African Studies Workshop

About the African Studies Workshop

The African Studies Workshop (ASW) is an interdisciplinary group made up of students and faculty researching the peoples of Africa and its diasporas, past and present. One of the workshop’s primary goals is to elucidate Africa’s dynamic relationship to a wider world, and to chart the effects of these processes in various spheres of African life.

Graduate students and faculty from the Department of Anthropology have long held a central place in the workshop, but active participants in the workshop also come from Art History, English, Film Studies, History, Human Development, and Political Science. In addition to regular presentations by students, faculty, and invited guests, the workshop hosts biannual Red Lion Seminars jointly with Northwestern University’s Program of African Studies.

Unless otherwise noted, ASW meetings take place from 5:30 to 7 at Wilder House, located at 5811 South Kenwood Avenue



Spring 2015

Tuesday, April 7. Elizabeth Brummel PhD Candidate (Department of Anthropology). "Kujenga mayuts (Building the Youth): Standardizing “youth” in a Kenyan comic book." Invited Discussant: Janet McIntosh (Department of Anthropology, Brandeis University). 

Tuesday, April 21. African Studies Distinguished Lecture Series welcomes Lynn Thomas (Department of History, University of Washington).

Tuesday, May 5. Chandani Patel (PhD Candidate, Department of Comparative Literature). Invited Discussant: Margaret McFee (PhD Student, Department of Comparative Literature).

Wednesday, May 13.  Red Lion Seminar welcomes Alma Gottlieb (Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign).  Co-hosted with Northwestern University's Program of African Studies and the DePaul University Center for Black Diaspora. *SPECIAL TIME & LOCATION* 6:30 in the DePaul Arts & Letters Hall, 2315 N. Kenmore Avenue, Room TBA.

Friday May 15. ASW Graduate Student Conference “THE AGE OF INFRASTRUCTURE & THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF AGE: Politics, Technology, and Citizenship in Africa.” Organizers: Kathryn E. McHarry and Brady Smith.  Speakers and papers TBA. More information available here

Autumn 2014 [completed]

Tuesday, October 7. Fall Welcome Event with Stephan Palmié (Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago), “Signal and Noise: Digging up the Dead in Archaeology and Afro-Cuban Palo Monte.” *SPECIAL LOCATION* List members will receive details. 

Tuesday, October 21. Matthew Knisley (PhD Student, Department of Anthropology), “An Archaeology of the Natural: Historical Landscapes of the Sandawe Homeland, Central Tanzania.” Invited Discussant: Amanda Logan (Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University).

Thursday, November 6.  Red Lion Seminar welcomes Daniel Jordan Smith (Department of Anthropology, Brown University), "To Be a Man Is Not a One-Day Job: Masculinity, Money, and Intimacy in Nigeria." Co-hosted with Northwestern University's Program of African Studies and the DePaul University Center for Black Diaspora. *SPECIAL TIME & LOCATION* 6:30 in the DePaul Arts & Letters Hall, 2315 N. Kenmore Avenue, in Room 408.

Tuesday, November 18. African Studies Distinguished Lecture Series welcomes Toby Green (Departments of History and of Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies, King’s College London), "The Creation of Hard and Soft Currencies: Historical Roots of Present Inequalities in Africa."

Tuesday, December 2. Brady Smith (PhD Candidate, Department of English), "White Writing, Black Writing: Landscape, Labor and the Politics of Conservation in Lauretta Ngcobo's And They Didn't Die." Invited Discussant: Jennifer Wenzel (Department of English and Comparative Literature, Columbia University).

Winter 2015 [completed]

Tuesday, January 13. Lesley Braun (Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Comparative Human Development)

Thursday, January 22. Annual Iris Marion Young Distinguished Faculty Lecture welcomes Jennifer Cole, "Giving Life: Managing Intimacy and Regulating Affective Circuits Among Malagasy Marriage Migrants in France." Centers for Gender/Race Studies, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm. More information available here

Tuesday, January 27. Emily Lord Fransee (PhD Candidate, Department of History). Invited Discussant: Hilary Jones (Department of History, Florida International University). SPECIAL TIME: 6-7:30pm.

Tuesday, February 24. Erin Moore (PhD Candidate, Comparative Human Development). Invited Discussant: Deborah Durham (Department of Anthropology, Sweet Briar College)

Sunday, March 1, 2015. Distinguished Lecture Series welcomes Marcus Rediker (University of Pittsburgh). Includes Ghosts of Amistad: In the Footsteps of the Rebels film screening and Q&A. More information here.

Tuesday, March 10. Kathryn E. McHarry (PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology). Invited Discussant: China Scherz (Department of Anthropology, University of Virginia)

Schedules from past years available here.