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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.

Royal Air Maroc-ASA Student Travel Award - A Beneficiary's Thanks

By Kingsley Antwi-Boasiako
Doctoral Candidate
School of Media Arts and Studies
Scripps College of Communication
Ohio University

One of the ways in which Africans and Africanists studying outside the shores of the continent could give back is to conduct quality research aimed at solving problems and advancing positive change. Thankfully, many African students have been assisted in various forms with grants and funds to conduct research back home in Africa.

Repost from "4 Corners of the World" - 333: A Film on the Manuscripts of Timbuktu

The Library of Congress has recently launched two important social media resources on its international collections: the 4 Corners of the World blog and Library of Congress International Collections Facebook page. You are invited to connect with the Library of Congress curators and reference specialists to learn all about the Library’s International Collections. This collection is the largest and finest in the world with millions of items, in hundreds of different languages and scripts from societies and cultures around the globe. You will also get the latest about new collection acquisitions, digital initiatives, and free public programs at the Library and view online recordings! Both projects are jointly contributed by the four area studies divisions of the Library of Congress: African and Middle Eastern, Asian, European, and Hispanic.

Below please find a reposting of the Library of Congress’ most recent blog post, “333: A Film on the Manuscripts of Timbuktu,” which you can also find on their blog. This piece is posted on the ASA site with the permission of the Library of Congress. You can follow the blog to see all of their postings, and like their Facebook page to receive more updates directly from the Library of Congress. Please see the latest Facebook post here about an upcoming lecture by Dr. Toyin Falola, past President of the Board of Directors of the African Studies Association (ASA) and a recipient of ASA’s 2014 Distinguished Africanist Award.

What to Expect at the Washington DC 59th Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association

This blog, written by 2016 Annual Meeting Program Co-Chair Benjamin Lawrance, 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 Benjamin N. Lawrance

Africa as marginal, Africa as forgotten, Africa as a country… we’ve all encountered the tired and simplistic formulae and frameworks that are reproduced time and time again. From its inception in Chicago over half a century ago, the African Studies Association has persistently confronted, engaged, and resisted tropes of Africa and Africans. What happens when we flip the script and insist on methods, practices, analyses, and narratives at which Africa is front and center? In our co-authored call last year for papers, panels, and roundtables, we recognized that when Africa is wielded as a unit for research and policy it too easily becomes a framework synonymous with troubles and dangers. We observed that the need to interweave academy, policy, and practice is arguably now more pressing than ever as funding for Area Studies research declines precipitously. We invited our membership to propose papers and panels that build on the ASA’s rich legacy of experimentation bridging scholarship, representation, and policy, celebrating the continent’s diversity, history, and complexity.

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