35thAnnual Conference

“Twice the Challenge? Sudan, South Sudan and the Long Quest for Peace and Stability”

The Sudan Studies Association calls for proposals for pre-organized panels, round tables, thematic conversations and individual papers for its 35th annual meeting to be held on May 27th to 29th 2016, at Long Island University, New York.

South Sudan’s independence in 2011 heralded a new era not only for the South, but also for Northern Sudan as it struggled to adapt to a new set of realities. In the North, wars in the periphery of the country such as Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile continued to create significant challenges for the governance and control of the country. These challenges came at time when revenue was also declining precipitously in the face of the South’s secession and the loss of oil revenue and reserves. As a result, Sudan’s economy appeared to be teetering on a knife’s edge, with external debts escalating to a new high of $43 billion in 2013. These events, coupled with austerity measures and a crackdown in the wake of the Arab Spring, set the scene for political unrest in the capital Khartoum and violent suppression of the population involved in protests.

If the post-secession period has been difficult in the North, then the situation has proved even more challenging in the South. In December 2013, following the power struggle between Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir, a dispute over leadership degenerated into ethnic violence which erupted across the entire country. In the last two years, this situation has resulted in 730,000 new refugees who crossed the borders of neighboring countries to escape the violence and another 1.5 million who are internally displaced. These numbers can be added to a further 250,000 people who are sheltering in South Sudan to escape violence in the border states of Blue Nile and South Kordofan.

A final peace agreement signed in August, and a security agreement mediated by IGAD aims to move the situation forward. However, the quest for peace and stability in both countries still has many dimensions to resolve and a long road to travel. This conference aims to explore these dimensions and to debate what peace will eventually look like for both countries as they move forward.

We therefore invite papers that engage with, but are not limited to, the theme: “Twice the Challenge? Sudan, South Sudan and the Long Quest for Peace and Stability”. As always, we expect to bring together scholars working in different disciplines to consider a wide array of ideas connected to this theme. With this in mind, we invite scholars working on any aspect of Sudan and South Sudan in contemporary or historical perspective to contribute theoretically innovative and empirically grounded papers, panels and presentations that might enhance our understanding of these issues. Though the central focus of the conference will be on this broader theme, we would also welcome contributions on other substantive topics that consider Sudan and South Sudan in general perspective.

You must be registered in order to participate in panels and activities of the conference. If you would like to vote and attend business meetings you must be a paid up member. Panelists may present only one paper or one other presentation in an alternative format such as a thematic conversation or roundtable. We have set this limit in order to make limited participant spaces available to as many participants as possible.

Standard conference technology for Power Point will be available in all rooms. If you think that you may require other forms of technology please notify us ahead of time so that we are better able to accommodate you.

(1) Thematic Conversations:

Thematic Conversations are extensions of on-going conversations among scholars while exploring new trends and approaches to current or old questions. The conference provides an intellectual venue for like-minded scholars to continue in their discussion, deliberations that they started before in websites or other forums and engage into a face-to-face open academic exchange in an informal structure and within an open though captured audience. Although, there might not be formal presentations, the conversations must have a session chair, participants and a topic.

(2) Roundtable:

Roundtables provide group(s) or team(s) of scholars an opportunity to sit down to discuss an issue, share opinions, or just to brainstorm through informed discussion and debate concerning the current issues and their state within the wider or the particular fields of scholarship. The roundtable format generally provides an open discussion where the chair and the participants engage themselves and the audience in active discussion.

Participants might or might not prepare papers but they should not lecture to the audience.

For panel proposals, thematic conversations and roundtables, an abstract of maximum 250 words should be sent together with a 250 word abstract for each paper. Please also include a proposal, names of chair and participating members of each proposed thematic conversation and roundtable.

All proposals will be peer reviewed.

Abstracts of proposed papers, panels and roundtables should be sent by March 1st, 2016 to Dr. Anne Bartlett, at

A preliminary program will be announced by April 15th, 2016. Late proposals for papers will be considered only if space is available. Proposals and paper abstracts submitted earlier will receive preferential treatment in scheduling. Acceptance for presentation will depend on the quality of the abstract and the judgment of the program committee. Registration and conference fees must be paid before presenters will be placed in the formal conference program.

Local host: Dr. Bakry Elmedni

Long Island University- Brooklyn, 1 University Plaza, H700
Brooklyn, New York 11201. Tel: 718-488-1160 E-mail:

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