Home / Africas / About the Africas program

About the Africas program

Looking at “Sub-Saharan Africas”

By focusing on “Sub-Saharan Africas” this programme aims to move away from viewing Africa as a homogenous entity. Instead, starting from the premise of a plural continent, it seeks to break away from generalizing approaches and avoid the related negative and essentialising biases.

By proposing a research programme on a semi-continental scale, our aim is twofold. Firstly, we seek to highlight the complexities and diversities of these regions beyond the discourse that approaches them as large entities (‘Southern Africa’, ‘Central Africa’, ‘West Africa’ or ‘East Africa’). Secondly, thinking about Africa and the world involves highlighting and questioning the ancient and contemporary connections between these regions and the rest of the world. In so doing, the aim is to restore the continent to its rightful place in terms of both the type of knowledge produced and the processes by which that knowledge is developed.

The circulation of scientific knowledge – sometimes (even often) hindered by financial, political, institutional, or discriminatory issues – results in a glaring lack of cooperation with African researchers. Moreover, there is still a strong tendency in France to reject the scientific validity of non-Western social sciences, leading to the marginalisation of research produced in Africa about Africa and to the epistemic domination of Western social sciences. Through interdisciplinary projects, we aim to promote the creation of a “common space, a factor of cohesion between different types of knowledge” (Gusdorf, 1990) where researchers from all origins, training, and disciplines in the humanities and social sciences can find their place.

Our research topics

Who we are

Our history

The Africas program was born from discussions among young researchers at the crossroads of three disciplines (social anthropology, history, sociology) who wished to promote interdisciplinary research on Africa and faced a triple challenge in France. First, the confinement of work on the continent within ‘Africanist’ schools, spheres, departments, and courses – unlike other areas that are more easily integrated into global approaches. Second, the lack of recognition and access to research originating from the continent. Lastly, the lack of spaces for exchanging ideas and innovating around common and co-constructed approaches, especially for young researchers. 

Our Team

Join us

The Africas program is rooted in Noria Research’s ambition to produce, support, and disseminate independent research in the humanities and social sciences, based on solid field experience. Do you share these objectives and wish to join us? Is your research aligned with one (or more) of our themes? Do not hesitate to contact us by sending a brief description of your background, your research themes, and what you hope to contribute to the “Sub-Saharan Africas” programme to the following email address: afriques@noria-research.com