Fall 2009 Africa at Noon Events

Fall 2009 Africa at Noon Events

Wednesday, September 2, 2009:
Why Do Africans Treasure Ethnographic Accounts About Them?
Jan Vansina
Professor of Emeritus, Departments of History and Anthropology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Wednesday, September 9, 2009:

Crafting Lifestyles in Urban Africa: Young Ghanaians in the World of Online Friendship
Jo Ellen Fair
Professor, School of Journalism
University of Wisconsin-Madison
The Internet in Africa has generated a lively debate in the popular press and among commentators about what its growth will mean for Africans. This talk considers one aspect of Internet practice in Africa: how use of the Internet for making friends and dating allows young, urban Ghanaians to craft lifestyles, incorporating globally circulating cultural and symbolic forms into their identities. I will suggest that when young, urban Ghanaians go online to meet, chat, and form relationships with strangers near and far, they are devising, testing out, and sharing sensibilities; they are bringing situation, mood, and new knowledge to bear on the self or selves they are exploring and tentatively projecting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009:
Transnational African Children in Spain: Mobility, Legal status, and Family life
Caroline Bledsoe
Professor of Anthropology
Northwestern University
In the rich and growing scholarship on transnationalism, children have drawn much less attention than other immigrant players. Focusing on Gambians and other West Africans against the backdrop of rapid economic and legal change in the EU, this talk builds on data from the Spanish Municipal Register (www.ine.es) and an ongoing ethnographic study to highlight the paradoxes that figure so strongly in the lives of transnational African children and their families in Europe.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009:
“What is Your DNA Tribe?”: Africa, African Diaspora, Genetics, and Genealogy
African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (ADAWRC)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Chris Tucker’s ancestors are from Angola, and Oprah is not Zulu as she thought (what is she?). To riff a popular online testing service, what is your own DNA tribe? This panel introduces ADAWRC’s year-long seminar devoted to examining the place of the new science of DNA testing in recent African and African diaspora scholarly and popular culture, from studies of the Lemba Jews of Southern Africa, to African America.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009:
Teaching and Learning African Languages for Proficiency and not Just For Grades: The Language Flagship Model
Antonia Schleicher
Professor of African Languages and Literature and Co-Director, African Language Flagship Center
University of Wisconsin- Madison

Wednesday, October 7, 2009:
Work in Progress: Mary Hark checks in from Kumasi
Mary Hark
Assistant Professor Design Studies, School of Human Ecology
University of Wisconsin- Madison
Mary Hark will share images, stories and artifacts from her work during June and July in Kumasi, Ghana. Hark participated in an international artist workshop, sponsored by SANSA, the Ghanian wing of Triangle Arts International, at the National Cultural Center in Kumasi; continued her collaborative work developing a hand papermaking studio in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and facilitated the recording of Koo Nimo, Palm Wine Musician and National Living Treasure.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009:
The Black Jews of South Africa: The Lemba and the DNA of Identity
African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (ADAWRC)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
For a long time many only knew that the Lemba people of South Africa “claimed” to be Jewish. They lived as Jews and practiced Judaism, but all they had as “authentic” proof of their Jewish ancestry was oral tradition they “claimed” was passed on to them from the past. Well, science came and proved them right. So, what now, and what does this mean? How does this relate to genetic testing for ancestry in African diaspora contexts? The panelists from the African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle will lead a lively discussion of selected readings with brief video clips.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009:
My Life and Work as a Yoruba Master Sculptor
Lamidi Fakeye
Artist-in-Residence emeritus
Obafemi Awolowo University (formerly University of Ife), Nigeria
Lamidi Fakeye is a world-renowned sculptor, descendant and student of famous Yoruba artists of the 20th century. Lamidi will speak about his life and work, and display some of his recent sculptures.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009:
Adolescent School Continuation and HIV Risk Perceptions in Southern Malawi
Monica Grant
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Wisconsin-Madison
This presentation uses data from the Malawi School Quality Survey, a longitudinal school based survey of adolescents from two districts in Southern Malawi, to examine the association between adolescents’ concerns about the HIV epidemic and their likelihood of progressing through school.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009:
Educative Practices in Taleland, 1900-1940
Lacy Ferrell
Graduate Student,History
2009 Jordan Prize Winner
This thesis examines the transforming social and economic relationships in Taleland in Northern Ghana through the lens of educational practices. As the colonial era brought new institutions such as migrant wage labor, British-styled schools, and mission outposts, the form and content of education changed, revealing new ways of envisioning and preparing for the future among both adults and children.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009:
Genetic Adventures in Race and Ethnicity: Science, Beliefs, Truths
African Diaspora and the Atlantic World Research Circle (ADAWRC)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
A lively, critical conversation on the documentary The Motherland: A Genetic Journey and selected readings. Plus, faculty and students do actual DNA tests, beginning their own genetic journeys!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009:
The Global Financial Crisis and the Global South: the Experience of South Africa
Dr. Neva Makgetla
Lead Economist, Development Planning and Implementation
Development Bank of Southern Africa

Wednesday, December 9, 2009:
Alcohol consumption among Ugandans
Ajay K. Sethi, PhD, MHS
Assistant Professor, Department of Population Health Sciences
University of Wisconsin- Madison
In 2005, the World Health Organization ranked Uganda as having the highest per capita recorded alcohol consumption in the world. Although reaction to its number one ranking was mixed, many acknowledged that alcohol consumption in Uganda and Sub-Saharan Africa, in general, was largely understudied. This talk will present results of several studies examining the patterns and culture of alcohol consumption in Uganda.