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International Conference: Sentiments of Justice in Africa

Sensing the Normative at Shifting Scales

27-28 September 2018, Freie Universität Berlin

Recent scholarship on justice in Africa has highlighted both the specific normative framings of justice and the broader political, economic, social and cultural contexts, in which conflicts around justice are enmeshed. However, their affective and emotional dimensions – that is, the realm of sentiments of justice – has typically been neglected. Sentiments of justice are arguably crucial for apprehending the full power of normative orientations to attract or antagonise actors.

This conference deliberately expands the common preoccupation with divergent senses of justice into a more comprehensive interrogation of affectively and emotionally saturated sentiments of justice. It focusses in particular on the shifting scales, at which such normative orientations are affectively and emotionally perceived, constituted in bodily experiences as meaningful and thus grounded through multifarious interactions. The conference assembles empirically diverse contributions from multiple social fields and aims at charting the novel terrain of sentiments of justice in Africa in order to grasp the diversity of “moral sentiments” that animate real people, individually and collectively, in their daily lives.