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Past Afrisem Events

PAST EVents

 

FAll 2019 Events

November 14, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

Graduate students are invited to gather for presentation, discussion and dinner.

Presenter: Mariam Taher, Anthropology
Talk: Gendered Mobilities and the State in Siwa, Egypt

Abstract: How exactly do norms of gender segregation interact with an expansionist state surveillance apparatus? Is Siwa men's control over 'their women' a way of keeping the state at arm's length, preserving an internal domain they may not access, or do their actions in effect undergird and expand the explicitly masculinist military expansion of the Egyptian regime? In this talk, I provide an overview the location of the Siwa oasis at Egypt's territorial and national margins. I then discuss how my fieldwork over summer 2019 is helping me to think through gendered mobilities. That is, how men and women are differently positioned vis-a-vis the Egyptian regime's encroachment, and how their differential positions can serve to simultaneously restrict and expand the reach of the state into Siwi economies and everyday life.

 

Presenter:  Lamin Keita, Political Science
Talk:  Youth and Protest: How #Gambia Ended Decades of Autocratic Rule

Abstract: The role of youth in protest in the Gambia was pivotal in changing the political environment in the Gambia. Far from being just reaction in response to the rising socioeconomic problems (e.g. cost of food) or the result of violent political efforts of former President Yahya Jammeh’s opposition, the events of the 2016 election—and the role of youth in these events—are deeply rooted in Gambia’s history of authoritarian regime. The grievances expressed by youths were symbolic of larger societal problems. The protest illustrated a pattern of continuous youth involvement in Gambia’s political arena. This study used extensive interviews in the Gambia and other forms of primary and secondary sources. This study will contribute to the growing literature on the role of youth activism to change the entrenched authoritarian regime through non-violence election in the Gambia, across Africa, and beyond.

Presenter: Bright Gyamfi, History
Talk: Ghanaian Intellectuals and the Global Development of the Study of Africa

Abstract: This presentation will focus on my summer archival research at the Dakar-based African Institute of Economic Development and Planning (IDEP). IDEP, created by the United Nations in 1962 and staffed by prominent Ghanaian academics including Tony Obeng and Cadman Atta Mills, played an important role in knitting together a type of pan-Africanism that took both Africa and its diaspora seriously as a terrain of political and intellectual action. IDEP’s Ghanaian staff helped orient the institute’s research toward regional economic development and the struggle for liberation in the southern parts of the continent. These intellectuals worked with other Marxist activist scholars to shift what had otherwise been the relatively conservative aims of IDEP, using it to criticize the unequal economic relations between the West and Africa.

 

October 17, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
University Library  | 1970 Campus Drive

Title: Collect, organize, cite, and share research Zotero & Endnote

The Herskovits Africana Library will be hosting AFRISEM next Thursday, 17 October 2019. We will start off in 5E with sumptuous dinner. We will then make our way to B234/B238 (basement) for a hands-on presentation that will allow attendees to work on their research and writing to some extent.

Agenda

6:00 - 6:30pm.      Dinner  | Herskovits Library, 5th Floor East

6:35 – 8:00 pm.     Hands on presentation | Library Rm B234/238 (basement)

NB: Computers will be available but bring your laptop if possible.

Questions? Email florence.mugambi@northwestern.edu

October 31, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place
Presenter: Scott Newman, Comparative Literary Studies
Writing Cameroonian Rumor: The Sound of the Crowd in Patrice Nganang’s Temps de chien (2001)

Presenter: Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, History
Public Health and Convict Labor Labor in Colonial Sierra Leone, 1914 -1934

November 14, 2019 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

Graduate students are invited to gather for presentation, discussion and dinner.

Presenter: Mariam Taher, Anthropology
Talk: Gendered Mobilities and the State in Siwa, Egypt

Abstract: How exactly do norms of gender segregation interact with an expansionist state surveillance apparatus? Is Siwa men's control over 'their women' a way of keeping the state at arm's length, preserving an internal domain they may not access, or do their actions in effect undergird and expand the explicitly masculinist military expansion of the Egyptian regime? In this talk, I provide an overview the location of the Siwa oasis at Egypt's territorial and national margins. I then discuss how my fieldwork over summer 2019 is helping me to think through gendered mobilities. That is, how men and women are differently positioned vis-a-vis the Egyptian regime's encroachment, and how their differential positions can serve to simultaneously restrict and expand the reach of the state into Siwi economies and everyday life.

 

Presenter:  Lamin Keita, Political Science
Talk:  Youth and Protest: How #Gambia Ended Decades of Autocratic Rule

Abstract: The role of youth in protest in the Gambia was pivotal in changing the political environment in the Gambia. Far from being just reaction in response to the rising socioeconomic problems (e.g. cost of food) or the result of violent political efforts of former President Yahya Jammeh’s opposition, the events of the 2016 election—and the role of youth in these events—are deeply rooted in Gambia’s history of authoritarian regime. The grievances expressed by youths were symbolic of larger societal problems. The protest illustrated a pattern of continuous youth involvement in Gambia’s political arena. This study used extensive interviews in the Gambia and other forms of primary and secondary sources. This study will contribute to the growing literature on the role of youth activism to change the entrenched authoritarian regime through non-violence election in the Gambia, across Africa, and beyond.

 

Presenter: Bright Gyamfi, History
Talk: Ghanaian Intellectuals and the Global Development of the Study of Africa

Abstract: This presentation will focus on my summer archival research at the Dakar-based African Institute of Economic Development and Planning (IDEP). IDEP, created by the United Nations in 1962 and staffed by prominent Ghanaian academics including Tony Obeng and Cadman Atta Mills, played an important role in knitting together a type of pan-Africanism that took both Africa and its diaspora seriously as a terrain of political and intellectual action. IDEP’s Ghanaian staff helped orient the institute’s research toward regional economic development and the struggle for liberation in the southern parts of the continent. These intellectuals worked with other Marxist activist scholars to shift what had otherwise been the relatively conservative aims of IDEP, using it to criticize the unequal economic relations between the West and Africa.

 

 

January 16, 2020 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

Graduate students are invited to gather for presentation, discussion and dinner.

Presenter: Raja Ben Hammed Dorval

Department/Program: French

Title of Presentation: Immigration and Nationalism: The Algerian Example of the North African Star

Abstract: How can the experience of immigration become an affirmation of national identities for the colonial and postcolonial subject? The Algerian immigrants in France in the 1930’s and 40’s gave the example of a politically engaged immigrant in both the politics of the guest-land and the homeland. While the French national state has set its identity through perpetual processes of othering and externalization, the North-African immigrants in this period managed with the collaboration of the French communist parties, to articulate new political identities that are marked by their multicultural nature. This paper argues that the Algerian nationalist organization, Étoile Nord-Africaine, founded in 1929 by Messali Hadj (1898-1974) is an outstanding example of organized struggle against the otherizing of the Arab Moslem immigrants in the Interwar period. While advocating for the social, economic and political rights of the Moslem workers and the French proletariat, the Algerians have turned immigration into a political site to denounce their status as French subjects and affirm their Arab, Berber and Muslim identities, while including other ethnicities and religions. Muslim here becomes a unifying yet multicultural (plural) category. In spite of the colonial and postcolonial alienation experienced by these immigrants, they managed to play an important role simultaneously in the independence of Algeria and the construction of modern France.

 January 30, 2020 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

This Thursday, AFRISEM, begins its series “Faculty-Student Dialogue." This week features Adia Benton.

Adia Benton, cultural and medical anthropologist, will be sharing her research and field experience in Sierra Leone Her talk will focus on her book-in-progress, The Fever Archive, which offers a glimpse of the racial, economic and political dynamics of public health responses to infectious disease outbreaks.

Adia is the author of HIV Exceptionalism: Development through Disease in Sierra Leone (Minnesota, 2015); her work has appeared in Anthropological Quarterly, Current Anthropology, Critical African Studies and African Studies Review, as well as Al Jazeera, Dissent, and Foreign Affairs. This academic year, she leads the Health and Healing Cluster of the Program of African Studies. 

You can follow her on Twitter @Ethnography911

February 13, 2020 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

Graduate students are invited to gather for presentation, discussion and dinner.

Faculty-Student Dialogue featuring Will Reno, discussing his current research in West Africa on the politics of foreign military assistance / training programs.

February 27, 2020 | 6:00 – 8:00pm
Program of African Studies  | 620 Library Place

Graduate students are invited to gather for presentation, discussion and dinner.

Presenter: Esther Ginestet

Department/Program: History

Title of Presentation: Gendered Knowledge and Historical Imagination in Western Kenya (1920s-1970s)    

This research compares how Luo-speaking men and women have taught, spoken and written about the past along the northeastern shores of Lake Victoria. Beginning my analysis in the 1920s, I seek to explain why homespun history writing in East Africa often became associated with the defense of conservative and masculinist social agendas. I argue that, with the onslaught of colonial rule at the turn of the twentieth century, the development of mission schools, male migrant-labor systems and "African courts" created a socioeconomic environment in which only a narrow set of narratives about the past—the stories mission-educated Luo men authored—qualified as “history.” Conversely, Luo women intellectuals were seemingly deprived of their once revered oral expertise in the historical and cultural matters of the community. However, my research argues that, far from disappearing from the public stage, women intellectuals responded with the cultivation of female networks embedded in African-led Christian movements and literary circles. In these spaces, they too, like their male counterparts, disseminated knowledge and reimagined the past.


 

2019 Conference:

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African Studies Now: Decolonizing the Field

For more information, visit the conference website.

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