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PAS News and Events
With deep regret, PAS shares the sad news that our retired colleague and friend, Akbar Virmani, suddenly passed away on Tuesday, December 1.

Akbar was the assistant director of PAS from 1986 to 2003. He played a critical role in coordinating the Program on International Cooperation in Africa and the Institute for Advanced Study and Research in the African Humanities during the directorships of David William Cohen and Jane Guyer. He also taught Swahili in 1985/86, and political science throughout his time at PAS. We will remember Akbar for his welcoming spirit, sense of humor, and commitment to our African Studies community.

Swahili courses will be available Winter Quarter! Note the times:
Swahili 111-2-20/21 : Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 10:00 - 10:50 AM and 1:00 - 1:50 PM

Swahili 121-2-20:  Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; 11:00  - 11:50 AM

All classes will be conducted synchronously via zoom. Find out more course information here.

To advertise calls for papers, employment opportunities, upcoming events and more in the weekly PAS bulletin, email
Job Opening:  Full/Associate Professor, Historian of Slavery, Department of Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

The Department of Africana Studies announces a search for a historian of slavery in the Western Hemisphere, beginning Fall 2021. The position will be either at the full or associate professor level with the tenure home in Africana Studies and a joint appointment in Notre Dame’s new center for the comparative study of race that will be launched later this year. We are especially interested in scholars who use a comparative and transnational approach to engage issues of movement of enslaved Africans and their descendants, the intersection of race and gender, resistance movements, religion and ritual, political and communal organization, cultural formation, and the complex relationship between slavery and freedom in North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America. In addition to being well-grounded in historical methodology, we expect candidates to have a deep investment in interdisciplinary discussions and collaboration

To apply, visit:

Application close date: 12/31/2020

Job Opening:  Assistant Professor in African History, tenure-track appointment, Department of History, Spelman College, 350 Spelman Lane S.W. Atlanta, GA

The Department of History invites applications to fill an entry-level tenure-track appointment, beginning August 2021, at the rank of Assistant Professor in African History.  Area of specialization open.  The candidate must have the ability to develop and teach courses in areas of greatest student demand and institutional interest.  Ability to teach courses on women and gender is a plus.  The successful candidate will be qualified to teach introductory surveys on Pre-Modern and Modern African History and on the African Diaspora, upper-level courses in the area of primary expertise.  In addition, the candidate will be expected to teach core courses for the Major on a rotational basis.  Courses taught will contribute to the History department, the African Diaspora and the World Program, and to the College’s commitment to global education.  The candidate must have a working knowledge of instructional technologies.  We welcome candidates with a secondary specialty in history. A Ph.D. in African History is required by August 1st, 2021.

To apply, visit

Application Close Date: 12/16/2020

Northwestern’s Global Poverty Research Lab is currently seeking a Research Assistant to work on one or more development economics projects with Prof. Christopher Udry for the winter and spring 2021 quarters. The projects involve data cleaning, analysis, and other potential research activities relating to a series of datasets on socioeconomic development in Ghana. Proficiency in quantitative social science methods and Stata (or a strong interest in learning these) is required.
The Undergraduate Research Office has informed us of the following hiring constraints: students should be in their first or second years, and they must be in the United States at the time of hire (i.e., beginning of winter quarter). Other students interested in future opportunities or academic study are welcome to contact us about their research/academic interests, but please know that we are not actively hiring for other positions at this time.
Please submit a CV, unofficial transcript, and a few sentences on your interest in economic development to Andre Nickow ( if you would like to apply.
The Carnegie Endowment offers one-year fellowships to highly qualified graduating seniors and individuals who have graduated during the past year. Junior Fellows work as research assistants to the endowment’s senior associates. Strong candidates will have significant research experience, rigorous coursework, and a GPA of 3.65 or above. Other qualifications vary by area of application. See the Application Instructions for details. Northwestern may nominate up to three applicants. Applicants must submit the following materials by the campus application deadline of January 4, 2021:
  1. a completed application
  2. an essay of one page, double-spaced, on why you would like to become a fellow
  3. a transcript of all undergraduate work (unofficial is fine)
  4. an essay of no more than three double-spaced pages in response to the prompt for your area of application (see Application Instructions)            
  5. a resume/C.V. of no more than two pages
  6. two letters of recommendation
Please review these detailed Application Instructions. Direct questions and send completed application materials to Amy Kehoe Recommenders should also email their letters, signed and on letterhead, directly to Amy.

Northwestern's Spectrum Theatre Company invites Black and Indigenous creators of all kinds (visual artists, writers, musicians, poets, historians etc.) to create artwork to be displayed in a pop up gallery* that will go up the week of January 25th!

This will be a community based process and we will be facilitating many opportunities for artists to create alongside each other and contribute to this project!

Spectrum's activism focus this year will be to interrogate racist foundations of the institutions and spaces we inhabit, contribute to, and subscribe to for the sake of convenience. We invite collaborators to respond creatively to this prompt if they wish, however we also encourage submissions revolving around any theme!

To sign up, fill out this form: 

We are committed to fostering an inspiring, safe space for all of our collaborators. If you wish to discuss logistics or the support systems we will have in place before contributing to this project, contact

*We plan to display the artwork at Coffee Lab Evanston (910 Noyes St) as well as in a virtual gallery that will allow our community to continue to engage with the artwork over time! 

Historicizing the Images and Politics of the Afropolitan

A Call for Proposals from the Radical History Review
Issue Editors: Rosa Carrasquillo, Melina Pappademos, and Lorelle Semley

Radical History Review seeks contributions that examine the idea of the Afropolitan, derived from the prefix Afro, for African, and polis, the Greek word for “citizen.” Achille Mbembe’s 2007 essay describes Afropolitanism as an ability “to domesticate the unfamiliar, to work with what seem to be opposites” while explicitly refusing “victim identity.” Though Mbembe emphasizes heterogeneity in Africa, most scholarship focuses on the flow of Africans and African cultures between global megacities. In popular media, the term appears in magazine titles, art exhibits, and albums, highlighting fashion, consumer culture, and networks of capital. A powerful visual aesthetic accompanies this focus on urban landscapes, the arts, and gendered bodies. Yet, studies of the Afropolitan have not engaged with the deep history of mobility within and beyond Africa. Nor have historians contextualized fully the expansive global African diaspora.

Possible topics include: 

● Politics of performance, broadly, including citizenship, dandyism, sports, hip hop culture
● Femininities, Masculinities and Trans Identities
● Networks and affective ties during enslavement
● New narratives of emancipation
● Policing of borders (physical and cultural)
● Debating beauty and body aesthetics
● Visualizing intersectionality and mobility
● Contextualizing Afrofuturism

Procedures for submission of articles: By February 1, 2021, please submit a 1-2 page abstract summarizing your potential article as an attachment to with “Issue 144 Abstract Submission” in the subject line.

Africa News and Events
The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington DC now has a virtual presentation of The Block's Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa.  If you didn't see the exhibit when it was at The Block Museum, or would like to see it again, visit:
The New York African Film Festival Returns Virtually for its 27th Edition

Under the banner “Streaming Rivers: The Past into the Present,” the New York African Film Festival (NYAFF) returns virtually December 2-6 with a spotlight on the cinema of two nations: Nigeria and the Sudan. Presented by Film at Lincoln Center (FLC) and African Film Festival, Inc. (AFF), this year’s regional NYAFF will screen six features and eight short films in the FLC Virtual Cinema, as AFF celebrates its 30th anniversary. Learn more about upcoming and past events.
The physical edition of this year's Cologne Fine Art & Design fair has been rescheduled due to new social distancing measures. In its place, Sakhile&Me will host their fair presentation in their gallery space and offer private one-on-one visits from 18 November - 24 December 2020. Sakhile&Me will present works by Osi Audu, Adelaide Damoah, Kevin Demery, Mbali Dhlamini, Tim Okamura, Owanto and Ghizlane Sahli. Visit Calendly to make your appointment!
More Africa news and events:

South Sudan’s leaders can no longer stand by as climate catastrophe hits, African Argumenta, 1 December 2020

BBC broadcast, “Finders Keepers: A photograph, a pipe and a skull,” Zambian Kema Sikazwe discusses question of returning stolen African objects to their origins

Nigeria: Okonjo-Iweala Named First Female African of the Year, Premium Times, 2 December 2020

Namibia: MTC Windhoek Fashion Week Kicks Off, The Namibian (Windhoek), 2 December 2020

Africa: In New Book, Ekanem Dissects Trump Tirade Against Africa, This Day (Lagos), 3 December 2020

Nigeria police rescue 10 people after ‘baby factory’ raid, A l Jazeera, 2 December 2020

Could China replace Australian iron ore with metal from Africa?, Guardian, 1 December 2020

Tony Blair Institute And Oracle Launch Africa Vaccine Management In The Cloud,, 2 December 2020

The Ghanaian musician who helped put West African music on the world map, CNN, Updated 30th November 2020

Africa: Don't Forget Carnage of Malaria While World Focuses on Covid-19 - Researchers, Health Professionals,, 30 November 2020

Kenya: WW1 History Endangered as Historical Site Falls Into Ruins, The Natiom (Nairobi), 30 November 2020

Nigeria: Biden Appoints Nigerian-Born Adeyemo Deputy Treasury Secretary, This Day (Lagos), 1 December 2020

DRC’s shady political alliance unravels, ISS Today, 1 December 2020
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