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Kansas African Studies Center UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS

NEWSLETTER

SPRING 2014

New KU Summer African Language Institute The first KU Summer African Language Institute, sponsored by KASC and the Department of African and African-American Studies, is in full swing with students undertaking an intensive study of African languages on campus. The institute offers expert instruction in beginning and intermediate Arabic, beginning and intermediate Kiswahili, and beginning Somali. In eight weeks, students are experiencing the equivalent of one year of university-level language instruction and enhancing their global awareness through experiential learning. Other summer courses in African Studies are also available to complement students’ comprehension of Africa and of African immigrant communities within the US and throughout the world. In addition to regular class work, institute participants are attending cultural events and lectures offered by some of KU’s premier Africanists drawn from units across campus. All language courses are supplemented with a variety of free activities that include field trips, films, and cultural immersion aimed at enhancing language proficiency. Events are geared toward helping students to understand key issues and define their research and career interests as they relate to language acquisition. The educational environment of the institute provides students with a connection to a community of scholars and language learners sharing similar goals and interests and offers an invaluable support network for second language learning. Students, faculty, staff, and members of the community are invited to attend film screenings and lectures and connect with institute participants. It is this environment of community and support that sets the institute apart from other intensive language programs. The KU Summer African Language Institute provides a combination of cultural immersion and community engagement that fosters an environment conducive to language learning and cross-cultural understanding.

SALI students with Dr. Sandra Olsen during a guided tour of the Roads of Arabia exhibit at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art


In Memoriam: Dr. Samira Sayeh KASC joins the KU community in mourning the loss of Dr. Samira Sayeh. We are thankful for her years of dedication to KU, and we will greatly miss her. The following is a reflection from her former student, Dr. Mary Mba. Samira Sayeh (November 22, 1969 – February 3, 2014) was not only my professor and dissertation advisor, she was a sister and a friend. I took several classes with her and I liked how she allowed her students to be free with their ideas as long as they could defend and support their positions with research materials. She did not restrict anyone. Unfortunately, she became very sick in the spring semester of 2011 when I started working on my dissertation and could not read my work until I had completed the entire dissertation in July 2013. I was encouraged to replace her as my dissertation advisor, but when I discussed the idea with her, she refused and promised me that she would read my work and see me through its defense, even if it was the last thing she did. That was when our relationship took a spiritual undertone, as we both had to believe in each other and have faith that she would be able to fulfil this promise. It became our pact. We exchanged words of encouragement, she encouraging me to keep writing and me sending her words of faith and healing. We had different religions, but we realized that we spoke the same language of love and faith. It was tough to watch her go through so much, but she remained ever beautiful and graceful through it all – the chemos, the surgeries, and the therapies among other things that she went through. She fulfilled her promise because she read my dissertation and I defended it successfully on December 13, 2013 with her by my side. I was so overwhelmed, excited and very grateful to both God and her for it. I thought that all was going to be okay, so one could imagine my shock when she became sick again and died on February 3, 2014. Samira, I continue to draw strength and direction from the little things that I saw you do and say. You continue to whisper and gently guide me, my friend, my mentor, my colleague and my sister. Thank you for everything.

Faculty Highlights

Mary Mba Dept of French and Italian

New Faculty

Abdi Gutale KASC welcomes Abdi Gutale back to KU as our new Somali lecturer. He received his MA in International Relations from KU in 2008, after receiving his BA in Political Science from KU in 2006. He specializes in conflict management with a particular focus on politics in Somalia.

Ephrem Sima Ephrem Sima, our new Amharic lecturer, is currently pursuing his MAcc from the KU School of Business. Sima received his BA in Accounting from Jima University and his MBA from Addis Ababa University. He has worked in finance and education throughout Africa over the last 10 years. Hesham Aldamen Hesham Aldamen received his first Master’s in Linguistics from Yarmouk University in Irbid, Jordan in 2007. He also received a Master’s in Linguistics from KU in 2013, and he is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Linguistics. Aldamen worked as a teacher for the Ministry of Education in Jordan for 10 years, and taught at Yarmouk University for 4 years. KASC would like to welcome him as a new lecturer in the Arabic program.

Faculty Spotlight Elizabeth Asiedu Dr. Asiedu (Economics) established the Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists in 2012 to advance the careers and opportunities of African women economists through education and networking. The organization connects women economists working in the US with others in Africa and around the world. Her work has contributed to the success of African women in economics and continues to do so through fund-raising and other initiatives aimed at meeting their specific needs.

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Faculty Spotlight Carlos Nash Dr. Nash (Anthropology) specializes in linguistics. His current research focuses on the preservation of dying languages in Africa, and he recently published a dictionary in conjunction with a group of Kenyan authors that translates Ekegusii words, phrases and proverbs into English. Ekegusii is a Bantu language that competes with Kiswahili and English in Kenya, and many from the Ekegusii ethnic group no longer speak the language. In this collaborative work, Dr. Nash has provided an important guide for those who wish to learn Ekegusii. Hannah Britton Dr. Britton (Political Science/Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies) studies the impacts of human trafficking in southern Africa. Her current research is a broad, comparative study analyzing human trafficking policy and responses. She founded KU’s Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Initiative (ASHTI), collaborating with a group of researchers to create a cohesive body of knowledge addressing human trafficking globally and to identify patterns that enforce social inequalities and promote trafficking. ASHTI works to eliminate human trafficking through a comprehensive program of research, education, and training toward the improvement of policy and victim outreach.

Employee Recognition KASC would like to recognize the following KU faculty members and staff for their years of service to KU, the Center, and student education and outreach: Kenneth Lohrentz: KU Libraries -- 30 years John Edgar Tidwell: English -- 15 years Anthony Bolden: AAAS -- 5 years Nicole Hodges Persley: Theatre -- 5 years Kathryn Rhine: Anthropology -- 5 years Jessica Irving: KASC/CGIS/CEAS -- 5 years

Student Spotlight Ithar Hassaballa Ithar Hassaballa is a student in the dual PhD program in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science and the Master of Public Health program at the KU Medical Center. Hassaballa is a graduate research assistant with the KU Work Group for Community Health and Development—a World Health Organization Collaborating Center. She has been invited to a meeting this summer sponsored by the World Health Organization’s African Regional Office, where twenty experts will gather in Port Louis, Mauritius to address social determinants of health in Africa as well as ways to monitor public health progress. Hassaballa will deliver two presentations, one about the Community Tool Box—a free online resource for building capacity of health practitioners, and the other on the monitoring and evaluation system designed by the KU Work Group for the WHO-Regional Office to track health efforts in the region. Jamie Fuller Jamie Fuller is an undergraduate majoring in anthropology. She studied abroad in Dakar, Senegal last fall, where she conducted ethnographic research that explored the linkages between public spaces and youth protest movements. She presented her findings this spring during one of KASC’s Ujamaa Brown Bag lectures and also at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Fuller received an Undergraduate Reseach Award and FLAS fellowships to support her research in Senegal and advanced study of Wolof. Her work will complement her graduate studies in African development, which she will begin next year in KU’s Department of Geography.

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Congratulations on your retirement, Dr. Janzen! Thank you for your 42 years of service to KU and KASC.

Call for Papers: 20th Annual Meeting 3-4 October 2014 at KU Conference Theme: African Studies: Concepts and Practices for Decolonizing Knowledge Keynote Speaker: Garth Myers, Paul E. Raether Distinguished Professor of Urban International Studies, Trinity College, CT Although standard forms of disciplinary knowledge often masquerade as positionless reflections on objective reality, an enduring contribution of work in African Studies has been to decolonize disciplinary knowledge: not only to illuminate how standard forms of knowledge bear the imprint of colonial power, but also to develop concepts and scholarly practices, rooted in everyday experience of life in African settings, that provide the foundations for broader human liberation. We invite papers and panels that address the theme of decolonizing knowledge from across the spectrum of disciplinary and theoretical orientations in African Studies. Proposals on topics beyond this organizing theme are also welcome. Paper or panel proposals are due by August 15, 2014. Submissions for the Ken Lohrentz Graduate Paper Awards are due by September 19, 2014. For more information, visit http://associations. missouristate.edu/maaas/default.htm . For questions, contact Dr. Glenn Adams at adamsg@ku.edu. 4


Spring KASC Event Highlights “Lest We Forget: An Ethnographic Journey through Angola State Penitentiary” February 10 Langston Hughes Center, Jesse B. Semple Brownbag Daniel Atkinson KASC Assistant Director Ujamaa Brownbag: “Malawi’s ‘Safe Haven’ Project” February 14 David McLeod Biodiversity Institute Andi Witczak Center for Civic Social and Social Responsibility

February 21

Rememb ering the Legacie Achebe s of Chin and Nels ua on Mand REMEMB ERING TH ! ela E ART, PO

LITICS, AN MARCH 5@ 3:00-4 D LEGA :30 CY OF CH MALOTT ROOM, KA PM! INUA AC HEBE! NSAS UN ION! OMOFAL ABO AJ AYI-SOY INKA,THE ATRE & WOMEN GE FE ND AT ER BYRON URING:! PETER UK & SEXU CAMINER POKODU O-SANTA ALITY STUDIES , AFRICAN ! NGELO, & AFRIC ENGLISH AN AMER ! ICAN ST UDIES !

Ujamaa Brownbag: “A Place to Find Our Voice: Public Spaces and Youth Protest in Senegal” February 21 Jamie Fuller Senior Anthropology Major

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Remembering the Art, Politics, and Legacy of Chinua Achebe March 5 Panel discussion featuring KASC faculty

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VICE PR ESIDE

“Africa’s Struggles for Decolonization: From Achebe to Mandela” March 6 Paul Zeleza Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of History Quinnipiac University

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Fourth Annual KASC Graduate Workshop March 7

South Africa Week March 26-April 2 A week-long celebration of South Africa, including film screenings, panel discussions, and lectures.

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2014 Africa World Documentary Film Festival April 10-12 KASC presented its third annual Africa World Documentary Film Festival featuring a weekend of great films from Africa and the Diaspora. Annual Conference on African Linguistics (ACAL 45) April 17-20 Africa’s Endangered Languages: Documentary and Theoretical Approaches Art in a Global Context: Arabic Script in Sub-Saharan Africa April 25 Yacine Daddi Addoun African and African American Studies Children of Conflict, Children of Peace April 26 Educator Workshop

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Supporting KASC Dear Friends, The Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) continues to be one of the nation’s elite centers for African Studies. We deliver high quality programs and services to meet the needs of students, faculty, and other constituents in our broad service area. As the only Title VI National Resource Center in African Studies for hundreds of miles in any direction, we serve an important mission as a site for things African in the American heartland. To perform this mission well in an era of tight budgets and dwindling resources, we must be creative and proactive in obtaining support. We are actively pursuing multiple funding sources, the most important of which is the next round of Title VI NRC and FLAS awards from the Department of Education. We like our chances in this competition and remain optimistic that we can retain our federally funded status as a National Resource Center during the next four years. In the meantime, and regardless of the outcome of the Title VI competition this summer, we require other sources of support to fulfill our mission. For example, every year KASC receives influential visitors from all over the world. When we host these guests with polite hospitality in a modestly comfortable fashion, we incur expenses that are typically not allowable under grant guidelines. Instead, KASC has an account with the KU Endowment fund that we use to cover such expenses. Your support for KASC’s endeavours is deeply appreciated. Please go to the KASC website, http://www.kasc.ku.edu to give online, or send a donation, marked for the Kansas African Studies Center, to: Gift Processing Department KU Endowment P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928 888-653-6111 Thank you, Liz MacGonagle Director Glenn Adams Faculty Associate Director

2014 Summer FLAS Fellows Sammy Badran -- Arabic Jamie Fuller -- Wolof Keenan Gregory -- Kiswahili Katie Orlemanski -- Kiswahili Eric Schmidt -- Wolof Noemi Tracy -- Wolof

2014 Summer Fulbright-Hays GPA Kiswahili Program Paeten Denning -- Tanzania Sierra Upton -- Tanzania Kansas African Studies Center University of Kansas Bailey Hall 201 1440 Jayhawk Blvd. Lawrence, KS 66045 Phone: 785-864-3745 Email: kasc@ku.edu facebook.com/KansasAfricanStudiesCenter

twitter.com/KASC_KU Dr. Liz MacGonagle with AAAS MA graduates PJ Engelbrecht and Amy Hunt, and History PhD graduate John Clune. Congratulations to all KASC-affiliated graduates!

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Spring 2014 KASC Newsletter  
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