RELCFP is a religious studies call for papers repository. Submissions welcomed.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Mastodon.

CFP: Genesis Epistemologies: Origins, Syncretism, and Human Evolution in Africa

CFP: Genesis Epistemologies: Origins, Syncretism, and Human Evolution in Africa

Genesis Epistemologies: Origins, Syncretism, and Human Evolution in Africa

deadline for submissions: 

July 31, 2024

full name / name of organization: 

Yale University Council on African Studies and the University of South Africa (UNISA)

contact email:

Dates: November 7th-9th, 2024.

Mode: Mixed mode: In-person, hybrid, and online.

Venue: 7th- In person at Yale University, 8th Hybrid, 9th online only.

Hosts: Council on African Studies at Yale University & the University of South Africa (UNISA).

The Council on African Studies at the MacMillan Center, Yale University, and the Department of Religious Studies & Arabic at the University of South Africa (UNISA), jointly invite presentations for the second African Epistemologies for the 21st Century conference. This year’s theme is “Genesis Epistemologies: Origins, Syncretism, and Human Evolution in Africa.”

Genesis epistemologies: Africa’s status as the Cradle of Humankind holds little importance to its inhabitants, and the pursuit of Darwinian evolution of human origins remains largely a foreign-framed epistemological enterprise. Three genesis narratives are found in the continent: the exogenous religions of Islam and Christianity, Darwinian evolutionary science, and traditional origins myths. Even though both the earliest human ancestors and modern humans first appeared in Africa, many Africans reject Darwinian science due to colonialism, scientific racism, and misinformation. Efforts at community engagement in research projects have had limited success. What have paleoanthropologists done or can do to i) mitigate this situation? and ii) incorporate local knowledge and skills in human evolution projects?

The conference seeks to foster discussion on origins syncretism, the place of Africa’s indigenous origins narratives, multivocality, knowledge co-production, and mean-making in African prehistory research. In this gathering, Africanist and diaspora scholars will engage in dialogue critical to what an African Cradle of Humankind means to researchers and communities. We therefore invite presentations on field research projects and theoretical perspectives that address holistic approaches to human origins research in the continent of Africa.

Conference themes:

The conference seeks to explore and receive contributions centering on the central themes on the Genesis Epistemologies, specifically focusing on origins, syncretism, and human evolution in Africa. Contributions, therefore, must be aligned with the following sub-themes:

Theme 1: Origins, syncretism, and perspectives on an African genesis

Theme 2: Religion, Identity, and Darwinian science

Theme 3: Future directions on origins narratives for Africa and her diasporas

Theme 4: Giving back to communities

Abstract submissions:

Scholars, researchers, students, and communities are encouraged to submit abstracts, posters, and panel proposals on any relevant or related theme of the conference. Please submit your abstracts either for individual or panel discussions. Abstracts for individual papers are to be submitted to this link or visit; and for panel discussions, use this link or visit Should there be any enquiries about the conference, please send an email to: Dr. Veronica Waweru at; or Prof. Joel Mokhoathi at

Important dates

TaskDeadlineSubmission of abstracts (150-250 words)31 July 2024Acceptance of abstracts 31 August 2024Submission of full papers30 October 2024

Guidelines for submission of manuscripts

Potential for publication

The contributions of this conference will be considered for publication with an accredited publishing house in the form of an edited book.