Howard University African Studies and Languages International Conference 2025

Feb 21 - 22, 2025 (Friday - Saturday) 

Howard University


African Indigenous Knowledge and Languages


  • Howard University Department of African Studies
  • Howard University Center for African Studies
  • Howard University Department of World Languages and Cultures

About the Conference

This annual two-day conference will be a hybrid conference which will be held both in person at Howard University in Washington, DC and virtually via Zoom. The conference will bring together scholars, policymakers, activists, practitioners, Africanists, and many others across the globe who care about the present and future of Africa and its Diaspora.

Call for Paper and Panel Proposals

African Indigenous knowledge is identified as a global asset, a key component of decolonization, African renaissance, inclusivity, social cohesion, transformation, and sustainable development. African Indigenous knowledge forms and languages have sustained African people since time immemorial. Despite the challenges which indigenous knowledge forms and languages have faced and continue to face such as marginalization and stigmatization caused by colonialism, neo-colonialism, and globalization, these knowledge forms and languages continue to thrive in Africa and beyond.

To continue conversations on these forms of knowledge, we invite participants to present papers on the following sub-themes:

  1. Herbal Medicine
  2. Indigenous Foods
  3. Indigenous Conflict Resolution
  4. Indigenous Governance
  5. Indigenous Forms of Communication
  6. Indigenous Women and Development
  7. Indigenous Sustenance of the Environment
  8. African Indigenous Languages
  9. Folklores, Music, and Proverbial Wisdom
  10. Indigenous Scripts and their role in Preserving Indigenous Languages and Literatures
  11. Documentation and Preservation of Endangered African Languages
  12. Agriculture and Indigenous Practices
  13. Archeological Findings and African Languages
  14. Indigenous Education
  15. Indigenous Economies
  16. African Indigenous Law
  17. Indigenous Youth Voices
  18. Indigenous forms of Diplomacy
  19. African Literature
  20. Indigenous Gender Relations
  21. Indigenous Epistemologies
  22. Cultural Spaces
  23. Documentation and Digitalization of Indigenous Knowledge Forms
  24. Indigenous Science and Technology
  25. Indigenous Astronomy

This conference’s dates are crucial because they coincide with Mother Language Day which is celebrated on February 21. We, therefore, invite participants and presenters to reflect on the importance of mother languages not only in their daily communication, but in education, health, governance, justice, environment, international relations etc. of the African indigenous people both on the continent and the diaspora.

Paper Proposals

We invite individual paper proposals that are aligned with the sub-themes listed above. Accepted individual papers will be assembled into panels and the corresponding panelists will be informed accordingly.

Panel Proposals

Panel proposals should include the sub-theme of the panel and a 250-word summary of what the panelists will be presenting, the names of three or four panelists with their institutional affiliation, the topic on which each panelist will be presenting and a 250 word abstract for each of the panelists.

Deadline for submission

Please submit your abstract by June 30th, 2024. Also, indicate under which topic your presentation belongs (see above, e.g., indigenous economies) and whether you will present in person or virtually.
Acceptance Notifications will be sent out by September 15th, 2024.


Papers presented at the conference will subsequently be peer reviewed and those accepted for publication will be published in the third issue of the Howard Journal of African Studies.

Contact Information

Any conference-related questions should be sent to the following address