Duke Africa Initiative Research Fund Grantees 


New Directions in African History 

This year-long speaker series hosted established and emerging scholars of African history to share their work on topics ranging from cinema in colonial Zanzibar to the legal history of sexual violence in South Africa. The series identified new trends, priorities, and methodologies in African history, and events were well-attended by students and faculty from across Duke. Speakers included Luise White (University of Florida), Kenda Mutongi (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Laura Fair (Michigan State), and Elizabeth Thornberry (Johns Hopkins). Several events planned for the late spring have been rescheduled for next year.

  • Samuel Daly, African and African American Studies

Reproductive and Maternal Child Health Brownbag Series

The Center for Global Reproductive Health and the Evidence Lab held an interdisciplinary brown bag speaker/discussion series aimed at educating and increasing collaboration on topics related to reproductive health and maternal-child health in Africa. The series included a succession of speakers and panels highlighting current faculty and student research activities, interests, and perspectives on key areas in reproductive health and maternal-child health as they relate to different African contexts.

  • Megan Huchko, Dept of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Duke Global Health Institute

Walé Oyejide Visit

Walé Oyejide, director of the Ikire Jones fashion line, was scheduled to visit Duke in the fall and present a public lecture titled“On Marrying: Art, Storytelling & the Gift of Migration.” This event had to be cancelled due to family obligations by the speaker, but we are hoping to reschedule it.

  • Robin Kirk, Human Rights Center

Research Africa

This year, AI funding helped the Research Africa Network purchase materials/books for those who review books and films for publication in Research Africa Reviews.AI funds also helped pay a student assistant who monitored, edited, and compiled data and communiqués for Research Africa’s mailing list.

  • Mbaye Lo, Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

When I Say Africa: Pictures from the Continent

This selection of photographs by African artists offered an alternative vision of Africa. By documenting the agency and self-determination of contemporary Africans, When I Say Africa challenges the “voluntourism” urge prompted by conventional imagery of a continent in crisis. If mainstream photographs are engaged in a type of visual “extraction” of exotic or in-crisis images, When I Say Africa aims to reframe expectations of Africa, changing how we see the continent and ultimately how we engage with its peoples.

  • Kathryn Mathers, International Comparative Studies

Christianity and Biographyin Southern Africa Workshop

The aim of this day-long workshop was to explore genres of biography, life history, spiritual autobiography, and hagiography which have long been important for understanding global Christianity. Organized with Lauren Jarvis (UNC-Chapel Hill), the workshop was to have featured work-in-progress presentations by scholars working on issues of narrative genre and global Christianity. This workshop will be rescheduled when the university reopens.

  • Karin Shapiro, African and African American Studies

Angola-Brazil Encounter: Music and Movement Connections

This 3-day participatory symposium was scheduled to explore the deep cultural exchanges between Angola and Brazil. Bringing together scholars, performance artists, and teachers from Angola, Brazil, Europe, and the United States it sought to explore musical and movement practices that have traveled across the Atlantic between these two countries for hundreds of years. Events were to include panel discussions, a documentary film screening, live performances, a Lusophone dance party with DJ Aporia Barrage, and music and movement workshops. This symposium will be rescheduled when Duke reopens.

  • Katya Wesolowski, Cultural Anthropology