What’s Up Next for African Studies?

Mandela Washington Fellows show off their new African Studies Program shirts. (Photo by Meagan Doll)

Each year, the African Studies Program hosts a wide range of events for students, faculty, and community members to engage in. This semester is no different! Between your fall courses, internships, meetings, and discussions, be sure not to miss the dynamic programming ahead.

On September 5, join African Studies program faculty, students, and staff to celebrate the start of the semester and learn about upcoming events for the 2018-19 academic year. Lunch will be served and all are welcome.

This event will feature incoming faculty director Nancy Kendall, who will introduce her research and outline her vision for African Studies in the coming years. In addition, meet African Studies Program staff including Associate Director Aleia McCord, Assistant Director Meagan Doll, Outreach Coordinator Lauren Parnell Marino, and Communications Head Aberdeen Leary. Hear African Studies Program librarian Emilie Songolo offer an update on our library collections. Learn about the inaugural Jan Vansina lecture from Neil Kodesh, and the Fall 2018 Political Culture in Africa Conference from Aili Tripp.

The winner of the 2018 Jordan Prize winner will also be announced.

Since 1973, Africa at Noon has brought diverse African research from scholars around the world to a campus and community audience. On September 12, former United States Senator Russ Feingold will examine the history of the ‘Forever Presidents’ of the African Great Lakes Region. Later in the semester, the African Studies Program will be joined by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs, and Ambassador Michelle Gavin, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. See the full lineup here and join us for weekly Africa at Noon lectures on Wednesdays in 205 Ingraham Hall.

In February of 2017, Professor emeritus Jan Vansina, one of the world’s foremost historians of Africa, passed away. On Friday, September 21 the African Studies Program will host the first annual Jan Vansina Lecture, featuring Nancy Hunt and Steven Feierman. Following the lecture, registrants are invited to join in dinner and the opportunity to share memories of Jan. Neil Kodesh, Director of the UW-Madison African Studies Program, will also share updates on new initiatives to honor Jan’s legacy. In addition to the lecture and dinner, a symposium on Saturday morning will feature a set of panels on various aspects of Jan’s legacy, with Jacob Sabakinu Kivilu as keynote speaker. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online or over the phone (608.262.2380). To support programming such as this and other efforts that honor Vansina’s legacy, your gift to the Jan Vansina memorial fund is welcome.

After 40 years of dedicated work, Michael Schatzberg, Professor of Political Science and African Cultural Studies, announced his retirement at the end of the Spring 2018 semester. The African Studies Program, the Department of African Cultural Studies, and the Department of Political Science invite the public to join in celebrating Professor Schatzberg’s career with a symposium featuring scholars influenced by his work. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required. Register online or over the phone (608-262-4460).