African Studies Association 2018 Conference

Katrina Daly Thompson opens DAY IN AFRICA with a keynote address. At this year’s ASA conference, Daly Thompson will participate in the session, “Author Meets Critic: How to Do Things with Popobawa with author Katrina Daly Thompson,” based on her new book. She will also deliver a lecture titled, “Queering Swahili-as-a-Foreign-Language Instruction.” (Photo by Catherine A. Reiland/UW-Madison)

Later this month, the 61st annual meeting of the African Studies Association (ASA) is set to convene from November 29-December 1 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Formed in 1957 with the goal of cultivating a better understanding of the continent, ASA’s annual international conference has served as a time for scholars and professionals from around the world to come together and delve into current research on Africa.

Last year’s meeting in Chicago attracted over 2,000 participants. This year’s theme, “Energies: Power, Creativity and Afro-Futures,” calls on scholars to explore the theme of energy, in both material and symbolic terms.


ASA attendees associated with UW-Madison can connect with fellow Badgers after Friday’s presentations at Thrive from 5:30-7:30PM.

Click here for more information.


The University of Wisconsin is highly represented at ASA this year with 13 faculty, 15 alumni, and 5 graduate students planning to present. These scholars will use the meeting as an opportunity to display groundbreaking work and take part in roundtable discussions and panels on current topics in African Studies.

UW-Madison graduate student Kathryn Mara, whose research focuses on language, cultural practices, and representations of violence in an east-/central-African context, will present, #Burundicrisis: Social Media, Story-Telling, and Political Performativity.”

Ndirangu Wachanga, professor at UW-Whitewater, will be presenting a lecture titled, “Micere Githae Mugo: Transforming Scars of Oppression into Ornaments of Beauty,” as well as serving on the roundtable, “Memorializing African Voices in African Diaspora Studies,” and screening his documentary “Unbreakable,” on the life of Micere Githae Mugo.

UW-Madison professor Katrina Daly Thompson will be presenting a lecture titled, “Queering Swahili-as-a-Foreign-Language Instruction,” on her work with queer linguistics. She will also participate in a session called, “Author Meets Critic: How to Do Things with Popobawa,” based on her recent book Popobawa: Tanzanian Talk, Global Misreadings.”

Click here to see the full list of Wisconsin speakers. 


By Aberdeen Leary