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Reflection on AfricaNow! sessions honoring Elaine Salo

By Terri Barnes, Associate Professor, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

I organized a session on December 2 at the 2016 African Studies Association annual meeting in Washington DC called “Keeping Feminism in African Studies – a panel in honor of Elaine Salo.” It was followed later in the day by another session organized by Akosua Ampofo, “Honouring Elaine Salo: The African Feminist Forum and Gandhi for come down!” The two sessions brought together about 30 people involved in African Studies in the US, who knew and wanted to come together to remember Elaine. We were honored to welcome Elaine’s partner Colin Miller to the first session.

The speakers in the first session focused on their personal and professional reminiscences of our comrade Elaine. I read out a list of the MA and PhD students that she had supervised at the African Gender Institute at the University of Cape Town – to show the range of topics that she inspired and supported with her students, and to show that her legacy is ongoing. Takyiwaa Manuh from Ghana spoke about Elaine’s intellectual reach to feminist scholars across the African continent, emphasizing that she was so powerfully immune to the “South African exceptionalism” exhibited by so many. Takyiwaa read out some of Elaine’s emails, showing her commitment to the institutionalization of women and gender studies in the African academy, and also her unwavering willingness to call a spade a spade, and an idiot an idiot, in our crazy world!

Africa Now! Trump and Africa Discussion at the African Studies Association (ASA) Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., Dec. 3, 2016

This blog post originally appeared on the Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa blog, and is re-posted here with their permission. You can access the original posting here.

By Cilas Kemedjio (University of Rochester) and Cecelia Lynch (University of California, Irvine), Co-Editors of The CIHA Blog (Critical Investigations into Humanitarianism in Africa, www.cihablog.com)

Our panel on the impact of the impending Trump presidency on Africa at the 59th annual meeting of the ASA (African Studies Association) was lively and well-attended. We spent the first section of the panel presenting the questions we had outlined earlier and discussing issues that arose out of these questions, and the last part of the panel identifying ongoing steps people can take to try to limit the potential damage a Trump administration could have on various aspects of relations with African countries and societies.

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