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Lehrstuhl Soziologie in Afrika - Prof. Dr. Jana Hönke

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Public talk by Joschka Philipps -- Chasing Shadows: Conspiracism and political imagination in postcolonial Guine

Next week’s colloquium session (on the 8th of June) will consist of a public talk by Joschka Philipps, leader of the Junior Research Group on post-truth politics in Africa at the University of Bayreuth. He will be speaking for about 45 minutes, after which there will be time for questions from the public for half an hour. Looking forward to seeing you next Tuesday from 16:15-17:30 (Remember to register beforehand!).

This presentation analyzes the social and political significance of conspiracy theories (whether true or false) in the Republic of Guinea. Juxtaposing different historical episodes and different ways in which conspiracy allegations mark Guinean state-society relations, the aim is to consider conspiracism in the light of three conceptual-methodological lenses—postcolonial, metaphorical, and situational. The postcolonial focus is on how the real and imagined “complots” against the regime of Sékou Touré in the 1960s created a persistent suspicion, if not paranoia, at the center of the Guinean state that affects state-society relations until today. The metaphorical lens aims at understanding the role of transnational “Illuminati” conspiracy theories among today’s younger generations, and how the “Illuminati” serve as a metaphor to explain wealth, power, and celebrity in a globalized world. Finally, Guinea’s 2010 elections will be interrogated through a situational lens, looking at two events—a rally by a political party and a sensitization campaign by an international NGO—in which conspiracist allegations caused political upheavals and disruptions. Throughout, the findings from the Guinean case are comparatively discussed with regards to the ongoing debate on post-truth politics and conspiracy theories in Europe and the United States.

Zoom link is the following (please remember to register!):  https://uni-bayreuth.zoom.us/meeting/register/u5Yuce2orzkrG9TL8keizsb07axcuhoI3Eh_

Also, to facilitate sharing, this is the Facebook event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/320953766105688?ref=newsfeed  Please also remember to like the Chair for Sociology of Africa Facebook page while you’re at it.

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