MSU Tuesday Bulletin, 09/19/06

Issue No. 4 Fall 2006
September 19, 2006


For back issues, see archive <>





September 21, 2006

"Security of Widows' Access to Land in an Era of HIV/AIDS: Panel Survey Evidence from Zambia," African Studies Center Brown Bag talk with Antony Chapoto, Faculty (Ag Econ., MSU), 12:00 noon, Room 201 International Center.

September 21, Thursday

Study Abroad Fair, Second floor of the MSU Union, 12:00 noon to 6:00 p.m. For more information, contact Meghan in the Study Abroad office at 432-2686.

September 22, Friday

"Global Climate Change: What is it and What Can We Do About it?" The Center forAdvanced Study of International Development (CASID) and the Women and International Development (WID) Program invite the MSU and Greater Lansing Community to participate in an All day Teach-In, 10:30 a.m., - 3:30 p.m., held in Room 117, the International Center Library.

From 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. there will be a panel discussion by members of the Climate and Land Interaction Project (CLIP) who will discuss the science behind predictions of global warming, what the probable global effects of this climate change may be, and how localities in Michigan and East Africa will adapt to new climate conditions. Panelist include: Drs. Jeff Andresen, David Campbell, Nathan Moore and Jennifer Olson. For more information, contact the CASID office at (517) 353-8571.


Linguist to Document Threatened African Language

EAST LANSING, Mich. A Michigan State
University linguistics and languages researcher will spend the 2006-07 academic year in southern Tanzania, where he will conduct research to help preserve Kikisi, one of the more than 120 languages spoken there and one that is currently facing the threat of extinction.

Deogratias Ngonyani, associate professor in the Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages, has been awarded a research fellowship by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation as part of the agencies' joint "Documenting Endangered Languages" program. The program aims to create and preserve records of languages threatened with extinction.

Ngonyani, who specializes in morphology or the study and description of word formation, descriptive linguistics and African languages, is one of 12 U.S. recipients of the fellowship. He will spend the academic year in the southern highlands of Tanzania, where he will conduct research on Kikisi, a Bantu language spoken by fewer than 10,000 people in four Kisi villages (Lifuma, Lupingu, Makonde and Nindi) on the northeastern shore of Lake Malawi.
"The project is based on the recognition that every language expresses a unique culture and worldview," says Ngonyani, who has taught Swahili and linguistics at MSU since 1999 and is a native speaker of Kindendeule, another Tanzanian language.

He will survey the use of the Kikisi language and study its vocabulary and linguistic features; write a descriptive grammar; create audio and video recordings of folktales, conversations, rituals, songs, poems and language games; transcribe oral traditions into written form for wider use in the villages; and explore the nature of words in language using examples from Kikisi.

By collecting data related to syntax and word structure, Ngonyani's research will add invaluable data to the field of comparative Bantu linguistics and clarify the relationship of Kikisi to other languages in southern Tanzania. In addition, he will collaborate with colleagues based at the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Göteborg University (Sweden) on Languages of Tanzania, a linguistic atlas of all languages in the country.

Experts estimate that more than half of the approximately 7,000 currently used human languages are headed for extinction in the next hundred years. Ngonyani notes that Kikisi is threatened by the increasing dominance of Kiswahili (Swahili), which is the official language of Tanzania, and by related languages with much larger numbers of speakers, including Kinyakyusa, Kikinga, Kipangwa and Kimanda.

"The death of any language means the disappearance of knowledge and linguistic data. So the documentation of endangered languages is part of a global effort to preserve cultural diversity and to understand the very nature of human communication," he said.

Ngonyani was born in Tanzania and received bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Dar es Salaam before coming to the United States in 1991. He earned master's and doctoral degrees in linguistics from UCLA in 1996.

Reprinted from the MSU newsroom website:

International Coffee Hour (OISS at MSU)

Office of International Students and Scholars host the International Coffee hour, 4:00 pm - 6:00 p.m. on Friday's in the International Center Food Court, Spartan Rooms B and C.

New Videos Available through CASID

The following are new videos available from the Center for Advanced Study of International Development (CASID) office:

*Malaria: Fever Wars (PBS Home Video)
- 120 min.

*The Age of AIDS (PBS Home Video)
- 240 min.

*RX for Survival: A Global Health Challenge - 336 min.

For check-out information, contact CASID at: 353-5925, Room 202 International Studies and Programs.

MSU Global Focus - Photography Competition

The entry deadline for the Eighth Annual International Photography competition is Monday, October 2, 2006, 5:00 p.m. EDT. The competition is open to MSU students, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni and Alumni Association members.

For more information, to see the official competition rules and entry form, or contact the MSU Office of International Studies and Programs, visit or contact the MSU Office of International Studies and Programs, Michigan State University, 209 International Center, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035; Tel: (517) 355-2350; or e-mail


Free Community Screenings of Award-Winning Documentary, Ann Arbor & Royal Oak, 9/27 & 9/28

"Lost Boys of Sudan", a critically acclaimed documentary that follows two Sudanese refugees on an extraordinary journey from Africa to America, is coming to Ann Arbor and Detroit for two free public screenings September 27 and 28, 2006. At each screening, director Megan Mylan and Sudanese refugees from the Lost Boys group in Michigan will answer questions. Michigan is home to over 400 "Lost Boys of Sudan," and about 1400 new refugees are settled in the state each year. The events are part of a national outreach campaign to raise local public awareness and support for refugees and the current crisis in Darfur, Sudan. Lost Boys of Sudan was broadcast nationally on PBS, won the Independent Spirit Award, and was nominated for two national Emmy awards.

It tells the story of Santino Chuor and Peter Dut, who were orphaned in the longest-running civil war in Africa. Along with thousands of other children, they walked hundreds of miles, surviving lion attacks and militia gunfire, to reach a refugee camp in Kenya. There they were chosen to come to America, where they find themselves confronted with the abundance and alienation of contemporary American suburbia.

The Director will be available for interviews. Press materials are at Please contact: Terra Weikel, (415) 987-9777 or, for further information.

All Events Are Free and Open to the Public: Wednesday, September 27, 2006, 5:00 pm
The Michigan Theater
603 E. Liberty, Ann Arbor, MI
Contact: (734) 668-8463
Sponsored by the University of Michigan Law School

Thursday, September 28, 2006, 7:00 pm
Main Art Theatre, Royal Oak
118 North Main Street, Royal Oak, MI
Contact Lutheran Social Services: (313) 823-7700 Sponsored by Lutheran Social Services of Michigan, the American Jewish Committee and the Trinity Film Coalition


GuluWalk2006 is an event to raise awareness about the violence and conflict in northern Uganda. The walk will be held on October 21, 2006 in Ann Arbor, Mich,. as part of an international movement. There will be walkers in over 70 cities in 14 countries worldwide.

GuluWalk began as an effort by two average citizens to raise awareness and support for the "night commuters", the over 40,000 children of rural northern Uganda, who avoid abduction by the rebel army by walking every night towards the safety of larger town centres, such as Gulu.
While peace talks continue, this 20-year conflict now finds over 1.5-million forced into internally displaced persons (IDP) camps where, based on a July 2006 report by the International Rescue
Committee, 1,000 people are dying every week because of the conditions in the north. GuluWalk 2006 is focused on raising awareness and funds to support children's programs in northern Uganda, which focus on education, rehabilitation and youth outreach.

The walk will begin in Downtown Ann Arbor, at the University of Michigan's Diag at 1:00 p.m. and the route is approximately 5k in distance. There will also be a showing of a documentary highlighting the history of the conflict called "Invisible Children." This will be shown at Albion College on September 21, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. in Norris 101. For more information or details e- mail: Sarah at: <>.


African History - Indiana University

Africa. Tenure-track. The Department of History at Indiana University, Bloomington seeks to appoint an outstanding scholar/teacher in African history. Research fields and regional specializations are open but there will be a preference for someone with transnational or comparative interests. The anticipated starting date will be the fall of 2007. Please send a letter of application, c.v., a writing sample consisting of an article or dissertation chapter, and arrange to have three letters of recommendation sent to the African History Search Committee, Department of History, Indiana University, Ballantine Hall 742, 1020 E. Kirkwood Ave., Bloomington, IN 47405-7103. Review of applications will start November 1, 2006, and continue until the position is filled. Indiana University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer committed to excellence through diversity.

Interested candidates may direct questions to the search committee chair, Professor John Hanson, at

Globalization and Education - Indiana University

Indiana University invites applications for a tenure-line faculty position for a specialist in globalization and education in the School of Education. A doctorate in an appropriate field is required, and the successful candidate will have disciplinary grounding in political science, political economics, or political sociology. Preference will be given for expertise in African studies and/or Islam and education, but other qualified candidates are invited to apply. Responsibilities include conducting research and teaching undergraduate teacher education courses and graduate courses in comparative education and education policy studies.

Applications should arrive by November 1, 2006 to insure full consideration but will be accepted until the position is filled. Send letter of application describing research and teaching interests and experience, curriculum vitae, sample of scholarship, and three letters of reference to: Professor Margaret Sutton, Search Committee Chair, Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, 201 North Rose Avenue, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, 47405.

Additional information about the School of Education can be found at Questions about the position may be directed to Professor Sutton at The faculty of Indiana University is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and nominations of women, persons of color, applicants with disabilities, and members of other under-represented groups.

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

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