The UW-Madison African Studies Program has been selected to receive funding under the Title VI National Resource Centers (NRC) Program and the Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships Program from the U.S. Department of Education. These funds are awarded competitively to area studies programs around the nation once every four years. Title VI support will be leveraged to expand the reach of our influence by sharing our African studies resources with the wider community, nation, and world; and to create innovative, cross-disciplinary area studies training that prepares our students to serve the nation.
The African Studies Program has a long tradition of securing this im
portant source of support for area studies and language instruction. The center first became a federally supported African language and area studies center in 1964 under the National Defense Education Act (NDEA) program, the precursor to today’s International and Foreign Language Programs within the Department of Education. African Studies has received support every year since that time. This year marks the 16th time that UW-Madison African Studies has been award Title VI funds.
The Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships program provides academic year and summer fellowships to undergraduate and graduate students to support African language learning and the development of area studies expertise. The African Studies Program awards 15-20 such fellowships each year, helping students study over 15 least commonly taught African languages including Luganda, Makua, Xhosa, Kinyarwanda, Wolof, and Yoruba, among others.
As a National Resource Center (NRC), the African Studies Program has a federal mandate to support African language and area studies education on campus and in the wider community. Funds will be used to support African language instruction at UW-Madison, for high-quality public programming including our Africa at Noon seminar series, and to continue our successful outreach efforts. Each year our outreach programs reach over 8,000 people, bringing a little bit of Africa to K-12 classrooms and public spaces across the state of Wisconsin.
The UW-Madison African Studies Program leads the nation and the world from a position of strength. Wisconsin has awarded more than 800 PhDs to Africa specialists since 1961, a higher number than any other university in the nation. The African Studies Program is an intellectual home for 78 core faculty in 54 disciplines who teach nearly 200 courses about Africa that reach over 9,000 students each year.Wisconsin offers six African languages (Arabic, Swahili, Yoruba, Hausa, Wolof, and Zulu) in formal classroom settings and supports the learning of any African language through the innovative Theories & Methods of Learning an African LCTL course series. Our highly-trained language instructors serve as resources at language institutes across the nation, such as the African Flagship Languages Initiative (Florida), Harvard, Middlebury, and others.
As members of the UW-African Studies community, this success belongs to you. Thanks to your outstanding scholarship, professional achievements, and academic successes, UW-Madison’s African Studies Program continues to set international benchmarks of excellence in Africa research and education. Our community attracts top talent from across the globe, bringing together students, scholars, and community members to explore the rich diversity of people, places, and languages from across the continent. We hope you take pride in the strength of our African Studies community here at UW-Madison, and we look forward to working with you to keep the program vibrant and relevant in the years to come.