VI-3. Pan-Africanism and Migration

Conveners: Dmitri M. Bondarenko (Institute for African Studies, Moscow, Russia); e-mails:,, Harold D. Weaver (Harvard University, Cambridge, USA); e-mails:,

The topic of this panel is twofold. On the one hand, Pan-Africanism is an ideology formulated and advocated by concrete, outstanding Black thinkers and political figures on both sides of the Atlantic. On the other hand, Pan-Africanism can be understood as a sense of – and a commitment to – “African unity” shared by African-Diasporic people throughout the world. The panel’s objective is to study the intersection of Pan-Africanism and migration, both in Europe and the Americas, In particular, the extent to which Pan-Africanism has influenced (and continues to influence) the consciousness of Black people outside Africa, from liberated enslaved Africans in the New World in the 18th and 19th centuries to African migrants in Europe, in the Americas, and elsewhere in the 20th and 21st centuries. At the same time, the panel welcomes papers discussing the place that Pan-Africanism occupies in the minds and actions of Black people born or residing outside the African continent. For example, the following specific topics may be of interest, among many others: What is the relation between and hierarchy of the Pan-African sentiment compared to ethnic and national in the minds of contemporary first, “first-and-a-half,” second, and third generation African migrants in the New World and Russia? How does Pan-Africanism influence the thought and political behavior of Africans in the Diaspora? Is the pan-African sentiment basically the same and plays the same role in the minds of recent African migrants as Africans in the African Diaspora over generations or not? Does this sentiment most often embrace all Black people or only indigenous Africans? To what extent is it based on the idea of Black people’s common cultural roots, and to what extent on the memory of their common sufferings and oppression at the hands of Whites? How does getting education abroad influence the pan-African sentiment in Africans’ minds and identities? How are their African identities enhanced by their treatment and adjustment to white dominated societies and nations? How can studies of Pan-Africanism be related to contemporary research on “Blackness” and “Whiteness”, as well as to criticisms on the very notion of “race” as “cultural construct”? Concentrating on these and other issues relevant to the topic, the panel intends to contribute to a better understanding of the intricate relationship between Africans on the continent and those outside Africa in the African Diaspora regarding their relationship to their adopted lands.