Summer School “Africa on the move”

Title: Africa on the move: diaspora, mobility, migration, languages, culture and economy – Researching transnational political, economic, linguistic and cultural biographies in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner

When: 01. – 05. August 2022 (full day)

Where: Partially hybrid; University of Mannheim, Germany or online (Zoom). Seminars in the morning and workshop only in person!

Language: German and English

Registration: completed

Application deadline: 17. July 2022, late registration upon request

Fees: free

ECTS: 6 (IKW module, ICS)

Summer School Blog

About the Summer School

The “Africa on the Move” Summer School is an intensive, one-week summer program organized and led by two doctoral students from the University of Mannheim. The program offers a platform for a transdisciplinary exchange intended to facilitate dialogue between science and society. Students and participants have the opportunity to deal with the topic of migration from different perspectives. The topic of the summer school is “Africa on the move: diaspora, mobility, migration, languages, culture and economy – Researching transnational political, economic, linguistic and cultural biographies in an inter- and transdisciplinary manner”. 

The Summer School will take place at the University of Mannheim from August 1st, 2022 to August 5th, 2022. The lectures in the afternoon will be streamed online in parallel. Participants will have the opportunity to network with stakeholders in society and science. Participation is free of charge and can be attended by anyone who is interested, including those from outside the university. Registration is possible until July 17th.

Afrodiaspora in Europe

Migration, movement of peoples and mobility in general are an ancient human phenomenon. The advancing globalization and technological developments show a clear and ever increasing flexibility and democratization of mobility, both of people and goods – of material and intellectual nature. In Europe, more and more international and transnational networks are forming within diaspora groups that actively maintain their cultural identity(ies). 

For the investigation of the diaspora movements within this summer school, the focus is set on the Afrodiaspora in Europe and America (North, Central and South America).

The growing relevance of African migration in European discourse is reflected in various reports on the subject that have been published by foundations and other institutions in recent years (e.g. Africa Migration Report 2020; Angenendt et al. 2021). However, the focus of the publications is mainly on the irregular migration of African people, although recent studies show that about 94% is legal (Achieng/El Fadil 2019: 1).

The discourse is therefore by no means neutral, but rather shaped by attitudes and attitudes from a European perspective. Migration movements from Africa to western countries tend to be viewed as a threat. Migration is seen as a problem from a European perspective and does not take into account that mobility is at the heart of the cultural practices of most African peoples. 

The aim of the “Africa on the Move” Summer School is to take a transdisciplinary look at the interactions – on a social, economic, cultural, political, linguistic and artistic level – of the diaspora movements. A one-week linguistics seminar is offered for this purpose. The program is supplemented by a mixture of lectures from the scientific disciplines of political science, economics and linguistics and civil society, as well as an artistic workshop.


  • Achieng, Maureen/El Fadil, Amira (2019): „What is wrong with the narrative on African migration”. In: Adepoju, Aderanti/Fumagalli, Corrado/Nyabola, Nanjala (Hrgs.): Africa Migration Report. Challenging the Narrative. Kirkos Sub-city/Yemez, Ethiopia: International Organization for Migration. S. 1-14.
  • Adepoju, Aderanti/Fumagalli, Corrado/Nyabola, Nanjala (2019): Africa Migration Report. Challenging the Narrative. Kirkos Sub-city/Yemez, Ethiopia: International Organization for Migration.
  • Angenendt, Steffen/Biehler, Nadine/Kipp, David (2021): Cities and Their Networks in EU-Afrika Migration Policy. Are They Really Game Changers?. Berlin: Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik.


The aim of this summer school is to bring together different actors from science and society. The focus is on the differences in the perception and understanding of Afrodiaspora in the individual areas. Students should gain a broader perspective that enables them to understand the importance of collaborating with other disciplines and other actors to study complex phenomena. The following points are covered: 

  1. Inquiry about the state of research in the selected disciplines 
  2. Presentation of terminology and methods of the respective disciplines to detect synergies.
  3. Comparison of the presented state of research – terminology, models, theories – with reports from actors of the Afrodiaspora on their lives and their experiences

Course content

The summer school consists of seminars in the morning and lectures similar to conferences in the afternoon.

  • Seminar – Migration Linguistics

    In this seminar, the interdisciplinary theoretical and methodological foundations of the emerging subdiscipline of linguistics – migration linguistics – are presented. Students will learn about the dominant discourse of migration and superdiversity in a European context and the resulting methods. 

    Three large language areas are presented, which target both the colonial heritage – the Francophonie, Anglophonie, Hispanophony and Lusophonie – as well as the language and cultural contacts with the autochthonous populations and languages. 

    The seminar can be taken by students of the University of Mannheim in the IKW module.

  • Transdisciplinary Conference

    Diaspora movements, like any other social development, require a multidimensional view in order to do justice to their complexity. The linguistic consideration is supplemented by the use of political science and economics in order to obtain a holistic picture of the phenomenon. The scientific investigations are expanded by actors from different countries of origin and Afro-Germans, who report on their experiences and fields of activity.

  • Artistic Workshop

    On one of the afternoons, a workshop will be offered in which the participants can actively engage with the transdisciplinary linking of science, art and culture in the context of the African diaspora. Remses Rafaela, together with his percussionists, will present their approaches and show how, by resuming a tradition banned in Curaçao (Tambú rituals) in the diaspora (Netherlands), they contribute to a subversive counter-discourse that is reaching back to Curaçao create. 

    In this workshop Remses will take participants on a journey where complex Afro-Caribbean rhythms come together in a dynamic and spontaneous interplay combined with compelling powerful body movement... An in-depth personal study to make you aware of your cultural identity that tries to hand you tools on how to take ownership of who you are, where you come from and what you stand for. The sessions are accompanied by Remses Rafaela and with live music.
    Remses is known as an all-round dancer with his own movement idiom: traditional Afro-Caribbean dance styles such as tambu, seu and merengue mixed with acrobatics. A dance language in which the versatility of his roots, experience in hip-hop & contemporary, his culture and his different backgrounds as a dancer are expressed in a unique amalgamation


    Participation is possible for a limited number. Students attending the Summer School as part of their course program have priority.

Download the entire program here.

Participation & Registration

Participation is open and free of charge to both university (students and doctoral candidates of all programs and disciplines, employees, professors) and non-university interested parties. Accommodation and travel expenses must be borne by yourself. The event will be held in a mixture of German and English, without simultaneous translation. It is possible to attend individual parts of the summer school. 

Students at the University of Mannheim can be awarded 6 ECTS points in the IKW module (ICS) if they fully participate. With limited capacity in the seminars and workshop, priority will be given to students attending the Summer School as part of their course program.

The registration deadline expired on July 17th.

Depending on the applicable legal situation, evidence of corona tests and vaccinations may be checked on site.

Promoters and Sponsors


Council of Speakers of the Doctoral Convents at the University of Mannheim



Andrea Chagas López

Andrea Chagas López

Academic Staff Member
University of Mannheim
Department of Romance Languages
L 15, 1–6 – Room A 108
68161 Mannheim
Consultation hour(s):
nach Vereinbarung per Mail
Theresa Bührle

Theresa Bührle

ZEW Mannheim / Doctoral Student at the Chair of Business Administration and Taxation II