With Africa increasingly integrated into the global economy and more "foreigners" moving across Africa, the panel invites papers to explore how questions of race and ethnicity are negotiated between local inhabitants and foreigners across shifting urban and rural African spaces and places.
The movement of "foreigners", ranging from immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers, to entrepreneurs and expatriates continues to remain an integral aspect of orientating urban and rural African spaces, places and communities in an increasingly interdependent global economy. Often regarded by locals as what Simmel identified as "Strangers," questions of racial/ethnic origins of the foreigners, intermingling or creolization continues to mark their nearness and strangeness within different African communities, reshapes urban spaces and identities and leaves these foreigners more susceptible to violence resulting from local struggles for resources and power. This panel invites papers to explore how movements of foreigners, as individuals and as members of different communities, are negotiated under the prism of race and ethnicity within the socio-spatial continuum that constitute these shifting urban and rural communities, along networks emanating from the local, regional and global scales across Africa. Papers should focus on investigating how socio-economic, political, media and/or religious factors contribute in (re)shaping ideas of belonging and displacement for these foreigners and how orientation and politics of social spaces in urban versus rural places affect social interaction of these foreigners with native members of various communities. Papers should further examine how notions of race/ethnicity are negotiated and shift within different contexts and promote degrees of social cohesion in the making and reshaping of urban and rural space and places, in turn reducing levels of strangeness of the foreigners and promoting a sense of pluralism within these societies.