The African Studies Association (ASA), is pleased to announce the ASA Presidential Fellows Program, and the start of the 2014 
Fellowship selection process. Information on how to nominate a candidate for this program can be found below.

The ASA recognizes that it is futile to effectively study Africa and meaningfully engage important issues affecting the African continent, without also meaningfully engaging the scholars and practitioners on the ground who are working against considerable odds to bring about change. These actors generate much of the empirical data that goes into informing reports and studies which are published and circulated in the “global north,” however the vast majority of them are unable to access resources, networks and capacity-building opportunities beyond their borders. 

The ASA Presidential Fellows Program is responding to this gap by continuing its tradition of providing opportunities for scholars and practitioners with a scholarly interest in Africa to travel  to attend the ASA Annual Meeting, visit institutions of higher learning in the United States, engage with academics working on Africa-related issues, take courses and to explore opportunities for collaborative ventures.

In 2014, the ASA will fund the following categories of ASA Presidential Fellows:

  • 3 Fellows will be sponsored under the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS)/ASA Presidential Fellows Program.The selection process for this category will be managed by the African Humanties Program of the ACLS.
  • Cambridge University Press sponsored Fellowship
  • ASA member contribution sponsored Fellowship
  • Hormuud Telecomunications sponsored Fellowship

Eligibility Requirements

  • Applicants must be based in a higher education institution or an organization on the African continent, and should be able to demonstrate a scholarly commitment to work on issues affecting Africa. 
  • All applicants must be nominated by a current ASA member. If you are an applicant interested in the Program, you may consult the ASA’s Membership Directory, to find and contact an ASA member who can nominate you. Please note that the Membership Directory is only available to members of the African Studies Association. Please visit the ASA’s Membership Page, to obtain information about becoming a member of the ASA.
  • The nominating member must be willing to host and mentor the Fellow during the conference.  Hosting and mentoring is understood as the following:
  1. Ensuring that the grant recipient attends as many conference-related as possible.
  2. Support the grant recipient with networking during the conference.
  3. Arrange for a visit by the scholar to one or more institutions, both for the purpose of presenting their research, and forming networks (travel will be arranged by the host institution, unless otherwise agreed)
  • For candidates in academia, preference will be given to junior scholars- which we understand as recent post-docs (within 5-10 years of completion).
  • For practitioner candidates, the nominating member must be able to demonstrate in their nomination letter how participating in the ASA Presidential Fellows Program will positively impact the candidates work/engagement.
  • While applicants may come from multidisciplinary backgrounds, preference will be given to applicants with demonstrable scholarly and/or activist contributions to development initiatives in Africa.
  • Eligible women applicants are encouraged to apply.


To Apply

The deadline to apply for the ASA Presidential Fellows Program is July 31st, 2014. Successful candidates will be assigned to one of the four Fellowship categories outlined above, and notified accordingly.

To nominate a candidate for the program, click here


2013 Presidential Fellows

Komlan Agbedahin is a national of Togo (West Africa). He studied at the University of Lomé (Togo) where he earned an honors degree and a master’s degree in Sociology. He also has a master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CEPACS) at the University of Ibadan (Nigeria) on a DAAD scholarship. At the beginning of his research toward a PhD in 2009, he spent four months at Jacobs University and Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences (Germany) as a DAAD visiting fellow. He was awarded a PhD in sociology at Rhodes University (South Africa) in 2012 after completing a thesis which focused on the agency of Liberian young veterans (former child-soldiers). He is presently an AHP/ACLS postdoctoral research fellow at Rhodes University in the Department of Sociology. He also worked with UNHCR in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) as protection and field officer in 2008. After the January 2010 Earthquake, he worked in Haiti under the United Nations Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) with the Joint Operations and Tasking Centre (JOTC) as monitoring and reporting officer. 

Mathayo Bernard Ndomondo works as a Lecturer in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. His research interests include the intersection between music, gender, religion, and state agencies in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Tanzania; music and politics; music and migration; music, sexuality and gender; music for empowerment of children and young people; and popular culture. His theoretical interests include music and the body; music, health and healing; music and gender; postcolonialism and nationalism, transnationalism and cosmopolitanism; postmodernism; music and migration; and popular culture. Mathayo received his PhD (in Ethnomusicology) from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. 

Stella Nyanzi is a medical anthropologist working as a Research Fellow at the Makerere Institute of Social Research (MISR), and a Researcher in the Law, Gender and Sexuality Research Project of the School of Law at Makerere University. Since 1997, she has explored the intersections between culture, health and sexuality in rural and urban Uganda. Other fieldwork sites include Tanzania and The Gambia. Her current research projects are located at the nexus between (homo)sexualities, religion, cultures and law in the Ugandan state. 

2012 Presidential Fellows

Gbemisola Adeoti holds a PhD in English from the University of Ibadan. He is a Professor in the English Department of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is the author of Naked Soles (poems), Voices Offstage: Nigerian Dramatists on Drama and Politics, Aesthetics of Adaptation in Contemporary Nigerian Drama, Co-editor (with Bjorn Beckman) of Intellectuals and African Development: Pretension and Resistance in African Politics and Editor of Muse and Mimesis: Critical Perspectives on Ahmed Yerima’s Drama.

Jemima Asabea Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Ghana. Her areas of research interest are politeness in African languages and African varieties of English, cross-cultural pragmatics, speech acts, the codification of English in Ghana and language and gender in Africa. She teaches courses in Phonetics and Phonology of English, Varieties and Functions of English, Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics and Sociolinguistics.

Amidou Jean-Baptiste Sourou, from Benin Republic, is Professor of Communications at Saint Augustine University of Tanzania in Mwanza. He also teaches Rituals and Communications at the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy. He holds a PHD in Social Communications and Social Sciences from the Gregorian University. He has published several books about African cultural, social and religious life, among them:  Africa: Ancient Rituals, New Celebrations, How Africans Celebrate their Rituals Today (Ed. Menaibuc, Paris, France).

2011 Presidential Fellows

Dr. Leketi Makalela, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Some of Dr. Makalela’s most recent work considers the study of English and language development in South Africa, particularly among speakers with indigenous African language backgrounds, Black South African English (BSAE). His work will reveal fresh insights on the study of English and the development of language in Africa. Dr. Makalela received his PhD from Michigan State University.

Dr. Susan Nalugwa Kiguli of Makerere University, Uganda. Dr. Kiguli studies the practice of oral poetry and popular song as understood by  performers in post-apartheid South Africa and post-civil war Uganda. Her work suggests that popular song and oral poetry are reflections of social, cultural and political issues which influence the societies they are produced in. Dr. Kiguli received her PhD in English from the University of Leeds.

2010 Presidential Fellows

Dr. Dominic Dipio, senior lecturer in literature at Makerere University, Uganda. Dr. Dipio has degrees in education and African literature, with a PhD in cinema studies. Her research examines how issues related to gender and the position of women in African communities are represented by filmmakers, as part of the conscientization agenda, and what this reveals about gender relations in African communities.