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Remembering our Trailblazers

This page is dedicated to our dearly departed colleagues and friends, whose hard work and commitment to the study of Africa contributed significantly to the production and exchange of knowledge on Africa. The tireless work of these individuals has profoundly impacted and changed narratives about Africa and Africans for the better, which in turn has changed attitudes and approaches toward studying and engaging the continent. We honor and thank them for their hard work.

If you would like to submit an obituary or tribute to this page please click here.

Please note that obituaries and tributes will be accepted and posted on a rolling basis, and need not be for recent deaths. Submissions will be accepted for any individual acknowledged to have made a positive contribution to the study of Africa as a scholar, practitioner, artist, politician, peace maker, etc.

Gerald Bender (1942-2017)

Gerald Bender served as President of the ASA from 1986 to 1987.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 271

Aminata Diaw

Aminata Diaw passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 486

Jan Vansina: September 14, 1929 – February 8, 2017

Jan Vansina, a pioneering historian whose vast corpus of work transformed our understanding of African history—and the history of many other areas—died on February 8, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin. He was 87.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 715

Jan-Georg Deutsch

Jan-Georg Deutsch passed away on December 22, 2016.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 1236

Isidore Okpewho (1942-2016)

Isidore Okpewho passed away on September 4, 2016. He was 74 years old.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 1725

Alain Ricard (1945-2016)

Alain Ricard passed away on Saturday, August 27, 2016. He was a dear friend a colleague who will be missed by everyone who had the honor of sharing his passion for ideas, travel, friendship, Africa, literature, theater and so much more.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 1877

Elizabeth Colson (1917-2016)

Elizabeth Colson passed away in July 2016.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 1589

Sam Moyo (1954-2015)

Sam Moyo passed away on November 21, 2015, following a car accident in New Delhi, India.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3302

George Houser (1916-2015)

George Houser passed away on August 19, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3075

Stephen Ellis (1953-2015)

Professor Stephen Ellis passed away on July 29, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3234

Jack Goody (1919-2015)

Professor John "Jack" Goody passed away on July 16, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3255

John Hunwick (1936-2015)

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3734

Said S. Samatar (1943-2015)


  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3635
Member Aid For Africa
African Studies Association is a participating member of Aid for Africa, a unique partnership of nonprofit organizations serving families and communities throughout Africa.
African Studies Association
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Tel: 848-445-8173
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