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Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies

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SKAnning Space from Africa: Seeing and Becoming


  • Hanna Nieber, Religionswissenschaft, Universität Bayreuth (contact person) Hanna.nieber@uni-bayreuth.de
  • Irina Turner, African Linguistics, Universität Bayreuth Irina.turner@uni-bayreuth.de
  • James Merron, African Studies, Universität Basel James.merron@unibas.ch
  • Susann Ludwig, African Studies, Universität Leipzig Susann.ludwig@uni-leipzig.de


Based in South Africa and extending across the continent, the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) will become the world’s largest scientific instrument. Transcending borders of what was previously possible to know about the universe, the SKA also enables new “becomings”: satellite dishes become astronomical instruments, Ghana becomes the first country in West
Africa with a High-Performance Computer (HPC), people are trained and become scientists – astrophysicists, bioinformaticians or geographic information systems specialists – all of which is celebrated as Africa’s bright future. In the working group, we aim to address different perspectives of becomings in relation to “good” science for Africa’s future, such as “becoming a local community” or “becoming text” or “becoming somebodies.” As a working group, we intend to organize a workshop that facilitates an interdisciplinary exchange about becomings through SKA with students from Bayreuth, interested Bayreuth-based scholars, and invited scholars from Africa and Europe from various disciplinary backgrounds. We are interested in multiple moralities of becoming that the SKA gives rise to and are aware of our own academic becomings, producing writing, teaching, as well as facilitating dissemination to the (internet-)public.


5-day workshop on „SKAnning space from Africa: Seeing and Becoming“ With scholars from Africa (South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, and others), tentative dates: 27 to 31 January

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