Centre of African Studies Events
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.
- WORKSHOP ON “THEATRE for PEACE”
Ali Mahdi Nouri
In this practice-based workshop, Ali Mahdi Nouri (Director of the Al-Bugaa Theatre in Khartoum) will share his approach to the use of theatre as a tool for conflict resolution and for individual and social renewal.
- Theatre for Peace Workshop
Ali Mahdi Nouri
- Telling the story their Way: The Arts & Social Action in the Sudans
Chairs: Angela Impey (SOAS) and Mariya Hassan (SOAS)
As part of the Centre of African Studies' Sudan & South Sudan Series, this panel will address the arts in their capacity as critical acts and explore a range of ways they are used to allegorize personal aspirations, strengthen communities, and cultivate political engagement.
- Miners Shot Down
The screening is followed by a Q&A session with James Nichol, defence lawyer for the victims’ families.
- The 2016 IGLP African Regional Workshop - Cape Town (SA)
From January 17-23, 2016, The Institute of Global Law and Policy (IGLP) will hold the first African Regional Workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.
- Satanism and Family Murder in Late Apartheid South Africa: Imagining the End of Whiteness
The excessive reactions to the apparent threat posed by a cult of white Satanists, never proven to exist, and to a so-called epidemic of white family murder reveal important truths about fear, violence and resistance, as well as fragmentations within the poles of white South African identity.
- Afrikult. Words that travel
Afrikult. presents the first of the three-part series Words that Travel.
- BUS RAPID TRANSIT IN DAR ES SALAAM: A “BETTER CITY FOR A BETTER TIME”?
Matteo Rizzo (SOAS)
In this seminar Dr Matteo Rizzo (SOAS), will discuss the implementation of “Dar Rapid Transit (DART)" project, a huge project to bring in state of the art bendy buses on exclusive lanes, and to relegate daladalas to the outskirts of the city.
- Screening & Q&A: The Supreme Price
Joanna Lipper (Director/Producer)
Director Joanna Lipper elegantly explores past and present as she tells the deeply moving and intriguing story of M.K.O and Kudirat Abiola through the eyes of their eldest daughter, Hafsat Abiola.
- Book Presentation: BAD NEWS by Anjan Sundaram
A vivid portrait of Rwanda at an extraordinary and dangerous place in its history, Bad News is a brilliant parable on the necessity of freedom of expression and what happens when that freedom is seized.
- The use of law as an instrument of power in Sudan and South Sudan
Chair: Dr Lutz Oette
As part of the Sudan & South Sudan series, this seminar will reflect on resistance to the use of law as an instrument of power in Sudan and South Sudan, and challenges faced by those advocating legal reforms and greater rights protection.
- Economic Growth, Rural Assets and Prosperity. Exploring a twenty year record from Tanzania
Dan Brockington (University of Sheffield)
Many measures of poverty suggest that recent economic growth has benefitted a fortunate few, but not many of the worst off, particularly in rural areas. Professor Brockington will present a different picture.
- Electrifying and Watering Northern Nigerian Cities in the Era of British Colonial Rule, 1923-1945
Dr. Philip Akpen (University of Abuja)
In Nigeria, during the colonial period, administrative headquarters, commercial centre’s and railway terminus were all provided with either major electricity and water schemes or partial supplies. Dr Akpen's study further revealed that electricity and water supply transformed the colonial urban space and created new social and economic order.
- The Importance of Law as an Aid to Development in Africa
Andrew Thomas (Hunton & Thomas LLP), Mashood Baderin(SOAS/CAS)
Can Law really play any significant role in Development generally and in Africa particularly?
In this lecture Mashood Baderin and Andrew Thomas will be looking at both the optimist and skeptical views on the subject, bringing in case studies from different development projects undertaken in different parts of Africa.
- Picturing Oral Transmission in Contemporary Senegal and Mali: Music, Language and Diversity in Film
Lucy Duran (SOAS), Friederike Lüpke (SOAS), Mandana Seyfeddinipur (SOAS/ELDP), Anna Sowa (Chouette Films)
An interdisciplinary event featuring two award-winning documentaries directed or co-produced by SOAS scholars, aiming at exploring the unique reflections and practices that both music and multilingualism in Mali and Southern Senegal can offer.
- 'Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gulen Movement'
David H. Shinn (Elliott School of International Affairs - George Washington University)
'Hizmet in Africa: The Activities and Significance of the Gulen Movement' covers the philosophy of Gulen and the educational, business, dialogue, humanitarian, and media activities of Hizmet in Africa. It also deals with the relationship between the movement and the government of Turkey.
- The African Development Forum: Inclusive Growth: Structural Transformation in Africa
Dr Antonio Andreoni, Stephen Gelb, Jason Hickel, Prof. Machiko Nissanke, Olayinka Babalola, Sally Gear, Yacob Mulugetta, Amzath Fassassi and Nanki Kaur
- Structural Transformation is arguably the new catchphrase of international development with organisations from the African Economic Outlook to the IMF drumming its necessity. Organised by the African Development Forum.
- HIV/AIDS in Africa - Where are we heading?
Prof Shabbar Jaffar, Dr Mohammed Salim, Dr Hamza Hassan Mohamed
Prof Shabbar Jaffar, Head of the Department of International Public Health, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, will speak about how HIV and AIDS are being treated in Africa, how the challenges are gradually being overcome, and what more can be done to speed this up.
- Database Representations for Morphosyntactic Variation
Harald Hammarström (MPI Nijmegen), Jakob Lesage (MPI Jena and UGhent), Peter Edelsten (SOAS), Lutz Marten (SOAS)
An afternoon session of talks on Morphosyntactic Variation in Bantu.
- Blocked Development, State Crisis and Insurgency: The Boko Haram Story in Nigeria
Dr Jibrin Ibrahim
- PLEASE NOTE THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED
- The 5th Annual International Igbo Conference: Igbo Fusions: Past, Present and Futures
The theme for the 5th Annual International Igbo Conference is Igbo Fusions: Past, Present and Futures. This conference will create a platform for discussions exploring how Igbo culture has been influenced by and influences other cultures. Keynote speakers Obi Okigbo (Christopher Okigbo Foundation) and Wangui wa Goro (Sidensi).
- Conflicting state policies and national questions in Ethiopia: conceptualizing the on-going Oromo protests
Etana Habte (PhD, SOAS), Ezekiel Gebissa (Kettering University), Henok G. Gabisa (Washington and Lee University)
- Zimbabwe’s Migrants and South Africa’s Border Farms. The Roots of Impermanence
Dr Maxim Bolt (Author -University of Birmingham), Prof. JoAnn McGregor (University of Sussex), Prof. Deborah James (LSE)
Maxim Bolt explores the lives of Zimbabwean migrant labourers, of settled black farm workers and their dependants, and of white farmers and managers, as they intersect on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa.
- Conflict and Consensus in Constitution-Making in Tanzania
Prof Issa Shivji
Professor Issa Shivji, Director of Kavazi la Mwalimu, the Nyerere Resource Centre in Dar es Salaam will be talking about constitution making in Tanzania.
- Book Discussion - 'City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp'
Ben Rawlence (author) & Nadifa Mohamed (author of The Orchard of Lost Souls and Black Mamba Boy)
City of Thorns is a vivid and powerful account, bringing together stories of nine individuals living in the Dadaab refugee camp, northern Kenya. This book interweaves stories of its residents within the wider forces of regional politics and humanitarian aid.
- Asixoxe – Let’s Talk! SOAS and BIGSAS Conferences on African Philosophy
Louis Brenner, Masimba Musodza, others tbc
Asixoxe – Let’s Talk! SOAS and BIGSAS Conferences on African Philosophy
- Primavera: Sokari Douglas Camp CBE in conversation with Gerard Houghton
Sokari Douglar Camp (Artist), Gerard Houghton (October Gallery)
During this event, the internationally renowned sculptor Sokari Douglas Camp CBE will be discussing her latest exhibition 'Primavera'.
- Congo’s Environmental Paradox: Potential and Predation in a Land of Plenty
Theodore Trefon (Author, Royal Museum for Central Africa)
Telling a different story about power and nature, Congo’s Environmental Paradox examines the dynamics of this huge country’s forest, mining, land, water and oil sectors in an integrated way.
- The Nubian Languages and Culture Project
Under the auspices of SOAS’ World Languages Institute and in collaboration with the Centre for African Studies we are pleased to launch the Nubian
Languages and Culture Project for the protection, documentation and promotion of the intangible heritage of the Nubian Nile valley.
- Owning the Angel: Property, Rights, and Law in African Music
Alex Perullo (Alex Perullo, Professor of Anthropology and Music)
This talk traces the politics of song ownership and the ways that copyright laws encouraged new relationships to music, sound, and intangible property. It documents the impact of international laws on notions of music and rights at a time when artists struggle to attain international recognition for their music and economic prosperity from their creative expressions.
- AfNet Research Africa Day 2016 - ‘Redefining the Past, Imagining the Future’
Lioba Hirsch (UCL); Rama Dieng (SOAS); Clare Coultas (LSE); Sarah Howard (Goldsmiths)
This year’s AfNet conference - entitled ‘Redefining the Past, Imagining the Future’- works to unpack the importance of a temporal, critical and decolonial gaze on work in African contexts.
- Afrikult. Words That Travel - Storytelling
Afrikult. presents the second of the three-part series Words that Travel. Running throughout 2016, each event focuses on particular mediums and traditions of African literature with the second featuring African storytelling.
- The International Embrace of Khartoum: Causes and Consequences for Sudan, Implications for South Sudan
Prof Eric Reeves, who has published extensively on Sudan, nationally and internationally, for almost two decades, will talk about The International Embrace of Khartoum: Causes and Consequences for Sudan, Implications for South Sudan.
- Social Movements and State Fragility in Ethiopia: Lessons from the Oromo Protests and Government Responses of 2015-16
This one-day symposium explores how apparently strong state institutions eventually produce weaknesses that in turn initiate tendencies towards coercion, illegitimacy and fragility. By addressing this phenomenon historically and ethnographically the symposium intends to examine new frameworks for understanding the Ethiopian state and the changing contours of political legitimacy.
- J.D.Y.Peel: A celebration of life to the full
An event celebrating the work and life of the late J.D.Y. Peel with contributions from his close colleagues and friends.
- An evening in conversation with the 2016 Caine Prize shortlisted authors
Abdul Adan, Lesley Nneka Arimah, Tope Folarin, Bongani Kona, Lidudumalingani, Gus Casely-Hayford
An evening to present and converse with the shortlist of the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing
- How can we raise the standard of language learning? Insights from a Nubian Language teacher
Dr Muhammad Jalal Hashim (Khartoum University)
Dr Muhammad Jalal Hashim will argue that the revitalization of heritage languages such as Nubian is relevant to the urgent need for improved communication in Sudan.
- SOAS Centenary Lecture - How Big is Africa?
Dr Carlos Lopes (Head of UNECA - UN Economic commission for Africa)
From ‘tragedy’ to ‘African Renaissance’ to reality: what are the most important features of African economies and the continent as a whole?
- SSSUK Annual Symposium and Annual General Meeting
This year, we shall hear about different aspects of the complex situation in South Sudan, the contribution of women to building peace to the contribution of women to building peace , from displacement and the Khartoum Process to a journey into in the world of Sudanese contemporary fiction.
- 'The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development of African Society Since 1800' - 3rd Edition
Bill Freund will present the 3rd edition of his book 'The Making of Contemporary Africa: The Development of African Society Since 1800'.
- 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.
- 'Identities in Greater Senegambia and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Approaches through History and Music in Dialogue' video premiere
The evening will feature the screening of a 30 minutes long video capturing the highlights of last year conference 'Identities in Greater Senegambia and Beyond: Interdisciplinary Approaches through History and Music in Dialogue'. Followed by panel discussion.
- 'Triumphs and Laments' - William Kentridge
The South African artist William Kentridge will discuss his latest work entitled 'Triumphs and Laments'.
- One Continent Many Stories: African Literature and Global Creativity [A Workshop on Contemporary African Literature]
Ivor Agyeman-Duah; Afrikult.
Ivor Agyeman-Duah (Lumina Foundation) and Afrikult. will deliver a workshop on Contemporary African Literature few days prior to Wole Soyinka centenary Lecture at SOAS
- 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.
- History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective - 3rd Series - Day 1
The third series of the History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective
- History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective - 3rd Series - Day 2
The third series of the History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective - Day 2
- The Origins of Nubia: Discovery of a Capital and an African City (Kerma/Dukki Gel)
Professor Charles Bonnet
The Sudanese Nubian Association and SOAS, University of London present a lecture by Professor Charles Bonnet on how new archaeological findings can shed a light on the relationships of Nubia with the kingdoms of Central Sudan and Egypt.
- 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.
- INTEGRATION, SOCIAL MOBILITY AND STATUS - DEFINING POVERTY IN LAGOS: 1851 – 1960
Dr Tunde Decker
Dr Tunde Decker will present his on-going research on Integration, social mobility and status in Lagos between 1851 and 1960.
- History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective - 3rd Series - Day 3
The third series of the History on Film: Slavery & the African Diaspora from a Global Perspective - Day 3
- 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.
- Forced to Flee-With millions on the move, the world must do better. But how?
Valerie Amos, Kelly Clements, Dominik Stillhart, Samina Ahmed
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), SOAS, University of London (SOAS), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), British Red Cross and the University of Exeter co-organised this public event on forced displacement.
- 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.
- BlackPoppyRose - We WILL Remember...
Come and learn more about the African/Black/Caribbean/ Pacific Islands contributions to the various War Efforts that have paved the way for the ‘cultures’ we know and understand today.
- Cultural Compounds : What is this 'New' Black in Black Popular Culture?
Panel themes cover Cultural Theory, Music, Style (with a focus on hair) and Idols and Icons.
- The Unravelling of the ANC – Municipal Election Results, Cronyism, ‘Service Delivery’ Protests, the Marikana/Lonmin Miners Massacre, FeesMustFall Students’ Movement and the formation of a New Trade Union Federation
Salim Vally will argue that understanding the political economy of racial capitalism in South Africa requires an analysis beyond the scandals centred on the President. Rather, it should involve the structural features of capital accumulation and its effects including an increase in inequality, unemployment and poverty while profit levels rises.
- Corruption, Due Process and Public Morality on Trial: Legitimacy of Alleged Invasion of the Privacy of Nigerian Judges
Professor Imran Oluwole Smith, SAN, FCI Arb (UK) FCTI
This lecture is meant to interrogate the various arguments in the light of the government’s attempt to fight corruption in Nigeria and the need to resolve the conflict between right to privacy and overriding public interest.
- Sovereign Immunity, Rule of law and its Impact on infrastructure Development in Africa
Dr Emilia Onyema (SOAS School of Law) and Mr Andrew Thomas (Hunton & Williams LLP)
This seminar will examine the impact of claims to sovereign immunity and (lack of) adherence to the rule of law on the infrastructural development of African countries
- Book Launch and Roundtable: Sol Plaatje’s Native Life A Hundred Years On
Sabata-mpho Mokae, Janet Remmington, Brian Willan, Heather Hughes, William Beinart
An event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the publication of Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa and to celebrate the publication of Sol Plaatje’s Native Life in South Africa.
- The Dynamics of Kauraye Activities in Katsina, Northern Nigeria
Dr Ibrahim Kankara
The focus of this presentation will be on the activities of the youth groups known as the Kauraye in post independent Katsina state, Nigeria.
- Dividing Communities in South Sudan and Northern Uganda: Boundary Disputes and Land Governance
Cherry Leonardi. Martina Santschi, Douglas H. Johnson, Peter Hakim Justin
The Centre of African Studies at SOAS, University of London in collaboration with the Rift Valley Institute (RVI), will launch an interesting book published by RVI on border disputes in South Sudan and Northern Uganda authored by Cherry Leonardi and Martina Santschi.