The African Studies Center at Michigan State University (MSU) is pleased to invite applications for participation in the 2021 Ubuntu Dialogues Seminar Program.

The seminars are part of the Ubuntu Dialogues, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation-funded partnership between the MSU African Studies Center and the Stellenbosch University Museum. The partnership is geared toward a) transforming the function and practice of the museum as an institution, both within Africa and around the world; b) establishing new and strengthening existing connections between universities and communities; and 3) developing a replicable framework for universities to become dynamic sites for the co-creation and dissemination of knowledge and practice. It is conceived around transnational dialogue and engagement among students, faculty, and community partners in South Africa and the United States. The partnership project comprises three main components: virtual student conversations; a student exchange program; and the seminar program.

The seminar program takes the form of transnational intellectual engagements focusing on institutional histories, the meaning of ubuntu, Pan-Africanism, institutional and knowledge decolonization and transformation both as concepts and practice, and the place of South Africa in Africa and of the United States in the Americas. Applicants may be academics, professionals, and students in museum and heritage studies, public history, and other related fields in the Social Sciences, Humanities, and Sciences, from MSU or elsewhere in the United States. Preference will be given to emerging scholars from minority backgrounds.

Eligible candidates are invited to submit a detailed CV and an abstract of up to 500 words highlighting how their research or work will inform, add to, or complicate the concept of ubuntu in the context of 1) persisting patterns of institutional and systemic racism 2) the COVID-19 pandemic and 3) debates on institutional and knowledge decolonization within Africa or elsewhere. Four applicants will be selected. Successful applicants will be expected to workshop their paper at one of four web seminars planned for 2021. All seminar speakers will be supported in developing their seminar paper for publication in a peerreviewed journal or book manuscript of their choice or as part of the Ubuntu Dialogues Series. Participants will also have the opportunity to attend the culminating event for the Ubuntu Dialogues project planned for 2022 at MSU or Stellenbosch University. Travel, lodging, and per diem will be covered by the MSU African Studies Center.

The CV and abstract should be sent as one PDF file over email to Upenyu Majee at by Friday October 30, 2020. 

Find more information here.