The African Studies Association partnered with the Africa Past and Present podcast of Michigan State University at the 59th Annual Meeting of the ASA to launch a podcast series from the conference. The series includes “drop in” conversations, which were modeled to mimic the spur of the moment conversations and debates that happen in the hallways of the Annual Meeting, as well as more in depth interviews with keynote speakers and other ASA members. Africa Past and Present is hosted by Peter Alegi and Peter Limb, both of Michigan State University, and is produced by Mike Green, Director of the Matrix Digital Media Lab at Michigan State University.

Allen Isaacman



Allen Isaacman of the University of Minnesota joined Africa Past and Present to discuss his most recent book, Dams, Displacement and the Delusion of Development: Cahora Bassa and its Legacies in Mozambique, 1965-2007and his other Herskovits winning book, Mozambique: The Africanization of a European Institution: The Zambezi Prazos, 1750-1902. Isaacman spoke about how his most recent book was inspired and researched. He also discussed the future of ASA and African studies.

John Mugane



John Mugane of Harvard University joined Africa Past and Present to discuss his book, The Story of Swahili. He takes a deep dive into linguistics and specifically, in Swahili. He speaks with Peter Alegi and Peter Limb about enduring questions – who is Swahili, and what is authentic Swahili? Mugane also discusses the state of publishing in Swahili, and challenges and approaches to teaching languages in the U.S.

Mĩcere M. Gĩthae Mugo and Simon Gikandi



Mĩcere M. Gĩthae Mũgo, Syracuse University (emeritus) and Simon Gikandi, Princeton University, joined Peter Alegi and Peter Limb to preview the lecture, Kimathi, Mau Mau and the Politics of Naming that was delivered at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting. They discuss how the play The Trial of Dedan Kimathi originated, and the relevance of the play today, in the U.S. and across the world.

Fallou Ngom



Fallou Ngom of Boston University joined Africa Past and Present to discuss his new book Muslims Beyond the Arab World, in which he discusses Ajami text as sources for history and scholarship. Ngom further addressed challenges in digitizing sources and creating online collections, and the benefits and challenges to teaching African languages in the United States.

Nicholas Van de Walle and Michael Wahmann



Nicholas Van de Walle of Cornell University and Michael Wahmann of the University of Missouri joined Africa Past and Present to discuss the 2016 elections in Zambia, and findings from their research and observations of those elections. This interview was conducted by Peter Limb, Michigan State University, and Jessica Achberger, Michigan State University.

Drop In Sessions

Itamar Dubinsky



Itamar Dubinsky of Ben Gurion University dropped in to discuss his research on football in Ghana, where he highlights the contribution of local communities to football and Ghanaian football academies. He also discusses the ethical guidelines of studying and interviewing children on the continent.

Jennifer Hart



Jennifer Hart of Wayne State University dropped in to discuss her new book, Ghana on the Go!: African Mobility in the Age of Motor Transportation. She also discusses efforts to map ways people move around Accra, and a new digital project to share visual and audio representation of Accra.

Diana Jeater



Diana Jeater, an editor of the Journal of Southern African Studies, dropped into discuss how to write about “belief”, a topic that came out of the panel “Seeking Reconciliation or Vengeance? Reassessing the Role of Avenging Spirits in Redressing Historical Violence in Zimbabwe” at the 2016 ASA Annual Meeting.

Andrea Johnson



Andrea Johnson of the Carnegie Corporation of New York (CCNY) dropped in to discuss CCNY’s involvement in supporting higher education in Africa. She discussed the governance and management of higher education systems, and recent innovations in higher education and training. If you are interested in learning more about CCNY’s support of the African Studies Association, watch our video here.

Benjamin Lawrance and Bill Moseley



Benjamin Lawrance, Rochester Institute of Technology, and Bill Moseley, Macalester College, dropped in to discuss their experience as Program Co-Chairs for the 59th ASA Annual Meeting. They talked about how they created the 59th Annual Meeting theme and the overall Annual Meeting. They highlighted innovations at the Annual Meeting, what to look forward to in future Annual Meetings.

Jamie Monson and Yoon Jung Park


Jamie Monson, Michigan State University and Yoon Jung Park, Georgetown University dropped in to discuss the Chinese in Africa/Africans in China research network, a virtual network connecting researchers on this topic. They also talked about the status of African studies in China, and the growth of the China-Africa studies.

Susan Rasmussen


Susan Rasmussen, University of Houston, dropped in to discuss her fieldwork in Niger and Mali, and her most recent research on youth cultures. She also discussed how turmoil in a country impacts relationships between generations.

Janet Remmington



Janet Remmington, Regional Director, Africa for Taylor & Francis/Routledge dropped in to discuss the book Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa, of which she is a co-editor. 2016 marked the centenary of Native Life in South Africa by Sol Plaatje.

Galen Sibanda and Oluranti Olumoroti



Oluranti Olumoroti of Hogarth LTD and Galen Sibanda of Michigan State University joined Africa Past and Present to discuss curating books and scholarship throughout Nigeria, and the challenges of teaching linguistics.

Carol Thompson

Carol Thompson of Northern Arizona University dropped in to discuss international agricultural policies, and farmers rights.