An Interdisciplinary Conference on Space, Society, and the Imagination of an African Crossroads.
Barnard College, May 6-7, 2016

Organized by:

Abosede George, Associate professor, Barnard College

Saheed Aderinto, Associate professor, Western Carolina University

Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi, Assistant professor, University of California, Riverside

All events will take place in Barnard Hall.

Day One: Friday, May 6th, 2016

12:00 – 4:00PM: Registration at Barnard Hall, Barnard College.

4:00 – 4:40PM: Opening Remarks by Provost Linda Bell, (Sulzberger Parlor, 3rd Floor)

4:45 – 6:30PM: Documenting Lagos: Film Screenings and Discussion, Sulzberger Parlor

6:30 – 8:00PM: Opening Reception (James Room, 4th Floor)

Day Two: Saturday May 7th, 2016

8:30 – 9:30AM  Breakfast

9: 45 – 11: 15AM  Opening Keynote Lecture:

“The Transatlantic Passages of Francisco Gomes: Slavery, Freedom, and the Founding of the Brazilian Community in Lagos” by Kristin Mann, Emory University (Sulzberger Parlor).

11:30 – 1:00PM. Session 1: Simultaneous Panels

Session 1A: Urbanization, Urban Planning, and Architecture (Sulzberger Parlor).

Moderator: Abosede George (Barnard College-Columbia University).

  • “Yaba and the Colonial Re-Planning of Lagos Island, 1917-1929” by Lanre Davies (Olabisi Onabanjo University, Nigeria).
  • “Architecture as the History of Royal Powers in Lagos (1600s–1920s)” by Adedoyin Teriba (Princeton University, USA).
  • “Architectural Imperialism in Lagos: The Image of the African City” by Elisa Dainese (University of Pennsylvania, USA).
  • “Socio-Political Economy and Urbanization in Lagos, Nigeria” by David Mautin Oke, and Olatunji Abdul Shobande, (University of Lagos, Nigeria).

Session 1B: Writing and Performing Lagos: A Global City in Language and Artistic Production (Barnard 304)

Moderator: James Tsaaior (Pan Atlantic University, Nigeria).

  • “Bode Akinibyi’s All Roads of Lagos” by Kimberli Gant (University of Texas at Austin, USA).
  • African Santa Claus”: Ekpe Masquerade as Cultural Capital of Efik-Ibibio People in Colonial Lagos by Edet A. Thomas (University of Massachusetts, Boston, USA).
  • “Love Letters and the Performance of Modern Sexualities in Colonial Lagos” by Saheed Aderinto (Western Carolina University, USA).
  • “The Mutant Rise of Nigerian Pidgin: The Lagos Nexus” by Odirin Victor Abonyi   (University of Ibadan, Nigeria).

Session 1C:  Power Politics, Capitalism, and Entrepreneurship (Barnard 409)

Moderator: Mojubaolu Okome (Brooklyn College, CUNY, USA).

  • “Lagos No Go Spoil’: Lagos, Power Politics, and the Framing of Postcolonial Cityscapes in Lagos of the Poets” James Tar Tsaaior (Pan-Atlantic University, Nigeria).
  • “A Market With No Indigenes: Ethnic Rhetoric and Cosmopolitan Market Imaginaries in Lagos’ International Trade Fair Complex” Vivian Lu (Stanford University, USA).
  • “Hustler (wonder)land? Selling Used Computer in Lagos: Between Challenges and Opportunities” by Alice Sala (University of Neuchâtel, Switzerland).
  • “The Development of Capitalism and Urbanism in Metropolitan Lagos” by Akeem Ayofe Akinwale (University of Lagos, Nigeria).

1:10 – 2:10   Lunch Break.  

2:15 – 3:45   Session 2: Simultaneous Panels.

Session 2A:  Lagos Nollywood (Sulzberger Parlor).

Moderator: Brian Larkin (Barnard College-Columbia University, USA).

  • Preliminary Notes for a Social Topography of Nollywood: The Spaces of Film Shooting and Viewing in Lagos” by Anouk Batard (University of Toulouse, France).
  • “Nollywood and the Unjust City: Lagos and the Spatial Politics of Urban Injustice in Femi Odugbemi’s Maroko” by Paul Ugor (Illinois State University, USA).
  • “Lagos, Nollywood, and Neoliberal Transformations” by Jonathan Haynes (Long Island University, USA).
  • “Eko gb’óle O gb’ọlẹ: Dreams, Reality and Migration among Atohinrinwa in Lagos in Yoruba Nollywood Films” by Bosede Funke Afolayan (University of Lagos, Nigeria).

Session 2B: Lagos Here I Come! Migrants, Citizenship, and Ethnic Identity (Barnard 304).

Moderator: Mamadou Diouf (Columbia University, USA).

  • “The Ekopolitan Project: Reflections on Crowdsourcing Lagos Family Histories” by Abosede George (Barnard College-Columbia University).
  • “Driving, Dancing and Dashing: A Political Rhythm-analysis of Mobilities in an African City” by Allen Xiao (University of Wisconsin).
  • “From Rural to Urban Community:  The Impact of Human Migration and Settlement Pattern on the Transformation of Ikorodu Metropolis in Lagos, 1892-1999” by Friday Aworawo (University of Lagos, Nigeria).
  • “Freedom in the Atlantic: Afro-Brazilian Liminality and Strategic Self-Fashioning in Lagos During the Second Half of the Nineteenth Century” by Susan Rosenfeld (University of California-Los Angeles, USA).

Session 2C: Image, Citizenship, and Health in the Global City (Barnard 409)

Moderator: Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi (University of California, Riverside, USA.)

  • “The Politics of Indigeneity in Colonial Lagos” by Kanyinsola Obayan (Cornell University, USA).
  • “Eko For Show”: Dressing Spectacularly in and For Lagos” by Simidele Dosekun (London School of Economics, United Kingdom).
  • “Governance and Urban Transformation for Sustainable Health and Wellbeing” by Benjamin Uchenna Anaemene (Redeemer’s University, Nigeria).
  • “Yanmu Yanmu Ehin-Igbeti’: Teenage Perspectives of Colonialism in Lagos, 1940-1950” by Tunde Decker (Osun State University, Nigeria).  

4:00 – 5: 30PM: Session 3: Simultaneous Panels.

Session 3A. Surviving Lagos: Religion, Poverty, and Identity Struggle (Barnard 304).

Moderator: Carolyn Brown (Rutgers University, USA).

  • “Lagos-Ibadan Express Way: A Tentative Ethnography of the Religious Activity Along The Infrastructure, 2005-2016” by Xavier Moyet (The French Institute for Research in Africa, Nigeria).
  • “Dreaming Dreams and Seeing Visions: Pentecostal Conceptualizations of Urban Space in Lagos” by Adedamola Osinulu (New York University, USA).
  • “Scavenging, Recycling and Waste Management in Lagos: Past, Present and Future” by  Paul Osifodunrin (University of Lagos, Nigeria).
  • “A Place of Contradictions: Urban Identity in Lagos During World War I” by David Dmitri Hurlbut (Boston University, USA).

Session 3B: Landscape, Space, and Infrastructure (Barnard 409).

Moderator: Jonathan Haynes (Long Island University, USA).

  • “Performativity of Land Rights in Mid-Century Lagos” by Muchiri Ng’ang’a (Duke University, USA).
  • “Lagos Temporalities: Exploring the Impact of Mobile Communication Technologies in a Dynamic Urban Landscape” by Naluwembe Binaisa. (Max-Planck-Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Germany).
  • “Making the Urban Coast: Eko Atlantic City and ‘The Dubai of Africa”’ by Ben Mendelsohn (New York University, USA).
  • “British Colonial Land Use Policies” by Felix Oludare Ajiola (University of Lagos, Nigeria).

Workshop: Print Culture and Intellectual History (Barnard 405.  To attend the workshop, e-mail for required readings)

Moderator: Moses Ochonu (Vanderbilt University).

  • Claiming Imperial Rights: Lagos Newspapers and Political Belonging in the 19th century Halimat Titilola Somotan (Columbia University, USA).
  • “Slave to a Narrative:  The Imag(in)ed Life of Sarah Forbes Bonnetta Davies” by Olubukola Gbadegesin (St. Louis University, USA).
  • “Ture Occupation?” for the Progress of Society: Technical and Agricultural Associations in Early Lagos Newspapers” by Nozomi Sawada (Komazawa University, Japan).
  • “Historical Tours of Nineteenth-Century Lagos: Space, Cartography and the News” by Ademide Adelusi-Adeluyi (University of California, Riverside, USA).

5:40 – 6:45PM: Synthesis / Feedback / Conversation  (James Room)

6:45 – 7:00PM: Appreciations / Closing Remarks

7:30 – Late: Dinner