Sprache und Wissen in Afrika
The collected articles from the Afrikanistentag (Africanists' Day) in Frankfurt and Mainz represent the subject of African Studies. Venerable tradition and innovative modern spirit meet when scientists present themselves to a multitude of institutes of African Studies and foundations. For a long time, professional conferences like the Afrikanistentag have been evidence for the commitment and multiplicity of African Studies in Germany and the neighbouring Europe, but now they are also a platform for the persisting discussion about the future of this scientific tradition.
The 15. Afrikanistentag opened the way for a new section in the tradition of the Afrikanistentage as well as in the more recent history of this subject. In this way, a public discourse concerning the future of African Studies as a university subject began that still holds on to be a subject on future Afrikanistentage. In this case, the establishment of a representative professional association is of major importance. In the future, the German-speaking African Studies could not only be represented by a periodically occurring conference, but would also have a stable institution at its disposal which would be able to support the interests of the subject and of its substitutes in committees and in public. The manifold discussions and activities determined through the Afrikanistentag also show that the international scientific network takes place in a higher standard than before which gives the subject a new dimension. The cooperation with African colleagues should be a well-balanced partnership in which both sides are equally involved in planning and executing scientific projects. This way of acting, basically resulting from the subject's tradition, should lead scientists of African Studies to intervene in political and social affairs and to organize a discourse between Europe and Africa.