MSU Tuesday Bulletin, 03/16/04

Issue No. 9 Spring 2004 March 16, 2004


EAST LANSING MI 48824-1035

For back issues, see archive <>





March 16, Thursday

"Isotope Analysis in Ecosystem Research," Center for Global Change and Earth Observations Brown Bag with Peggy Ostrom, Professor (Geological Sciences, MSU), 12:00 noon, Room 105, Manley Miles Bldg.

March 18, Thursday

"Heritage, History and Change in South Africa," African Studies Center Brown Bag with Andre Odendaal, Honorary Professor (History and Heritage Studies, Univ. of the Western Cape, South Africa), 12:00 noon, Room 201, International Center. The visit is Co-sponsored by the MSU Department of History.

April 2, Friday

"Urban Systems and Global Institutions in an Era of Environmental Change," Urban and Metropolitan Studies Forum Series with Rodney R. White, Professor of Geography and Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (Univ. of Toronto), 12:00 noon, Moot Court Room, Room 428, Law Building.


MSU Museum Expedition - South Africa June 8 - June 20, 2004 (optional extensions)

This 2004 Summer Adventure in South Africa, an MSU Museum Expedition, Coordinated by Classic Travel will include visits to Cape Town, the Winelands region, the Cape of Good Hope Peninsula, Johannesburg, Durban, and game tours at the Kruger National Park. In addition, the trip will include some unique cultural experiences linked to the South African National Cultural Heritage Project (SANCH), a multi-year partnership project of the MSU Museum, MATRIX, and African Studies with a consortium of South African cultural heritage organizations.

Accompanying the group will be Dr. C. Kurt Dewhurst, director of the MSU Museum and professor of English, and Dr. Marsha MacDowell, curator of folk arts, and professor of Art and Art History. To find out more and/or to register, visit the web site at:

Les Ballets Africains
Special Student Rate $10

Les Ballets Africains, the national ensemble of the Republic of Guinea, has thrilled audiences worldwide since it was formed by the distinguished Guinean choreographer Keita Fodeba in 1952/53. It is universally recognized as Africa's most accomplished touring company.

In a compelling program celebrating the company's half century, Les Ballets Africains performs traditional dance, music, acrobatics and storytelling. Pulsing rhythms from ancient tribal instruments build the excitement as the company bursts onto the stage in an explosion of dance and song. Fascination legends filled with humans, animals and spirits unfold in a fast-paced, joyous celebration that will leave audiences breathless. Les Ballets Africains captures the elemental energy of its native land in a performance that is pure sensation.

The Wharton Center has provided an opportunity for K- 12 and college students in the mid-Michigan area to experience the world-renowned Les Ballets Africains at the low cost of $10. The performance is 3:00 p.m., Sunday, March 28, 2004 at the MSU Wharton Center.

Prior to the performance at 1:30 p.m., Dr. Dorothy Harper-Jones, MSU professor emeritus, expert on African dance, and founder and director of the Pashami Dancers, (Mid-Michigan's premier African dance troupe) will provide a brief introduction to West African dance traditions. Dr. Jones' presentation will take place on the Grand Tier of the Wharton Center.

Deadline for purchasing tickets is Monday, March 22, 2004. Please contact John Metzler, African Studies Center, (517) 353-1700; to reserve your tickets. Please note: Teachers and chaperones who accompany students will also receive the $10 ticket rate.

Explore Africa at MSU - July 11-18, 2004

Explore Africa at MSU is an eight-day residential program designed for academically-talented high school students who would like to become immersed in learning about the tremendous diversity found within the continent of Africa. This program is a cooperative venture by the African Studies Center and the Office of Gifted and Talented Education.

Participants will attend daily language classes in Swahili, hear from professors and others who have spent years living in and studying Africa; participate in discussions on a key topic each day, interwoven with African literature; work individually or in teams to develop projects on African topics; participate in African arts and cultural activities such as music, dance, cinema, and cooking; and participate in social activities in the evening and weekend, while staying on campus.

Eligible students must be entering grade 10 or 11 in 2004/05 with a high GPA in college prep courses; have strong test scores on nationally standardized tests or the MEAP; have a desire to work in an academically challenging environment and; be an enthusiastic, creative learner.

For further information or to request a brochure and application please contact Jenny McCampbell, Director, The Office of Gifted and Talented Education, MSU; Tel: (517) 432-2129 or e-mail:; or visit the web site at:

Explore Africa - Learning Opportunity for Teachers

Teachers are invited to a unique learning experience this summer. Explore Africa at MSU, the residential program for gifted and talented students, is offering teachers the opportunity to join the daily academic and cultural portions of the program. Teachers will join the students on July 12-16, 2004 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (See previous paragraph for more program details).

Teachers may take the course in one of three ways:

For no credit or for 3 SB-CEUs Cost: $300.00 For 2 MSU Lifelong Education credits for TE 890 (independent study); cost: $873.00 Non-credit

For those earning credits, additional independent study work outside of class will be expected, commensurate with the number of credits.

For additional information, contact John Metzler, Assistant Professor of African Studies and Teacher Education and Outreach Coordinator, African Studies Center; (517) 353-1700; e-mail:; or Jenny McCampbell, Office of Gifted and Talented Education, (517) 432-2129; e-mail:

East Lansing Film Festival
Films on Africa March 2004
(see complete schedule at:

Co-sponsored by MSU African Studies Center and International Studies and Programs.

Friday, March 19,
MSU Wells Hall - Bresson Theatre 7 pm

Si-Gueriki (Queen Mother)
Directed by Idrissou Mora Kpai Benin (2003) 63 min
In Bariba and French with English subtitles

After ten years of living in Europe, Kpai returns to his village to make a documentary about his family, members of the royal Wassengaris of Benin. In the process, he comes to the self-realization that he does not know his mother and sister. It is the tradition of his tribe to separate the boys from their mothers at a very young age to be raised by the men. His mother is the si-gueriki, the Queen-mother, a position once of great power but now reduced to a mere title. This film is the story of young a man's confrontation with his culture and traditions, an intimate, personal film with an insider's view of an ancient culture and a reconnection with a lost mother.

See website below for further details:

Saturday, March 20,
Wells Hall - Bresson Theatre, 4 pm

A Great Wonder
Director: Kim Shelton
United States (2003) 65 min

This remarkable documentary traces the extraordinary journey of three young Sudanese orphans- two men and a woman- who traveled from Sudan to Ethiopia, and then Kenya, by foot, before ending up in the Northwest. They have spent the majority of their lives either in flight from war or in a refugee camp, and now must struggle with foster care and their new world. Each has a different but compelling story of hardship and unflappable optimism. Truly inspiring. Winner, Audience Award for Best Documentary, Seattle International Film Festival.

Details: see website at:


WARA Summer Institute for College and University Faculty - Summer 2004, June 14-June 26

(Deadline extended to March 30, 2004) This is an intensive two-week summer institute on African literary forms and their contexts, with a focus on Senegal. Participants will examine a number of specific texts, meet prominent writers, and explore the interest in local language literacy and publications. Importantly, participants will also consider literary production in its relationship to other contemporary art forms such as rap and contemporary visual arts. The institute will be based at the West African Research Center in Dakar, Senegal, and is intended for faculty who wish to develop and expand teaching or research related to African literature. Institute director and the staff of WARC will help participants pursue individual interests in making research contacts or developing teaching materials. The institute will be conducted primarily in English. In order to provide as broad a perspective as possible on contemporary literature and its contexts, participants will be offered a series of lectures, seminars and discussion sessions at WARC, with academics, writers and artists from the region. Participants will also have the opportunity to travel to the historical city of St. Louis and to "ordinary" non-urban centers outside of Dakar.

Participation in the seminar will be limited to 12. For more information or an application form please contact WARA at A $500 deposit is required to reserve a space upon notification of acceptance to the institute. The deadline has been extended to March 30, 2004.


African Studies Conference - Grand Valley State U.

Call for Papers
Deadline extended to March 22, 2004 African/African American Studies at Grand Valley State University (Allendale campus) and the Department of African Studies at University of Cape Coast (Ghana) are organizing a conference on the theme: African Studies: Paradigms, Pedagogy and Partnerships, October 7-9, 2004.

All academic disciplines are encouraged to submit abstracts of 250 words describing individual presentations and performances, and/or proposals of 500 words for panels, along with 50 word biography of each presenter. The primary goal of the conference is to link academic concerns to concrete material conditions, scholarship, and teaching about Africa and the African Diaspora. Presentations focusing on the following areas and/or related topics are welcomed:

challenges facing current political regimes in Africa; retaining civil society, instilling civic responsibility and community building; confronting multiple identities, ethnicities and nationalities; rethinking the effects of colonialism and post-colonialism; interventions in struggles for human (including gender) rights; African and Diasporan histories, literatures, and the arts; strengthening health care and social welfare systems; rebuilding economic infrastructures and resources; preserving and using indigenous knowledge and value systems; honoring cultural rituals, religions and celebrations; and charting the impact of international terrorism and geo-political alliances on African peoples.

Send two copies of proposals via US Mail to: Dr. Veta Tucker, Department of English and African/African American Studies Program, Grand Valley State University, One Campus Drive, Allendale, Michigan 49401; Tel: (616) 331-3692; Fax: (616) 331-3430. Submissions may also be electronically transmitted to Dr. Ronald J. Stephens, Coordinator of African/African American Studies at: Submission deadline extended to March 22, 2004.


South African National Science and Technology Forum - Awards for Black Researchers ~
Additional New Awards for Black Researchers and their mentors for the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) for 2004.

The NSTF is pleased to announce a package of additional awards sponsored by ESKOM and the NRF.

These exciting new awards are specifically designed to encourage black researchers and those who mentor them and provide special research grants for the winners to this end.

For entry forms on the awards, visit the web nce_and_Technology_Awards/NSTF_entry_form_2.pdf

The closing date is March 19, 2004. For contact details, e-mail:

Page Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D.

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