The Centre's activities are diverse and many. The majority of its members are lecturers of the University of London, contributing to the teaching of undergraduate and Masters degrees and the supervision of Doctoral research within the humanities, social sciences and sciences. One of the most important functions of the Centre is to act as a forum for regional and interdisciplinary co-operation within the University of London which is predominantly organised through membership of disciplinary departments. Other activities of the Centre include representation on international and national committees for African scholarship, research and understanding; establishing and supporting funded schemes for Visiting Scholars from Africa; linking academe, government, and business through meetings, workshops and conferences promoting Africanist research and understanding, and through meetings of the Africa Business Group; raising the profile of its members for interdisciplinary research and consultancy, and much more.
In pursuit of its aims, the Centre maintains a broad range of institutional liaisons with other Africanist centres in Africa, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Commonwealth and the United States. It publishes its own briefing newsletter, African News, with a distribution of over 800 copies, three times a year. The Centre also keeps members informed of news, events and meetings on Africa throughout the year through the e-mail group mailing system run from the Centre office.
- Are the rivers in Tanzania at risk of drying up? The contested causes of environmental change.
Bruce Lankford (UEA)
The Great Ruaha is not the only Tanzanian river facing competing demands for its water, so what we learn from these and other studies has implications for large scale irrigation possibilities, and hydro-electricity, in several parts of the country.
- Promoting the social inclusion of people with albinism in Tanzania
Jamie Walling (Standing Voice Project)
Albinism—a genetic condition reducing or eliminating melanin pigment in the skin, eyes and hair—is poorly understood across much of Tanzanian society. Jamie Walling of the Standing Voice Project will deliver this engaging and interactive seminar.
- Baraza Swahili Conference at SOAS
The second annual day conference addressing any aspect of the language, literature, translation, culture, philosophy or diaspora of the Swahili speaking peoples of the world.
- African Influence in Reinassance Theatre and Literature: “Is Black so base a hue?”
The idea of 'Race' is a socially constructed phenomenon. In Shakespeare’s works there are ideas of difference, some of these are negative, others are positive. Attitudes towards African people in Tudor England were not habitually negative and our desire to see it as such is more to do with now and Victorian revisionism - than then.
- The Place of Heritage Renewal in Forging Confident Futures ‘Go back for that which you have forgotten’
Dr Gus Casely-Hayford, Honorary Research fellow, SOAS
The title of the talk is based on an old Akan proverb - Do not be afraid to go back for that which you have forgotten, and it encapsulate the focus of the lecture on issues around heritage, history and identity.