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Welcome to the African Studies Program!

The African Studies Program has long been recognized as one of the leading centers for the interdisciplinary study of Africa. We are committed to being one of the nation's leading programs for the interdisciplinary study of Africa. Our diverse research, teaching, and outreach activities promote greater understanding and appreciation of the continent and its people. We also promote the study of Africa in global perspective by cooperating with other area-studies programs, international centers, professional schools, and departments inside and outside Indiana University. All of our activities are conducted in accordance with our values stressing integrity, excellence, diversity, community, collaboration, and creativity.


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Program and Affiliate News

The IU Department of Art History has received a $1.5 million gift which will support the study of African art at Indiana University-Bloomington. The anonymous donation establishes the Tanner-Opperman Chair in Honor of Roy Sieber who served as curator of African art for the Eskenazi Museum of Art for more than 30 years. Read the full story here.

Faculty, Student, and Alumni News

Samson Ndanyi, Ph. D. candidate, History, has accepted a position at Rhodes College where he will teach Africa to 1800, Africa from 1800, Black Cinema, Black Protests, and Africana Studies during the 2018-2019 academic year. Samson's graduate studies at Indiana University focus on African history, in general, and popular culture and children, in particular, with special attention to East Africa. His dissertation, The Cinema is a Great Influence in the Life of the Modern Child: Cinema and African Child Audiences in Colonial Kenya, 1926–1963, examines the interplay between instructional cinema and African child spectators. Samson also recently wrote an article, The tale of two presidents, for africasacountry.com.

IU Almunus Alex Perullo (Ph. D., Folklore and Ethnomusicology, 2003) announces the release of Listen All Around: The Golden Age of Central and East African Music, a compact disc collection containing two discs, 47 songs, and an 84 page booklet documenting popular music from the region in the 1950s. In the collection you can hear artists experimenting with sounds from many parts of the world, including Cuban songs, Ghanaian highlife, and American country hits, as they forge new sounds in African popular music. Find out more at Dust to Digital.

Congratulations to Susan Kavaya, our most recent Master of Arts graduate! After completing a Master's internship project which explores participatory development practices at the community level in Kenya, Susan will continue with her studies at the doctoral level at Indiana University's School of Public Health in Applied Health Science with a minor in Health Behavior. She looks forward to expanding her knowledge, skills and practice in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention, designing intervention programs and conducting research.

Alumna Donna A. Patterson (Ph. D. History), has a byline article published in The Washington Post, "The travel ban against Chad puts American security at risk".

Dr. Antonia Schleicher informs African Languages Coordinator Alwiya Omar that she has won the 2018 A. Ronald Walton Award! Each year at the annual meeting of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages, the Walton Award is presented to an individual whose career has been distinguished by selfless service and noteworthy contributions to the fostering of less commonly taught language initiatives. This prestigious award was named after the late A. Ronald Walton whose tireless efforts on behalf of less commonly taught languages are remembered fondly by all who knew him. Congratulations, Dr. Omar, from the faculty, staff, students, and friends of the African Studies Program!

The College of Arts and Sciences has awarded Khaled Esseissah, Ph. D. candidate in History, the COAS Dissertation Research Fellowship which helps advanced graduate students in the College make significant progress on their dissertations.

Victor Alabi, Ph. D. student in Linguistics and Yoruba instructor for the African Studies Program, has received a College of Arts and Sciences Travel Award. Victor presented "Musical Mobility: A Stylo-Semiotic Analysis of MZFM's The Broken Pitcher and the Prodigal Ones" and co-presented "Knowledge Production, Education and Development in Nigeria and Kenya" at the African Studies Association Annual Meeting in Chicago, November 16-18, 2017.

After completing a Master's thesis which explores the economic role and material agency of handmade batik textiles in Ghana, Molly Keogh has returned to Accra to resume running her clothing brand, Osei-Duro. She looks forward to expanding her practice to include teaching design, establishing an artists' residency, and new research.


Congratulations to our recent Ph. D. graduates! Fabienne Diouf, who also taught Wolof for ASP, completed her degree in Linguistics and African Linguistics. Carinna Friesen completed her degree in Folklore and Ethnomusicology with an African Studies minor. Best wishes on your next endeavors!

Alumna Jennifer Hart (Ph. D., History, 2011) has her book, "Ghana on the Go: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transportation," on the short list for the Melville J. Herskovits Prize from the African Studies Association. Jennifer is an Assistant Professor of History at Wayne State University.

IU African Studies Program Alumnus Nate Plageman has won a 2018 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) award for his research on state planning and urban life in western Ghana, 1900–1970. His project will be a book-length study of Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana's first planned city, under both British and Ghanaian rule. Dr. Plageman is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Coordinator for the African Studies Minor at Wake Forest University.


Quick Links

  • Africa Today
  • African Languages
  • African Language Instructors
  • ASP Courses
  • ASP Degree Options
  • ASP Faculty
  • ASP Staff
  • Study Abroad




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Upcoming Events ♦ Announcements

NOW AVAILABLE: Summer and Fall 2018 Course Lists

Early Fall Registration now through April 27
Open Fall Registration April 28 - August 26

Download Summer 2018 AFRI course list here. Download Fall 2018 AFRI and cross listed courses here. The Fall 2018 list will be continuously updated through August so please check back frequently for latest listing.

"Rwanda: The Blood of The Chosen"

April 13 | 6:30pm | IU Libraries Screening Room (Wells 048)

Film screeing with director and IU School of Informatics, Computing, & Engineering graduate student Gilbert Ndahayo. Filmed in Rwanda, US, Canada, Belgium, and Switzerland over the course of ten years, this film tells the gripping story of Rwandan artists who are coping with the legacy of genocide against the Tutsis. Read more about Gilbert here.

"The Uncondemned"

April 19 | 4:30pm | IU Libraries Screening Room (Wells 048)

Film screeing and discussion to follow with Maria Bucur, Professor of History and Gender Studies, and Beth Lewis Samuelson, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language, IU School of Education. "The Uncondemned" tells the gripping and world-changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify and win justice where there had been none. Find out more about "The Uncondemned" here.

Swahili Summer Language Workshop

June 4 - July 27, 2018

First year Swahili in one summer! Find out more here.

Recent Events

Thank you to Dr. Fallou Ngom for presenting the keynote address at the 8th Annual Graduate Students in African Studies Symposium on 3/24. Pictured left to right: GSAS President Kehinde Ligali, Dr. Ngom, Vice President Susan Kavaya, Faculty and Student Liaison Victor Alabi, Symposium Coordinator Zawadi Rowe, and Treasurer Avenel Rolfsen. See more pictures on our Facebook page.

Composer and musical instrument designer Victor Gama introduced the Indiana University and Bloomington communities to his world vision through film and music. Here, Victor plays the toha, one of two instruments of his creation on stage at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre.

Victor was also our guest at the final Friday Colloquium of Spring 2018 to discuss two recent projects: TSIKAYA - MÚSICOS DO INTERIOR and 3thousandRIVERS voices in the forest. View more pictures on our Facebook page.


Senior Lecturer Betty Dlamini presents Her Voice Matters: Learn through her films at the Center of Excellence for Women in Technology Summit on 3/23, held at the Indiana Memorial Union.




Emmanuel Urey (ABD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) speaks about Liberian land rights issues as David McDonald (IU Dept. of Folklore and Ethnomusicology) and Gregg Mitman (Professor of History of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Studies, University of Wisconsin-Madison) look on during the People and Places roundtable, 3/7/2018. View more pictures on our Facebook page.

Cathryn Johnson presents “French Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Associational Life: Women’s Participation in Community Life and Local Government in Mali and Burkina Faso” at the March 2nd Friday Colloquium.



Thank you to all who attended the African Music and Dance Bonanza! A fun time for all--proverbs, riddles, music, singing, and dancing. See more pictures on our Facebook page and watch for news about the African Languages Festival coming up in April!


African Studies Program M.A. graduate and MPH student Susan Kavaya shares her experiences working with a development project focused on fighting drug and substance abuse in Kenya during her presentation at The Friday Colloquium.


Indiana University Professor of Political Science Lauren MacLean presents “Climate Change and Energy Poverty in New Democracies: Explaining Citizen Response to the Electricity Crisis in Ghana” at the African Studies Program Friday Colloquium on February 9, 2018