The Mid-America Alliance for African Studies

The Mid-America Alliance for African Studies

A New Regional Organization

On Saturday, September 23 a new African studies organization was founded in Lawrence, Kansas. The Mid-America Alliance for African Studies (MAAAS) is the realization of a goal set two years ago at an inaugural conference at KU by Africanists and educators interested in the integration of Africa into the school and undergraduate curriculum in this part of the country.

For purposes of MAAAS, Mid-America has been defined as the region between the Mississippi River and the front range of the Rocky Mountains. Thirty-seven charter members launched the organization. They came from community colleges, 4-year colleges and universities in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. Interest in the organization has also been evident in Texas and Colorado. The inaugural meeting elected the following members as its first Executive Committee:

President: Arthur Drayton University of Kansas
Vice President: Betty J. Harris University of Oklahoma
Sec.-Treasurer: Fred Morton Loras College, Iowa
Asst. Sec.-Treas: Stephen Harmon Pittsburg State University, KS
At-Large-Members: Roger Berger Wichita State University, KS
Jean-Germain Gros University of Missouri, St. Louis
Fiona McLaughlin University of Kansas

The occasion was a 3-day conference sponsored by KU's African Studies National Resource Center, and the theme was "Africa 2000". It opened with an informal business session on September 21. One entire day was devoted to panels on Islam and Christianity in Africa, Pedagogy in African Studies, The Future of the African State, and African Studies in the Electronic Age. After the formal inaugural session of the Alliance on Saturday morning, there was a keynote luncheon address by Oyekan Owomoyela of the University of Nebraska entitled "African Studies in the New World Order: The Challenge for Africanists in the United States", followed in the afternoon by concurrent workshops on Developing an African Studies Program, Outreach on Africa, and An African Humanities.

MAAAS objectives include:
* encouraging scholarship in African studies regionally and sub-regionally
* the development of African studies and integration and enhancement of African material in the undergraduate curriculum at the institutions of the region
* broadening and strengthening the use of African material at the K-12 level throughout the region
* encouraging and maintaining a high level of professional and general interest in Africa and African Studies in the region

Date: Wed, 18 Oct 1995 21:02:14 -0400
Subject: MAAAS is born

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar
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