2009-2010 - Center for African Studies - University of Illinois at ...

afrst.illinois.edu

2009-2010 - Center for African Studies - University of Illinois at ...

2 CENTER FOR AFRIC AN STUDIESFrom the DirectorFor the past year, the Center for AfricanStudies (CAS), like other University of IllinoisNational Resource Centers, was devoted toMerle Bowenpreparing our proposal for the U.S. Departmentof Education Title VI competition for National ResourceCenter and Foreign Language and Areas Studies funding. For mostCenter staff, it was our first experience with the process, whichrequired the gathering of an extraordinary amount of data relatedto our three core missions—teaching, research, and outreach. Veryspecial thanks must go to our extremely dedicated staff: MaimounaBarro, Charisse Jones, Jamie McGowan, Margaret Njeru, and AnnePrice. We also benefited greatly from the support of our faculty, aswell as the staff and administrators at the College of Liberal Artsand Sciences and International Programs and Studies. The endresult was a high quality proposal, rich in innovative programmingand instruction that directly addresses the priorities of the U.S. Departmentof Education and maintains CAS’s position as a nationalleader on Africa.One of the benefits of collecting quantitative data is that wegain a much clearer idea of our strengths. For example, we areproud to have 95 talented tenure track faculty from 42 disciplinesin 10 colleges and professional schools (including 57 whose researchand/or teaching on Africa exceeds 50 percent). During the last TitleVI cycle, faculty obtained over $11 million in external grants andpublished 99 books, edited 36 volumes, and wrote 660 articles. Inaddition, U of I now offers more than 180 non-language Africanstudies courses every year, of which more than one-third are entirelyon Africa. Our Program in African Languages is offering an averageof 50 courses per year in Arabic, Bamana, Lingala, Swahili, Wolof,Anne Price, EditorCenter for African Studies210 International Studies Building910 South Fifth StreetChampaign, IL 61820Phone: (217) 333-6335Fax: (217) 244-2429www.afrst.illinois.eduafrican@illinois.eduMerle L. Bowen, DirectorMaimouna Barro, Associate DirectorJamie McGowan, Associate DirectorCharisse Jones, Office SupportAssociateProduced for the Center for African Studiesby the College of Liberal Arts and SciencesOffice of Communications and Marketing.and Zulu. It remains one of the largest in the country, with generalenrollments over the last five years averaging 900 students.Despite the pressures of preparing a Title VI proposal, we offereda terrific variety of events through our regular weekly programming.One of the main events was Elaine Salo’s weeklong visit that includedengagements at local schools, a radio interview, a keynote address at ateacher’s workshop and the delivery of the 2010 W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture.As the spring semester came to a close, the Center, in cooperationwith the Department of Theatre, hosted the Celebrating AfricanWomen Writers Festival. The festival, which Kathy Perkins organized,brought together leading artists from Africa and North America, providingthe Illinois community with a unique opportunity to hear theirplays, novels, poetry, shorts stories and films. As Habari goes to press,we have planned two summer teaching institutes: the Illinois SummerInstitute, with its focus on world religions, and the Africa Institute forEducators, which includes diverse topics ranging from African arts toAfrican languages. Both institutes target K-16 educators.We bid farewell to three students—April Diaz, Anna Henry, andKristyn Philpott—who have completed their degrees and are movingon to exciting new careers and educational opportunities. We areproud of each one and wish them all the very best. In the fall, we willwelcome more than six students to our MA program and another fourstudents to our joint MA/MS degree with the Graduate School ofLibrary and Information Science.In the Center office, we also bid farewell to Tage Biswalo (GAoutreach)and Eunhyun Kim (GA-web) who both successfullydefended their dissertations in the College of Education in May 2010.Biswalo worked in the outreach program with dedication and passionover many years and we are grateful for his initiatives. In addition,we say goodbye to several faculty—Abdulkafi Albirini (linguistics),John Nemis (French), Peter Otiato Ojiambo (linguistics), Marc Perry(anthropology/African American studies), Fazal Rizvi (education) andRobert Thompson (ACES)—who are moving on to new positions orretiring this year.The Center is always eager to work with the campus communityto enrich our dialogue and scholarship about Africa. We invite youto come to the creative programs and events we have scheduled for2010-11.


U n i v e r s i t y o f I l l i n o i s at U r b a n a - C h a m pa i g n 3Celebrating African Women Writers (continued from page 1)and storyteller from Kenya, presented storytellingworkshops and performed excerpts from May IGrow as Tall as My Mother.South African playwright, poet, and artsmanager Malika Lueen Ndlovu is the author ofthe popular play, A Coloured Place. Ndlovu alsopresented a solo performance of her poetry at theKrannert Center for the Performing Arts. SouthAfrican Chantal Snyman is a writer, director,theatre maker, storyteller, and actor. She isdirector of Arlecchino’s Workshop, a companythat creates original, innovative, and educationaltheatre for youth. Its focus is on the HIV/AIDS pandemic using puppet theatre as a socialintervention. Snyman performed excerpts fromNdlovu’s A Coloured Place, a role she originated.Later in the week other artists joined thefestivities including novelist, playwright, andscreenwriter Andia Kisia from Kenya. Kisia is theauthor of severalplays, includingHomecoming,which waspresented as astage readingat the ArmoryChantal Snyman, Malika Mdlovu, and Free Theatre.Mshai Mwangola enjoy the performancesat the Armory Free Theatre.Nigerian writer,and dance scholarOmofolabo Ajayi-Soyinka, an associate professorof women’s studies and theatre and film at theUniversity of Kansas, performed her short story,Resident Alien, at the Armory Free Theatreand at the closing community celebration, inaddition to participating in the performancepanel. Renowned Tanzanian scholar, actress,and playwright Amandina Lihamba, one ofthe editors of The Eastern Region of WomenWriting Africa(2007) series,participated inthe roundtablediscussionon Africanwomen andpublishing.PraiseZenenga fromZimbabweis a scholar and dancerwho also participated inthe publishing panel andconducted a drummingworkshop at the closingcelebration. SandraRichards, professorof African Americanstudies and theatre fromNorthwestern University,served as moderator forthe publishing panel, andU of I professor of EnglishAlice Deck moderatedthe African women andperformance panel.The weekendculminated with fourwonderful performancesat the Armory FreeTheatre. In addition toperformances by Azeda,Ndlovu, Snyman, Mwangola, and Soyinka,students from Inner Voices Social Issues Theatreperformed, as well as localcommunity members.The closing celebration,drawing from both thesurrounding community aswell as the campus community,was alive with poetry, singing,storytelling, drumming, anddancing by several of the guestartists as well as local talent.Local performers opened theceremony with drum solos,followed by the Francophone Choir of Urbana.The Center for World Music conducted adrumming anddance workshopthat had folksfrom ages twoyears and upmoving on thedance floorto the beat ofthe numerousdrums on hand.The UniversityChantal Snyman dances with participants at the community/closing ceremony.Catering Services prepared a variety of deliciousAfrican dishes and other continental treats.After nine exciting days at U of I, severalartists traveledto Chicago toparticipate in apanel discussionat the Ellen StoneBelic Institutefor the Studyof Women andGender in theArts and Media atColumbia Collegeand two days of workshops and performances atNorthwestern University.If you missed the festival, please visit eitherthe CAS or Department of Theatre website formore information on the artists as well as to viewvideo highlights of some of the events: www.afrst.illinois.edu or www.theatre.illinois.edu. We hopeyou will join us for the next festival in 2012,which promises to be just as exciting!Chantal Snyman and Malika Mdlovu speak with a classat a local high school.—Kathy A. Perkins, Festival Organizer, Department ofTheatreParticipants enjoy drum rhythms and dances at the closing ceremony.


6 CENTER FOR AFRIC AN STUDIESGuinean Artists Perform at Krannert CenterThe Robert E. BrownCenter for WorldMusic (CWM) at theKrannert Center forthe Performing Artspresented an excitingevening concert titled“Dance and Music ofGuinea, West Africa”on April 7, 2010. Alarge audience wastreated to a programof drum-ensemblerhythms and dances from West Africa, primarilyfrom the Mande tradition, by star performersfrom Guinea and U of I students, under theleadership of the CWM’s visiting artist-teachersMoussa Bolokada Conde and Alseny Soumah.The concert opened with a rhythm playedto welcome home victorious warriors by a coredrumming group featuring Bolokada, withGuinean guestsAbass Camaraand Mamady“Wadaba”Kouroumaand advancedstudents GordonKay andCody Jensen.These coredrummers accompaniedthedance piecesthroughout the evening. Electrifying duetshighlighting the event were performed by AlsenySoumah and guest dancer Fadima Traore, bothformer members of Ballet Merveilles d’Afrique, apremier private dance company in Guinea, andof Les Ballets Africains, Guinea’s official nationaldance company. Spectacular large-ensembledances performed by U of I students in Alseny’sMoussa Bolokada Conde and Alseny Soumah perform at ‘Dance andMusic of Guinea, West Africa.’West African Dance Class, and by members ofOmnimov Dance Troupe, displayed the impactof a semester spent studying with Alseny, whowas George A. Miller Visiting Artist at CWMand the Department of Dance for spring 2010.The Mande Percussion Ensemble, a largestudent and community ensemble directed byMoussa Bolokada Conde, also filled the theatrewith massive rhythms in their performances ofdrum pieces without the dancers. A true inspirationfor all who study with him, Bolokada, whohas been a visiting CWM artist since fall 2008,will be teaching here through spring 2011. Hisclasses are open to all students. For more informationabout the Robert E. Brown Center forWorld Music and its programs, please visit www.music.illinois.edu/cwm.—Jason Finkelman, Events Coordinator, East Asian & PacificStudies CenterStudents Bring Laptops to Children in Saõ ToméIn summer 2009, I accompanied three otherU of I students to deploy XO laptops as partof the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) AfricaCorps program. Our team was one of 30proposals that were selected from a competitivegroup of 220 proposals from around the world.We were awarded 100 laptops and $10,000 byOLPC, and also received matching funds fromthe U of I Chancellor’s Office. The GraduateSchool of Library and Information Science(GSLIS) had an established presence on theisland of Saõ Tomé, so we decided to focus ourproposal on a deployment there. Saõ Tomé isa small Portuguese-speaking island-country offthe coast of Gabon. With previously establishedpartnerships like the nongovernmental organizationStep Up, established projects throughthe Community Informatics Initiative, anda relatively small size, we felt that Saõ Toméwould be an excellent location for a deploymentof XO laptops.We spent our first two weeks meetingcommunity stakeholders. We got together withstudents, teachers, a school principal, Step Upvolunteers, and the Minister of Education.Convening with the stakeholders accomplishedmany things for us. We got to meet and discussideas with our partners to ensure that ourdeployment would be as effective and successfulas possible. For example,we had originallyplanned to do six smallerdeployments at schoolsthroughout the island. Aswe discussed this optionwith our partners, welearned that it would bemore effective to focuson one school and trainone group of teachers. We spent our final weeksdistributing the laptops to the students, trainingstudents on XO and applications, collaboratingwith teachers on how to implement the XOlaptops in their classrooms, and setting up aserver and wireless network for the students andteachers. During the week, we went to Saõ JoãoElementary School in the mornings and createdlesson plans and to-do lists for the next day inthe afternoon.U of I students help middle school children inSaõ João set up their new XO laptops.I look back at our deployment and Ibelieve we definitely made a difference. Thechildren really caught on when it came to theuse of the laptops and found ways to use themin creative ways. While Ibelieve that our deploymentwas a success, thereis much to be done to ensureits sustainability. StepUp, our local partner, hasdone an outstanding jobin continuing to providesoftware and hardware assistanceto the school andhas enlisted the help of volunteers to continuetraining new students and teachers. A majorityof deployments are successful because ofgovernment leadership and resources. Ultimately,the outcome of our deployment will bedetermined by finding resources to continue totrain students and teachers and provide moreXO laptops in the future.—Chika Umeadi, Political Science Senior


U n i v e r s i t y o f I l l i n o i s at U r b a n a - C h a m pa i g n 7Summer Institute forLanguages of theMuslim World (SILMW)Peter Otiato Ojiambo with students at SILMW.The first SILMW was organized last summerfrom June 15 to August 6, 2009, by theDepartment of Linguistics at the U of I withsupport from a U.S. Department of EducationTitle VI grant program. Fifty-nine studentsfrom the U of I and a number of other highereducationinstitutions in the U.S. enrolledin the summer institute, including severalstudents who had received Foreign Languageand Area Studies funding.SILMW offered intensive courses in avariety of Muslim world languages, includingTurkish, Persian, Arabic, and Swahili. In additionto classroom instruction, SILMW offeredover 25 extracurricular activities that attractedas many as 75 participants, includinga research forum, conversation tables, brownbag series, cooking classes, movies, music anddance classes, field trips and library visits.The second annual SILMW takes placefrom June 14 to August 5, 2010, and againoffers intensive courses in Turkish, Persian,Arabic, Swahili, Urdu, and Indonesian, aswell as Wolof. Once again, SILMW will offer avariety of extracurricular activities designedto enhance classroom instruction and exposelearners to the traditions of the Muslim World.During the eight-week program,students receive the equivalent of one fullacademic year of language instruction. SummerForeign Language and Area Studies Fellowshipswere available on a selective basisto qualified applicants. For more information,please visit the SILMW website at http://silmw.linguistics.uiuc.edu.—Abdulkafi Albirini, Department of LinguisticsCAS-Sponsored Film ScreeningsCAS co-sponsored several film screenings thisyear. The first was Global Lens 2009 FilmSeries—10 award-winning feature films fromAfrica, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle Eastfrom August 27 to October 29, 2009. Africarelatedfilms included Sleepwalking Land byTeresa Prata, Mozambique and What a WonderfulWorld by Faouzi Bensaidi, Morocco.The second filmscreening in March 2010was Courting Justice, a filmcreated by U of I alumRuth Cowan. Cowan is apolitical scientist interestedin democracy developmentthrough the rule of law inSouth Africa. Her film is thestory of seven South African women judges, allof whom were appointed post-apartheid, servingon the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Courtof Appeal, and the provincial High Courts.These pioneering women speak with candor andhumor about South Africa’s transition to a humanrights-based constitutional democracy andthe judiciary’s role in that transition.Swahili Websites LaunchedThe Center and the Department of Linguisticsare proud to announce the development ofthe Swahili website and the Swahili Proverbswebsite. The Swahili website was developedin the course of the 2008-2009 academic year.The website aides students taking elementary,intermediate, and advanced Swahili courses.The website is learner-centered and uses aneasy and friendly communicative approach toforeign language learning. (See http://swahili.linguistics.illinois.edu.)A further enhancement to the Swahiliwebsite in the 2009-10 academic year is theSwahili Proverbs site. The purpose of this siteis to aide students and educators in Swahililearning and understanding of the African continentand culture. The website has added anelaborate and in-depth set of general Swahiliproverbs to its general listings to help students,educators, and persons interested in advancingIn April 2010, our third film showing wasSemmin Naari Boor (Double-Bladed Axe) createdby Jesse Ribot, U of I geography professorand Beckman Institute for Advanced Scienceand Technology. In the film, a forest serviceproject manager convinces reluctant villagers ofDaru Fippu to participate in charcoal-makingfor Dakar so they can make money for theircommunity. Foresters keep their urban-basedmerchant clients happily in control of lucrativecharcoal markets. A compassionate projectdirector helps the villagers sell a few truckloadsin the city. After seeing the high urban prices,the villagers want to sell all their charcoal inDakar, but foresters won’t let them. Daru Fippufederates stand up to the foresters’ double-talk.This film, a project of the Social Dimensions ofEnvironmental Policy Initiative, is an experimentalmeans of communicating the results ofresearch on democracy and the environment topolicy, practitioners, and affected populations.Maimouna Barro (African studies) and MahirSaul (anthropology) led the discussion followingthe film screening.—Anne Price, Habari Editortheir knowledge of Swahili. The site is organizedunder themes and various proverbsthat fall under them.To view the Swahilli Proverbs site, visithttp://swahiliproverbs.afrst.illinois.edu.—Peter Otiato Ojiambo, Department of Linguistics


10 CENTER FOR AFRIC AN STUDIESLearning about Africa...OneSeveral groups of students and professors traveled toAfrica this year through various study abroad opportunities.They returned from their travels enrichedby their experiences, with stories they wanted toshare. The following highlights several of them.South AfricaIn mid-August 2009, we stood in line at Johannesburg’sinternational airport waiting to returnto the United States after spending eight weeks inSouth Africa. As Nathaniel and I waited to takeour seats, we stood enamored at the conversationsthat were happening around us. ExcitedAmericans chatted about which parts of thecountry they had visited, comparing stories ofsafari trips and swimming with sharks. All wecould think about was that the South Africa mostof the passengers had experienced was completelydifferent from the South Africa we had come toknow.The obvious themeof the summer was Zululanguage immersion,since we spent as manyas nine hours a dayspeaking, reading, andwriting Zulu. Howeverwhat will stay with uslong after memories ofPetrie Lodge fade arethe interactions andNathaniel Moore and Anna Henry with Rick Deja and T.J.Tallie in South Africa.relationships that we built with our host families.During our two home stays, all students on theprogram were assigned to live with Zulu families.These families did much more than feed us andprovide shelter; they facilitated many elementsof our cultural experience, provided emotionalsupport and linguistic encouragement, and illustratedthe true humanity of the Zulu people.Not only were they amazingly generous andaccommodating, but we also felt as if they reallywere interested in us, despite the short durationof our stay.There were also numerous positive exchangeswith strangers. For instance, Anna metan elderly man on a taxi, who after bumping intoher apologized in English. When she responded,“it’s not a problem” in Zulu, he turned to herwith a sincere smile and said “ah, the new SouthAfrica.” It is these encounters that demonstratenot only the significance of using indigenous languagesin interpersonal communication but alsothe value of interactions with average citizens,interactions that tourists often never experience.Yet these interactions and experiences are themost memorable and beneficial in our view ofAfrica and its peoples and cultures.We are grateful to our Zulu professors inthe U.S. and South Africa, the U of I Center forAfrican Studies, and the University of Pennsylvaniafor preparing us for such a trip and supportingstudy abroad trips that facilitate genuinecross-cultural exchange.—Anna Henry and Nathaniel Moore, CAS GraduateStudentsCape Town, South AfricaNo matter how many pictures someone showsyou, how much advice they give you, or howprepared you feel before you leave, there are nowords to describe how South Africa will changeyou. I could not foreseethat St. Joseph’s Homefor Chronically IllChildren, better knownas St. Joe’s, would havesuch an enormousimpact on my life. Immediatelyafter we wereshown the infant ward,I knew I had to spendmy days in Cape Townwith them. The Sunflower Ward is also the HIV/AIDS ward. Most of the children who are HIV/AIDS positive at St. Joe’s are younger than eightyears old.I immediately spotted Bongo in his cribfrowning. My fellowstudents and I joked thathe looked like an old,grumpy man. The tips ofBongo’s toes were scabbedover as a result of the virus,and he looked constantlyunhappy. The nurses toldus how sick Bongo waswhen he first came to theHome. One nun explainedthat Bongo was very closeAnita Murad holds Bongo at St. Joseph’s Home forChronically Ill Children.to death, but he miraculously survived.As our days at St. Joseph’s passed, I startedto want to hold Bongo more frequently. He startedsmiling and laughing when we paid attentionto him and cried whenever we put him down.The worst part of my days was when we had toleave and put all the kids back into their cribs.When we returned to the U.S., peopleasked about the animals, the weather, and thescenery, which seemed so trivial to those of uswho went on this study abroad trip. The mostimportant aspect of the trip was that we hadmade a difference in the children’s lives.—Anita Murad, Human Development & Family StudiesStudentCairo, EgyptIn summer 2009, with the support of a FLASaward from the Center for African Studies,I spent two months studying in an IntensiveArabic program at the American University inCairo. This was my first visit to Egypt and tothe African continent—although it certainlywill not be my last one. While I was primarilygoing to improve my Arabic, another strongmotivating factor was my desire to experiencelife in an Islamic, Arabic-speaking community.In order to fully realize my desire to liveamong Egyptians, I opted not to live in thedormitories with other Americans in the programand instead attempted to find an apartmenton my own. Upon arriving in Cairo, I took upresidence in a hotel. After spending my first twoweeks looking for an apartment, I gave up andstayed in my hotel for the duration of the summer—which,to my surprise, was similar in costto living in a one-bedroom apartment in Cairo.Staying in a hotel provided some unexpectedbenefits. I was able to meetall walks of life. The hotelwas popular with bothEgyptians visiting Cairoand tourists from all overthe world. I spent many anight chatting in Arabicwith Arabs over tea.Through such interactionsI learned manythings about Egyptian life.For example, I discoveredthat my inability to find an apartment was largelybecause in Egypt, all matters of life are handledthrough connections. By the end of the summer,


12 CENTER FOR AFRIC AN STUDIESF A C U L T Y N E W sRichard Akresh (economics) was named aFellow at the U of I Center for Advanced Studyfor 2010-11 to work on his project “Gender andSocial Protection Programs in Developing Countries:a Randomized Evaluation of Conditional/Unconditional Cash Transfers in Rural BurkinaFaso.”Maimouna Barro (CAS) published her first book,The Role of Literacy in Enhancing Women’s Agencyand Well-being: A Qualitative Inquiry of the Effectsof the Tostan Education Program on the Lives ofWomen in a Rural Community in Senegal. Shepresented a paper at the 2009 African StudiesAssociation Meeting and published an article,“Seal the Deal! What’s in it for Africa,” in the 2009United Nations Chronicle.Theresa Barnes (history/GWS) and James Brennan(history) received a Hewlett FoundationInternational Conference grant for a conferenceon “Making History: Terence Ranger and AfricanStudies,” to be held at U of I in October 2010.She is the coauthor of a new book, Restructuringof South African Higher Education: Rocky Roadsfrom Policy Formulation to Institutional Mergers2001-2005.Elabbas Benmamoun (linguistics) is coauthorof The Syntax of Arabic and received an NSF grantfor “A Comparative Grammar of Five Arabic Varieties.”He was an invited lecturer at the AmericanUniversity in Beirut in March 2010 and at theHeritage Language Institute at the University ofHawaii in June 2010. He was named an AssociateFellow at the U of I Center for Advanced Studyfor spring 2010.Eyamba Bokama (linguistics) was awarded a2009-10 Fulbright Scholar grant to research acomprehensive reference grammar of Lingala atthe Royal Museum for Central Africa in Tervuren,Belgium.Merle Bowen (political science) published“The Struggle for Black Land Rights in Brazil,” inAfrican and Black Diaspora Journal and presenteda paper at the 2009 African Studies AssociationMeeting. She was awarded a Research Boardgrant and a Lemann Faculty Award for herongoing research on economic development inBrazil’s quilombo communities.Antoinette Burton (history) won a GuggenheimFellowship to work on a book currently titledEmpire from Below: Resistance in the British Empirefrom the Opium Wars to Mau Mau.Ashwini Chhatre (geography/Beckman Institute)was named a 2010-11 Fellow at the U of ICenter for Advanced Study to work on his project,“Democratic Governance and Adaptation toClimate Change.”Ken Cuno (history) is coeditor of a new book,Family, Gender and Law in a Globalizing MiddleEast and South Asia and contributed a chapter,“Disobedient Wives and Neglectful Husbands:Marital Relations and the First Phase of Reformof Family Law in Egypt.” He also published “Al-Bajuri, Ibrahim b. Muhammad,” in The Encyclopediaof Islam 3.Leon Dash (journalism) was named the newdirector of the Center for Advanced Study.Faye Dong (food science and human nutrition)was recently honored as one of 23 Fellows of theFood Systems Leadership Institute in a ceremonyat the annual meeting of the Association ofPublic and Land-Grant Universities in Washington,D.C.Rebecca Ginsburg (landscape architecture) wasfeatured in Inside Illinois for her leadership incommunity engagement through the EducationJustice Project that provides higher education toeligible men incarcerated at the Danville CorrectionalCenter, one of the most innovative prisoneducation programs in the U.S. She joined CASaffiliate Laura Lawson (landscape architecture)and they presented “Commemoration andDesign Concepts for Saõ Tomé,” at the Collaborativefor Cultural Heritage and Museum Practices(CHAMP) Symposium in April 2010.Valerie Hoffman (religious studies) published“Historical Memory and Imagined Communities:Modern Ibadi Writings on Kharijism,” in HistoricalDimensions of Islam: Essays in Honor of R. StephenHumphreys. She also delivered papers at threeinternational conferences in 2009 in Japan andGreece.Al Kagan (library) published “The 1990 StockholmIFLA Meeting and the Struggle for SouthAfrica,” in En ny förening är nödvändig, Gothenburg,Sweden: Bibliotek i Samhalle, 2009.Mohammad Khalil (religious studies) coordinatedan international symposium on “Islam,Salvation and the Fate of Others” on the U of Icampus, April 16-17, 2010.Erik McDuffie (AAS/GWS) was awarded an IPRHfellowship and an Arnold Beckman ResearchBoard grant for his project on “Garveyism in theUrban Midwest: the Making of Diaspora in theAmerican Heartland.”H. Adlai Murdoch (French/AAS) wrote the “Introduction”in the Research in African Literaturesjournal’s special issue on Aimé Césaire, for whichhe was also the editor (spring 2010).Bekisizwe Ndimande (curriculum and instruction)joined the Children’s Rights and AdvocacyLearning Group of Una, an international researchproject based at the Queen’s University in Belfast,Northern Ireland. He presented his currentresearch on “Black Immigrant Children in Post-Apartheid South Africa.”John Nimis (French) presented his paper, “LiteraryListening: Re-thinking the place of music andliterature in Africa,” at the African Languages inthe Disciplines conference at Harvard Universityin April 2010. He is the recipient of a two-yearMellon post-doctoral fellowship at the Universityof Wisconsin (2010-2012).Allyson Purpura (KAM) received an ArnoldBeckman Research Board award for her project“Breaking with Tradition: the Re-Installation ofKrannert Art Museum’s African Gallery.”David Prochaska (history) is coeditor of thenewly published book, Postcards: EphemeralHistories of Modernity.Fairchild Ruggles (landscape architecture) wasnamed a 2010 University Scholar for the impactof her work in the field of Islamic landscape andgarden history, in sites ranging from North Africato India.Dana Rush (art and design) received a 2010-11Fulbright Research Award for travel to Benin andTogo to support her second book project, titledIn Remembrance of Slavery: Tchamba Vodun.


U n i v e r s i t y o f I l l i n o i s at U r b a n a - C h a m pa i g n 13Mahir Şaul (anthropology) coedited a newbook, Viewing African Cinema in the Twenty-firstCentury: Art Films and the Nollywood Video Revolution.He received a U of I Research Board grantfor his project on circular transnational traveland migration among West and Central Africans,focusing on Turkey and the European Union.Susan Schnuer (Mortenson Center) reports thatthe MacArthur and Carnegie grants have beenrenewed for another three years to assist the 10grant-supported university libraries in Africa tobecome automated. In summer 2010, 20 librariansfrom the grantee institutions will be visitingcampus.Burton Swanson (ACES) published StrengtheningAgricultural Extension and Advisory Systems:Procedures for Assessing, Transforming, andEvaluating Extension Systems.Robert L. Thompson (ACES) received the FacultyAward for Global Impact.CAS BookshelfTheresa Barnes (history):The Restructuring of SouthAfrican Higher Education.This book examines theprocesses of restructuringfollowing the government’sdecision in2001-02 to radicallyreform the legacy of “thegeopolitical imagination of the apartheidplanners” in higher education. This is aninnovative attempt to get under the skin of whatwas clearly the most major intervention in SouthAfrican higher education since 1959. Acomprehensive range of institutions are covered;and the main researchers, all institutionalinsiders, represent strong diversity in training andperspectives.Maimouna Barro (CAS):The Role of Literacy inEnhancing Women’sAgency and Well-being: AQualitative Inquiry of theEffects of the TostanEducation Program on thelives of Women in a RuralCommunity in Senegal. Inher book, Barro shows the power of education asa fundamental human right and the mostimportant factor in improving other importantaspects in women’s lives. She argues that “thoughliteracy is an important part of that education, itis not literacy per se that empowers its recipients.Literacy should be part of an overall empoweringeducation process.”Ken Cuno (history):Family, Gender and Lawin a Globalizing MiddleEast and South Asia,coedited with ManishaDesai. The essays in thiscollection examine issuesof gender, family, and lawin the Middle East andSouth Asia. In particular,the authors address theimpact of colonialism on law, family, and genderrelations; the role of religious politics in writingfamily law and the implications for genderrelations; and the tension between internationalstandards emerging from UN conferences andconventions and various nationalist projects.Employing the frame of globalization, theauthors highlight how local and global forcesinteract and influence the experience and actionsof people who engage with the law.Ezekiel Kalipeni(geography) andIbulaimu Kakoma(veterinary medicine):Biodiversity, Conservation,and Natural ResourcesManagement in Africa:Turning Science intoAction for the 21stCentury. This book is theresult of the First International ResearchConference on Biodiversity and the SustainableManagement of Natural Resources held in Kigali,Rwanda. As Africa enters the 21st century, it iscrucial that science is put into action to utilizethe continent’s resources on a sustainable basisand preserve its rich biodiversity. This bookconcentrates on biodiversity conservation and themanagement of natural resources in Africa. Thechapters examine four major themes related tothe environment, natural resources, andbiodiversity, calling for a balance betweensustainable use of natural resources and reservation/conservationof such resources.James Kilgore (CASresearch affiliate): We AreAll Zimbabweans Now.Written in the style of adetective thriller, thestory analyzes thecomplex struggles forpower in post-independenceAfrica. This is thestory of a youngAmerican historian who arrives in Harare in1981, full of admiration for Robert Mugabe andZimbabwe’s policy of reconciliation. When heexplores the case of a liberation war leader whodied in a mysterious car accident, he receiveselusive answers, then threats. As he delves moreinto his research, the dangers deepen and theconnections of Florence to mysteries past andpresent force Ben to confront difficult decisionsabout career, love, parenting, and politicalprinciple.Mahir Şaul (anthropology):Viewing AfricanCinema in the Twenty-First Century is the firstbook to bring together aset of essays offering aunique comparison of thetwo main African cinemamodes. The art cinemamode of contemporaryEurope, originated in mainly Francophonecountries which relied heavily on support fromthe French is compared to the mass-marketedfilms shot on less expensive video cameras,originating in southern Nigeria, that dominatethe world of African cinema today.


14 CENTER FOR AFRIC AN STUDIESS T U D E N T N E W SApril Diaz (CAS) will continue her studies,working towards a PhD in social work at theU of I.Anna Henry (CAS) received a GRID MinorCertificate at the spring reception hostedby the Women and Gender in GlobalPerspectives Program.Tim Landry (anthropology) received aFulbright-Hays grant and a Fulbright-IIEgrant for his research on Benin. The title ofhis dissertation is “Touring the Forbidden:the Politics of Travel in Benin, West Africa.”He was featured in Anthropology News (May2010), performing a consultation using theopele (divining chain) with two local priestsin Benin.Lance Larkin (anthropology) received aFulbright-Hays award for his dissertationresearch in South Africa in December 2010.The title of his dissertation is “South Africa’sHaven for Immigrant Artists? ZimbabweanSculptors Carving New Networks.”Nathaniel Moore (CAS/GSLIS) was acceptedin the joint degree program in spring 2010.2010 Dissertations on AfricaTage Biswalo: “Issues in Language Policy inTanzania: Examining the Shifts in Policy”Abdulai Iddrisu: “Contesting Islam:Homegrown Wahhabism, Education andMuslim Identity”Leonard Muaka: “The Dynamics of LanguageUse Among Rural and Urban Kenyan Youths”Margaret Njeru: “Raising Immigrant Childrenin America: Negotiating Through Academicand Cultural Issues among Families of KenyanOrigin Living in the United States of America”David Ogega Nyaberi: “An Arts-BasedEducational Framework for FosteringIntercultural Unity in Kenya”Josephine Yambi: “Factores that affectBiliteracy Development and maintenance ofSwahili in Bilingual (Swahili-English) SpeakingChildren”Center for African StudiesWelcomes New MA StudentsAbiodun Adesope’s work centers on the HIV/AIDS epidemic as itaffects the healthand well-beingof the Africancontinent. She alsoAbiodun Adesope presents herposter at the ASO 7th AnnualAcademic Forum.has a passion forlearning multipleAfrican languages.Jacob Butler’s research interest focuses onissues related to Kenyan politics. He plans toearn a PhD in political science and is workingto further develop his Kiswahili skills in orderto better communicate with the people whenhe returns to East Africa.Lydiah Kananu Kiramba’s research interestis national language policy in Kenya andthe importance of national languages ineducation and curriculum development. Shealso teaches Swahili.Tseleq Yusef’s research centers on Islamand the role it has in the religious conflictin Nigeria. His research has also led himto further study Arabic in order to betterunderstand Islam’s contributions to theAfrican continent beyond the religious realm.Student Paper PrizeJacob Butler (Africanstudies) won the bestgraduate paper prizefor his essay, “EvolvingPolitical Accountabilityin Kenya,” a lucid andengaging discussionof impunity and accountability. His paperdefines key concepts, links them throughKenya’s specific history, and makes someinteresting observations, particularlyregarding the role of international actors.He argues that political accountability inKenya has changed since the early 1990s,without ever fully maturing. Jacob receiveda certificate and $200 for his award-winningpaper, which will be available through theWorking Paper Series on the IDEALS website(www.ideals.illinois.edu).African Students’ OrganizationHosts 7th Annual Academic ForumThe theme for the April 24 forum was “Africa:50 Years after Independence” in honor of the27 African countries that celebrate 50 yearsof independence in 2010. Rozell W. “Prexy”Nesbitt, a human rights activist and educatoron Africa, foreign policy, and racism deliveredthe keynote address. Below is the list ofother presentations, many of which will bepublished in our Working Paper Series andwill also be available at www.ideals.illinois.edu.“Language Learning in Kenyan PrimarySchools: Socio-Cultural and DialogicPerspectives,” by Esther Lisanza, education.“Africa: Lessons from Library Consortia inDeveloped Countries,” by Fredrick Lugya,library and information science.“Information and CommunicationTechnologies: A Gendered Perspective,” byDoMoniqu Arnold, library and informationscience.“Empowering Local Stakeholders in Nigeria’sOil and Gas Industry,” by John Oyelakin,mechanical engineering.“Evolving Political Accountability in Kenya,”by Jacob Butler, Center for African Studies.“Swahili as a Tool for Regional Integrationin East Africa,” by Lydiah Kiramba, Center forAfrican Studies.“Music, the New Native Tongue in SenagaleseCinema,” by Hapsatou Wane, comparativeworld literature.“Cultural Nationalism in a Trans-state ofAffairs: The Paradox of Popular Music inMalawi,” by Rick Deja, ethnomusicology.


U n i v e r s i t y o f I l l i n o i s at U r b a n a - C h a m pa i g n 15T E A C H E R S R A N K E D A SA l u m n i N E W SAfrican studiesfaculty andaffiliates ranked asexcellent by theirstudents duringthe 2009 spring,summer, and fallsemesters.N a m eC o u r s e sRichard Akresh eCON 551Abdulkafi Albirini liNG 405, 407Stanley Ambrose ANTH 499Manisah Basu eNG 211, 301Jan Brooks hCD 206, 208, 398Ruth Nicole Brown eps 590/GWS 495Leon Dash JOUR 415Brian Dill soC 122Mark Dressman CI 473, 590Hadi Esfahani eCON 103Chris Fennell ANTH 220, 451, 453Rebecca Ginsburg lARCH 587Alma Gottlieb ANTH 411, 532Alan Hansen AGBIO 464Wail Hassan COMP LIT 502Mohammad Khalil rlst 214, 480Erik McDuffie gws 298, 342, 380Faranak Miraftab urp 423David O’Brien ART 440, 441, 447Peter Ojiambo liNG 201, 202, 403, 404Cynthia Oliver dANCE 260, 360, 510Carl Parsons AN SCI 404, 524D. Fairchild Ruggles lARCH 390, 506, 594Dana Rush ART 312Ryan Shosted liNG 302Gabriel Solis musiC 421, 523Alex Winter-Nelson ACE 594Assata Zerai soC 510Kwame Essien (CAS) published “A aberturada Casa Brasil: A History of the TabomPeople,” in Back to Africa Vol. 1: Afro-BrazilianReturnees and their Communities (Cape Town,South Africa, 2009) and “Cutting the Headof the Roaring Monster: Homosexualityand Repression in Ghana” Africa StudyMonographs 30, 3: 121-135. He presentedhis paper, “Gendering Diasporas in Ghana:Memory, Identity, ‘Race’ and Activities ofAmerican African Women, 1957-2010at the10th Annual Africa Conference, University ofTexas-Austin, in March 2010. Congratulationsto Kwame who received his PhD from theUniversity of Texas-Austin in spring 2010.Joel Cuffey (ACES) received the Charles C.Stewart International Young HumanitarianAward in spring 2010 for his thesis researchwork with the Emanuel Hospital Associationin India and his devotion to public health carethrough his work with HIV/AIDS in Uganda.He has worked alongside leading Africanorganizations that provide medical care andtreatment services to more than 100,000people living with HIV/AIDS.New Courses in 2009-2010TEACHING ASSISTANTSNathaniel Moore AFRST 222Batomaka Somé AFRST 201Esther Somé-Guiebre AFRST 202, 204Fall 2009FR 240 Contrasting African & Caribbean Identities John NimisRLST 480 islamic Law mohammad KhalilJessica Horn (CAS) participated in apanel titled “Expanded Career Options forHumanists and Social Scientists” at the U ofI in January 2010. She recently assumed anew position as the Director of Operationsat the Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies inthe College of Business at the University ofIllinois-Chicago. She will begin her MBA at theLiataud Graduate School of Business at UIC infall 2010. During summer 2010 she will be inEgypt, working with a microfinance project.Spring 2010GWS 590 feminisms on the African Continent teresa BarnesLA 590 landscape Commemoration & Trauma: Slavery Sites Rebecca GinsburgTHEA 590 African Women in Theatre Kathy PerkinsTHEA 591 Carnivals, Festivals of the African Diaspora Kathy PerkinsACE 499 international Nutrition & Food Security Study Abroad Paul McNamaraDANC 441 Dance History II: Introduction to World Dance sarah Nixon Gasyna


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