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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. 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 is happy to announce that Dr. Bárbaro Martínez-Ruiz has accepted their offer to become the inaugural holder of the Tanner-Opperman Chair of African Art History in Honor of Roy Sieber. Martínez-Ruiz is an expert on African and Caribbean artistic, visual and religious practices. In addition to teaching lectures and seminars on African art, Dr. Martínez-Ruiz will continue research for his book project Unwrapping the Universe: Art and Cosmology Among the Bakongo. The position is made possible by a recent $1.5 million anonymous donation.

The Journal of African History (Cambridge University Press) has published Dr. Marissa Moorman's article, Guerilla Broadcasters and the Unnerved Colonial State in Angola (1961-74), which explores the relationship between Angolan guerrilla broadcasts and their effects on the Portuguese counterinsurgency project in their war to hold on to their African colonies. Dr. Moorman is an Associate Professor of History.

Dr. Lauren MacLean, Professor and Arthur Bently Chair, Political Science, is part of a team that has received funding from the American Political Science Association's inaugural round of $25,000 Special Projects Fund awards.

The State Department's Experience America program came to the campus of Indiana University Monday, May 7, and the African Studies Program received a surprise visit. Thank you, Her Excellency Njabuliso Gwebu, Ambassador from Swaziland to the United States, for dropping by to say, "Hello!" Pictured left to right: Marilyn Estep, ASP Administrative Coordinator; Dr. John Hanson, ASP Director; Ambassador Gwebu; Dr. Betty Dlamini, ASP Senior Lecturer; and Dr. Tavy Aherne, ASP Associate Director.

Congratulations, Dr. Vincent Bouchard, Assistant Professor of French and ASP affiliate faculty member! Vincent is a recipient of the College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI) Research Fellow award for his project The Film Commentator in West Africa: The Cook, the Interpreter, His Assistant, and Their Audience, which examines the conditions and reception of propaganda film screenings imposed by colonial institutions and compares them to current video projections by local NGOs in West Africa: particularly focusing on the role of the live commentator (bonimenteur).

Faculty, Student, Alumni, and Staff News

Congratulations, Samson Ndanyi, Ph. D. candidate, History, on his successful defense of his dissertation, "The Cinema is a Great Influence in the Life of the Modern Child": Instructional Cinema and Child Spectators in Colonial Kenya, 1926–1963. Samson 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 also recently wrote an article, The tale of two presidents, for africasacountry.com.

We are saddened by the news of Bernard Woma's passing on April 27. Please see the rememberance by Professor Emerita of Ethnomusicology Ruth M. Stone and Professor of Ethnomusicology Daniel Reed here.

Congratulations, Dr. Amadou Beidy Sow ! Dr. Sow is a recipient of the prestigious Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award which honors individuals who have a positive impact on learning through the direct teaching of students, especially undergraduates. He is seen here introducing students of his Bamana language course to the audience at the Spring 2017 African Languages Festival. Dr. Sow also was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer in the African Studies Program.

African Studies Program Senior Lecturer Dr. Betty Dlamini has been selected as a member of the Faculty Academy on Excellence in Teaching (FACET) Class of 2018! She is one of 20 distinguished members who participated in this year’s retreat where all were inducted. Dr. Dlamini teaches IsiZulu language courses as well as culture classes such as Gumboot Dance: Beauty from Pain and Drama for Development. Congratulations, Dr. Dlamini, and thank you for your dedication to our students!

Congratulations, Meryem Ozel, on receiving the Palmer-Brandon Scholarship in the Humanities from the College of Arts and Sciences! Meryem is an undergraduate Art History student who is also pursuing an African Languages minor. Read more here.

Congratulations, African Languages Coordinator Alwiya Omar on receiving the 2018 A. Ronald Walton Award at the annual meeting of the National Council of Less Commonly Taught Languages in April. 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. Pictured with Dr. Omar: National African Language Resource Center director Dr. Antonia Schleicher (left) and African Languages Teachers Association director Dr. Leonard Muaka (right).

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.

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!

Upcoming Events ♦ Announcements

Fall 2018 Classes Begin!

Monday, August 20

Welcome back, faculty and students! We look forward to seeing you around campuse and at our events. You can start mapping out breaks, sessions, and final exams weeks by visiting the Registrar's Calendar page.

Fall 2018 Course List

Open Fall Registration Now - August 26

Download Fall 2018 AFRI and cross listed courses here. The list will be continuously updated through August 20th so please check back frequently for latest listing.

Friday Colloquium

Begins September 21 | GISB GA 3067 | 10:30am-Noon

Speakers and topics to be announced soon. Faculty, graduate students, alumni, and visiting scholars are encouraged to present, and if you would like to do so, please contact ASP Associate Director Tavy Aherne (taherne@indiana.edu) with a topic and Friday availability between September 21 and November 16. You may view past colloquia speakers and topics here.

African Languages Tea Time

Begins September 6 | GISB Atrium | Noon - 2:00pm

Full schedule to be announced soon. This is a perfect opportunity to meet instructors and students from each of our six languages, have some tea, and explore new cultures and languages, including:

Welcome, Ibrahim Odugbemi and Barakaeli Mbise, our FLTAs for 2018-2019, pictured here with ASP Languages Coordinator Alwiya Omar. Ibrahim will assist with Yoruba instruction, and Barakaeli will assist with Swahili instruction.


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