Anthropology  (AFALA),  University of Nairobi, Kenya, October 13-15, 2021. Deadline:  February 28, 2021.

Theme: Linguistic Landscapes, Cultural Climates, Mazingira Ya Lugha, Hali Ya Hewa Ya Kitamaduni. The framing of language and speech communities within particular geographical and cultural localities, and within boundaries of tradition and heritage, always constitutes an arduous task. However, this becomes intensified in African contexts, in that language and cultural mixing and switching is highly common, if not normative practice, as vital to an African politics of identity. A continuous Bakhtinian re-stylizing of previous language practices then, mediates cultural practices of new generations, while this re-stylizing becomes complexified by new and intensified mobilities, technologies, return migration, multimodalities, (continuously) rewritten historiographies, colonized and decolonized ideologies, innovative scholarly work, and so forth.

The intertwining of the many channels of this eclectic re-stylizing can best, or maybe only, be deciphered anthropologically. And why not through a lens of cultural scapes and climates, where new communities identify with cultural patterns and cultural subjectivities? Again, this becomes an arduous task in African regions, where so much mixing and switching, as normative practice, occurs. Concurrently, the complexity of each and every society in (sub) Urban Africa makes for an infinitely fertile ethnography of language and cultural community, to inform our knowledge of the linguistic landscapes of African countries and regions.

Toussaint Nothias Profile


Toussaint Nothias is a postdoctoral fellow at the Digital Civil Society Lab. He holds a PhD in Media and Communication from the University of Leeds.

Toussaint Nothias

His research explores journalism, social media and civil society in Africa. In the past, he has conducted interviews among foreign correspondents to understand how the global image of Africa is produced. He has also done research with Kenyan journalists to examine their work practices and the impact of social media on their reporting of elections, terrorism, and the ICC investigation in Kenya. His postdoc fellowship project, titled Free Basics and the African Digital Civil Society, looks at the implementation of Facebook’s initiative to provide free Internet across various African countries, and its impact on local media production and civil society groups. The project engages a range of debates about digital advocacy and activism in the Global South, tech corporation’s investments in network infrastructures, net neutrality, civic engagement and social media platforms in politically volatile contexts. In parallel, Toussaint is developing a sharable, open-source tool at the intersection of technology, journalism, and scholarship. The Africa Stereotype Scanner (ASTRSC) deploys digital technologies to scan for damaging stereotypes and implicit biases in reporting about Africa. In 2017, Toussaint organized the workshop “African Media Studies in the Digital Age” at Stanford, and in 2018 he received the Stuart Hall Award from the IAMCR for his work on Twitter in Kenya.

Selected publications:

Nothias, T. & Cheruiyot, D. (2019) A “hotbed” of digital empowerment? Media criticism in Kenya between playful engagement and co-optionInternational Journal of Communication, 13, 136-159.

Nothias, T. (2018) How Western journalists actually write about Africa. Journalism Studies, 19(8), 1138-1159.

Paterson, C., & Nothias, T. (2016). Representation of China and the US in Africa in online global news. Communication, Culture, Critique, 9(1), 107-125.

Nothias, T. (2016). Mediating the distant Other for the distant audience: How do western correspondents in East and Southern Africa perceive their audience. In M. Bunce, S. Franks & C. Paterson (Eds.), Africa’s media image in the 21st century: From the “heart of darkness” to “Africa rising.” Routledge: London.

Nothias, T. (2014). Hopeful, rising, new: Visualizing Africa in the age of globalisation. Visual Communication, 13(3): 323-339.

Nothias, T. (2014). Afro-pessimism in the French and British press coverage of the 2010 South African World Cup. In T. Chari & N. Mhiripiri (Eds.), African football, identity politics and global media narratives: The legacy of the FIFA 2010 World Cup (pp. 285-304). Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave MacMillan.

CFP ICA regional conference (Kenya)

Call for Extended Abstracts

The International Communication Association (ICA) and the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) hereby invite extended abstract paper proposals for the first ICA Africa Regional Conference to be held at Daystar University in Nairobi – Kenya.  The conference dates are 19th – 21st October 2016.

The conference will focus on the theme of Growing Communication Scholarship: Looking to the past with gratitude, the present with passion, the future with hope. The conference will bring together communication scholars and professionals from around the world to share research, exchange ideas, and stimulate dialogue on the past, present, and future of communication scholarship. The conference seeks to highlight relevant issues, trends, and future agendas for communication scholarship. Also included in the conference will be keynote and plenary sessions by notable communication scholars, practitioners, and policy makers.

Participants should submit extended abstracts of 1000 – 2000 words including the title, description, rationale, theoretical framework, and methodology of their proposed presentation. Panel proposals should consist of 1000-word description and rationale of the panel and 500-word description of each presentation on the panel.

The abstracts are to be submitted via the ICA paper management system on the ICA website on/by 1st March 2016.

Proposals may address subthemes including, but not limited to:
– Global Communication
– Media Use across the Lifespan
– Media Regulation, Ownership & Convergence
– New Media
– Religion and Media
– Development and Health Communication
– Communication, Regional Cooperation, Peace & Conflict Resolution
– Localizing Media (content generation & distribution)
– Children, Youth and Women in the Media
– Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing Communication
– Journalism in the Technological Age (e.g. convergence, training)
– Political Communication (e.g. electioneering, good governance)
– Crisis /Risk/Disaster Communication (e.g. terrorism, safety)
– Science Communication (e.g. environment and climate change, Sustainability)
– Dominant Cultural themes and Communication (e.g. cultural anthropology & communication)

For more information, please contact the Conference organizers by email or check out the Facebook group.

Iván Fernández Anaya as an Example of Applied Intercultural Dialogue

An interaction between Spanish and Kenyan athletes in December 2012 made a major splash in the news a month later (reaching the English language press only after it was widely reported in the Spanish language press). The story is still circulating on social media today. While not typically presented as an example of intercultural dialogue, it is an interesting model for what can happen when members of different cultural groups meet. The story is included here for those who have not yet heard about it. For those who have, it would be interesting to hear similar examples from other contexts – feel free to either reply with a comment, or send an email suggesting a related story to post.

“. . .on December 2 [2012], Spanish athlete Iván Fernández Anaya was competing in a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. He was running second, some distance behind race leader Abel Mutai – bronze medalist in the 3,000-meter steeplechase at the London Olympics. As they entered the finishing straight, he saw the Kenyan runner – the certain winner of the race – mistakenly pull up about 10 meters before the finish, thinking he had already crossed the line. Fernández Anaya quickly caught up with him, but instead of exploiting Mutai’s mistake to speed past and claim an unlikely victory, he stayed behind and, using gestures, guided the Kenyan to the line and let him cross first.”
    Source: Arribas, Carlos. (19 December 2012). Honesty of the long-distance runner. [Madrid].

“In the weeks that followed, Fernandez saw his story gain momentum outside the Spanish media. He gained thousands of Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and once again saw an opportunity to do something kind. The athlete put the green shirt and red shorts he wore for the race up for auction on eBay with the intention of donating all proceeds to the Red Cross, an organization he described as “one of the hardest working worldwide.”
His website lauded the organization’s dedication to promoting peace and international cooperation, as well as mutual respect and understanding among all the world’s people. . . The winning bid was €560.”
    Source: Internet swoons for Spanish runner who helped competitor win. (January 2013). CBC News [Canada].

Additional coverage:
Huffington Post
USA Today
Vancouver Sun

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