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Family memory and African futures 
Carola Lentz (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Isidore Lobnibe (Western Oregon University)
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Isidore Lobnibe (Western Oregon University)
Carola Lentz (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
Anthropology (x) Futures (y)
Philosophikum, S67
Thursday 1 June, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Berlin

Short Abstract:

Extended family ties continue to provide mobile individuals in and from Africa with a sense of belonging. Remembering family history binds the family together. The panel explores family practices of remembering and how they shape the family members' visions of possible and desirable futures.

Long Abstract:

In Africa, extended family ties continue to enjoy importance in providing mobile individ-uals with a sense of belonging. By emphasizing the supposed naturalness of belonging through descent and marriage, members of families living apart in an increasingly global-ized postcolonial world hope to stem the tide of dispersal and professional diversification among members. Remembering family history - drawing up genealogies and chronicles, organizing family events, preserving objects and houses as vestiges of the past and many more - is an important force in binding the family together and shaping its future. During the 1970s and 1980s and even up to the present, migrants living away from their hometowns often organized solidarity through notions of shared ethnicity or origins in a particular locality, forming hometown associations or ethnically defined youth and de-velopments organizations. In the past one or two decades, however, there has been a shift toward setting up family foundations to cater for their members' needs, preserve family cohesion and discuss about desirable futures. The family remains an attractive framework for organizing belonging and togetherness not least because of its capacity to embrace transethnic, transnational and transreligious relations. In which remembering practices do families in contemporary Africa engage to keep families alive and ensure the future co-hesion among members? What is the role of family memory in shaping the future of Af-ricans? To address these questions, the panel invites empirical case studies of family practices of memory but also theoretical discussions on the underlying processes and challenges confronting the future of African families.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -
Session 2 Thursday 1 June, 2023, -