“Africa and the Americas:
Cultural Representations and Social Movements”

Southeast Africanist Network (SEAN)
2008 Conference
Kennesaw State University
Kennesaw, GA | January 24-26, 2008


Conference Speakers


Plenary Speaker: Professor Joe Opala
Professor of History, James Madison University
Joseph A. Opala received the B.A. from the University of Arizona and the M.A. from the University of Oklahoma. He is an Adjunct Professor of History and teaches GHUM courses and the Honors Seminar. His research interests are in African and African American History. Mr. Opala lived in West Africa for two decades, teaching African Studies at the University of Sierra Leone and researching the Atlantic slave trade, Creole languages, and various topics in West Aftican history and traditional culture. He has published two documentary films: "Family Across the Sea" (1991) and "The Language You Cry in" (1998).



Plenary Speaker: Chief Jimoh Buraimoh
World famous artist, sculptor, and muralist
Chief Jimoh Buraimoh was born in Osogbo, Nigeria. In 1964, he joined the Duro Ladipos Theatre Group as an actor and stage technician. While working for the theatre group, he participated in an art workshop organized in Osogbo by Ulli Beir. He has never looked back. Chief Buraimoh has exhibited his works in many cities worldwide. His works have been exhibited in the United States, Germany, Italy, Japan, and many African countries. In Nigeria, his works were exhibited in Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Ibadan and Lagos. In 1977 his works were exhibited along with those of equally distinguished artists during the Second World Black Arts Festival (FESTAC) in Lagos. Chief Buraimoh is the first Nigerian artist to introduce bead into contemporary art. Through his unique method, he produces painting which has oil color in the background, has beads as the most prominent feature, and comes out in various colors showing a beauty that surpasses a rainbow. Chief Buraimoh’s gallery is based in Osogbo.




Keynote Speaker: Professor Jacob K. Olupona

Professor of African Religious Traditions, Harvard Divinity School, joint appointment as Professor of African and African American Studies, Faculty of Arts and Sciences

BA, University of Nigeria
MA, PhD, Boston University

Jacob K. Olupona, joined the Faculty of Divinity and Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 2006. A noted scholar of indigenous African religions, Olupona came to Harvard from the University of California, Davis. He is currently working on a pathbreaking study of the religious practices of the estimated one million Africans who have emigrated to the United States over the last 40 years, examining in particular several populations that remain relatively invisible in the American religious landscape: "reverse missionaries" who have come to the U.S. to establish churches, African Pentecostals in American congregations, American branches of independent African churches, and indigenous African religious communities in the U.S. His earlier research ranged across African spirituality and ritual practices, spirit possession, Pentecostalism, Yoruba festivals, animal symbolism, icons, phenomenology, and religious pluralism in Africa and the Americas. In his forthcoming book Ile-Ife: The City of 201 Gods, he examines the modern urban mixing of ritual, royalty, gender, class, and power, and how the structure, content, and meaning of religious beliefs and practices permeate daily life. He has authored or edited seven other books, including Kingship, Religion and Rituals in a Nigerian Community: A Phenomenological Study of Ondo Yoruba Festivals, which has become a model for ethnographic research among Yoruba-speaking communities. Olupona has received prestigious grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the Ford Foundation, the Davis Humanities Institute, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Getty Foundation. He has served on the editorial boards of three influential journals and as president of the African Association for the Study of Religion. In 2000, Olupona received an honorary doctorate in divinity from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Blurb from Harvard Divinity School.




Organizing Committee

Dr. Samuel Abaidoo
Dr. Akanmu Adebayo
Ms. Ikeade Akinyemi
Dr. Nurudeen Akinyemi
Ms. Vivian Bonilla
Dr. Rosa Bobia
Dr. Marne Campbell
Dr. Robert DeVillar
Dr. LeeAnn Lands
Dr. Todd Leedy
Dr. Oral Moses
Dr. Dan Paracka
Dr. Ann Pullen
Dr. Sarah Robbins
Dr. Karen Robinson
Dr. Ryan Ronnenberg
Dr. Ernesto Silva
Dr. Robert Simon
Dr. Garrett Smith
Dr. Eva Thompson
Ms. Franckline Vernet
Dr. Richard Vengroff



Conference Homepage
Travel, Accommodation, and Registration Information
Keynote and Plenary Speakers
Call for Papers
Conference Sponsors
Conference Themes
Conference Contacts
About SEAN
Preliminary Program






ksulogo sean


Institute for Global Initiatives
Kennesaw State University
1000 Chastain Road, #2301, Kennesaw, GA 30144-5591. Phone: 770.423.6336 | FAX: 770.499-3430