Tuesday Bulletin for June 10th, 2008

The African Studies Center at MSU
About Academics Languages Faculty Resources Research Partnerships Outreach Events Home

Tuesday Bulletin for June 10th, 2008
Topics covered in this issue: Announcements | Other Announcements | Fellowships | Conferences


Honorary Doctorate for Nelson Mandela
On May 2, 2008, MSU granted an honorary Doctorate of Laws to Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African President Nelson Mandela to honor his lifetime of national and global leadership. Mr. Mandela is preparing to celebrate his 90th birthday in July. To commemorate MSU's own long history with South Africa and some new breakthrough accomplishments, the university cut the ribbon on two new websites about South Africa for students, teachers, and the public.

In his videotaped remarks from Johannesburg accepting the degree, Mandela said, "It is a privilege to receive the honorary degree from the Michigan State University. We recall your support during our struggle for freedom. We are inspired by your numerous programs that continue to support our efforts to transform our country."

Because of its opposition to apartheid, MSU was the first major U.S. public university to divest its stock in companies that operated in South Africa by action of the Board of Trustees in 1978. The continuing engagement of some MSU faculty and students with South Africa has resulted in two just-launched online resources about that struggle.

The Honorable Yusuf Omar, the South African Consul General to Chicago, came to MSU both to accept the honorary degree on behalf of Nelson Mandela and to share his thoughts about the new online resources. Omar, whose personal interview about his participation in the struggle inside the country is included in South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy, explained that these sites will "…ensure that the sacrifices that were made by those whose names you won't hear mentioned will be acknowledged and not overlooked . . . long after our heroes are gone, they will be speaking to our children from screens and speakers and headsets."

Melanie Foster, Vice Chair of the MSU Board of Trustees, summarized the strong foundation on which these online resources have been built. Before cutting the ribbon with Consul General Omar, Foster said, "What you see here today is the result of a decade of collaboration between the African Studies Center and MATRIX. What you see here today is interdisciplinary research, scholarship, and outreach at its best . . . We are proud that [these websites] bear the name of Michigan State University."

Websites about South Africa
The African Studies Center and MATRIX, a digital humanities center, hosted a ribbon cutting for two new websites that offer to the public 45 interviews with South African activists, more than 100 pieces of video documenting that struggle, and many more multimedia resources (See Sidebar below).

The Community Video Education Trust (CVET), a community-based organization in Cape Town, partnered with MSU to preserve its unique archive of more than 400 videos and place them online free to the public. At the South African launch of the CVET video archive, Zulfah Otto-Sallies, filmmaker and Chairperson of CVET said, "We are very thankful to Michigan State University for this partnership that brings the archive out of cardboard boxes to use as a resource for Human Rights Education. We are excited about bringing these important stories to the youth of today.

South Africa: Overcoming Apartheid, Building Democracy - is an online educational resource designed especially for high school and undergraduate students. The site contains original video interviews with 45 South African activists, plus 140 interview segments organized topically. The site also contains raw video footage documenting mass resistance and police repression, historical documents, rare photographs, original narratives and essays, and educational activities that use the primary materials on the site. Support was received from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

View a three-minute preview video at:

Community Video Education Trust (CVET) Archive - is a digital archive of videos taken in and around Cape Town during the peak of popular resistance to apartheid in the late 1980s and early 1990s. CVET trained community members to use video to document anti-apartheid organizing and state repression. This unique collection of raw footage includes demonstrations, speeches, mass funerals, celebrations, and interviews with activists. The videos capture the activism of trade unions, students, and political organizations, including the activities of the United Democratic Front. The site currently includes about 100 streaming videos of the more than 400 in the archive. More are being added regularly. Support was received from the U.S. Department of Education.

African Activist Archive- is an archive of images, documents, and audio and video that record the solidarity actions across the United States in support of the struggles for freedom and democracy in Africa. Additional contributions to the site are being solicited, and the site is being redesigned and expanded. In conjunction with this digital archive, the MSU Libraries Special Collections has created an African Activist Archive to which seven personal and organizational collections already have been donated; . Support is being provided by the Ford Foundation. and many individuals and organizations. More donations are welcome.

These websites are produced by Michigan State University's MATRIX -; African Studies Center -; and Department of History-, and in partnership with Community Video Education Trust in Cape Town.

For more information about MSU faculty research and engagement in South Africa, see the African Studies Center's faculty research page: . MSU also conducts 12 study abroad programs in South Africa (See:

Student Publication Announcements
Alex Hill recently published the first peer reviewed undergraduate development journal, Articulate. This is an undergraduate scholarly journal that publishes academic papers and writings on-line and in-print on issues in international development and healthcare in Africa. Articulate is a subdivision and publication of S.C.O.U.T. B.A.N.A.N.A., Inc. and seeks to educate, motivate, and activate the public about its mission, vision, and the healthcare crisis in Africa.

Alex is an Undergraduate junior in James Madison College, majoring in International Relations and Global Area Studies with a specialization in International Development and African Studies. He is also the 2008 recipient of the Homer Higbee International Education Award. Inspired by the medical needs of Africa following the visit of an Ugandan priest to his hometown, Alex founded S.C.O.U.T. B.A.N.A.N.A., a nonprofit organization that supports health-related projects in Africa. The organization has 18 university chapters across the U.S. and Canada and Alex is the Executive Director. Alex has engaged students across the campus on raising awareness for international development issues.

Current and past issues of Articulate can be accessed at

Faculty Publication Announcements
Dr. Charles Mackenzie, Filarial Diseases Laboratory, Dept. of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, MSU and Dr. Mwele Malecela, National Institute for Medical Research, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania was both instrumental in editing the book: "Lymphatic filariasis: research and control in Eastern and Southern Africa," 2008, DBL -Centre for Health Research and Development, Denmark, ISBN: 87-91521-08-4.

Lymphatic filariasis (LF) is a disabling and disfiguring disease which results from a mosquito transmitted parasitic infection. It is widespread and a major public health problem in many developing countries with a warm and humid climate and it is one of the most prevalent of the neglected tropical diseases. Current estimates suggest that more than one billion people live in endemic areas and are at risk of infection, and more than one third of these are in Sub-Saharan Africa. For further details, e-mail: Dr. Mackenzie at; or Dr. Malecela at

Dr. Ernest Ndukwe, obtained his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Resource Development and Environmental Policy. His recent publication: "Is Marriage Doomed in America?" is available for purchase. For those who would like signed copies, the book can be purchased directly from Dr. Ndukwe by sending $30 to cover the cost ($25) and postage ($5). Money orders should be sent to: Candor Inc., P.O. Box 442299, Detroit, MI 48244, or visit the author's website: The book is also available at, Barnes& and Borders.

MSU Museum is One of Four Institutions Selected for International Cultural Exchange Grant Schoolchildren and teenagers in Tajikistan, India, South Africa, Bolivia and Mexico will connect with their counterparts in four U.S. cities through the inaugural round of the American Association of Museums' (AAM) ! Museums and Community Collaborations Abroad grant competition (MCCA). A new partnership in cultural diplomacy between AAM and the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), MCCA is designed to strengthen connections between people in the U.S. and abroad through museum-based exchanges.

The funded project for the MSU Museum and the Nelson Mandela Museum in South Africa is: `Dear Mr. Mandela, Dear Ms. Parks: Children's Letters, Global Lesson' - Michigan State University Museum, East Lansing, Mich., and the Nelson Mandela Museum, Mthatha, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa.

In early 2007, Gregory Reed, the personal lawyer of Rosa Parks, announced a planned gift to the Michigan State University Museum of a collection of letters children wrote to Parks. A similar collection of letters to another civil rights hero, former South African president and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, exists at a new museum in rural South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Museum in Eastern Cape Province. Working together, the two museums will use these letters to raise awareness of the deep parallels between the struggles for racial justice in the United States and South Africa. The partners will create a touring exhibition, an online gallery of the letters targeted at school-age children and a CD-ROM of music from each nation to accompany the exhibition. Local schoolchildren will be encouraged to write letters to their own heroes who embody the values of Mandela and Parks. These letters will be posted in the virtual gallery and added to the exhibition at each venue. Additional information regarding this project is at: .

MSU Africanist Graduate Student Conference Michigan State University graduate students and the African Studies Center at MSU are hosting a conference on the theme "Knowledge of Africa: New Researchers and the Next Fifty Years" with the intent to foster an engaging atmosphere in which graduate students can discuss their research and receive important feedback. The conference is interdisciplinary and open to students at all levels of their graduate careers. The committee hopes to receive submissions that present research proposals, research designs, dissertation or thesis chapters, methodological models, work in progress, outlines of dissertation and preliminary research findings. Michigan State University has over 175 faculty members that focus on Africa and some faculty will serve as discussants in the hope that they will offer constructive feedback to participants. The conference is also designed to help prepare students (those who will be the career Africanists of the next fifty years), who will present at the 2008 African Studies Association Meeting "Knowledge of Africa: The Next Fifty Years" to be held in Chicago.

Abstracts are due August 29, 2008. Please e-mail submissions to: Abstracts should include the author's name, address, institutional affiliation, e-mail address, and phone number. A $20 conference fee can be paid online through the Conference website upon abstract acceptance.

The conference will be held September 26-27, 2008 at Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. More information can be found at the Conference's website: Questions can be addressed to the conference organizers at

Other Announcements

Communiversity of Pan-Afrika, Grand Rapids, MI Communiversity of Pan-Afrika, Grand Rapids, Michigan, proudly presents: Dr. Runoko Rashidi (website lecturing on "Black Women in Antiquity." Also speaking is Kalif Akbar Sankofa "Afrikan Ancestral notion of God" on Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 4:00 p.m.. Doors open at 3:00 p.m., refreshments will be served. The event will be at the Gerald R. Ford Middle School (old Madison Elementary, please enter on the Prospect Street side, in back of the school).Directions from Lansing and Detroit:I96 to I196 (Downtown Grand Rapids). Exit Fuller Ave and go left about 1½ miles to Franklin St. (six lights). Turn right and go through two lights (Madison): The next street is Prospect, turn left. Street dead ends at the school.

For information, contact Kalif Akbar at 616-328-9731 or 616-477-0357 or Bathan Mason at 616-821-6544. The event is free. However, donations will be accepted.

Free English Classes (ESL) - Grand Rapids, MI The African Community Center is pleased to announce that they are resuming their summer adult English as a Second Language (ESL) and Financial literacy classes. If you are a foreign-born adult (16 years of age or older) who would like to improve your English communication skills, the English as a Second Language (ESL) program at the African Center can assist ! you. You will have the opportunity to improve your listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills. FREE summer classes for newcomers will be offered throughout the summer season. Morning and evening classes will begin Monday, June 16, 2008. Interested participants can sign up for morning (9 -12am) and evening (4-7pm) classes. Commitment is highly recommended. Transportation will be available in special cases.

Those interested may sign up for classes by stopping at the African Community Center – 1019 Wealthy Street SE - Room C, Grand Rapids, MI 49506 or e-mail your information (Name, address and the way to be reached) to:

Strengthening Rural Agriculture Development - Request for Applications Higher Education for Development (HED), in cooperation with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking applications from U.S. higher education institutions to work with their counterparts in developing countries. HED anticipates making one (1) award, contingent on the availability of USAID funding, of up to $450,000 for a three-year partnership with the University of Ngozi to strengthen its capacity for teaching, applied research, and agricultural extension. For clarification or questions regarding this RFA, please contact Josh Henson at (202) 243-7690 or Applications are due July 28, 2008, 5:00 p.m. ET. For more information about applying for this award, go to:

XCP: Cross-cultural Poetics - "South Africa: Literature & Social Movement" issue (no. 21)

XCP: Cross-cultural Poetics is planning to publish a special issue on South Africa, tentatively titled, "South Africa: Literature & Social Movements." The page length/word count is fairly open.If interested (or if you already have something previously unpublished that you think might fit), please submit it at your earliest convenience. The tentative deadline is 1 September 2008 for final drafts of submissions.

XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics was established in 1996 and quickly became recognized as a seminal journal in social documentation, cultural studies, and literary analysis. Contributing editors include Lila Abu Lughod, Kamau Brathawite, Juan Felipe Herrera, and Shamoon Zamir; past contributors include Amiri Baraka, Adrienne Rich, Gerald Vizenor, and more than 400 additional artists and scholars. The journal is indexed in, among others, the Alternative Press Index, MLA International Bibliography, Left Index, and Sociological Abstracts. Twenty issues have been published to date.XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics is also interested in scholars who might like to contribute 1800-2000 word book reviews for the issue (no. 21). For more information contact: Mark Nowak, editor, XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics, c/o College of St. Catherine, 601 - 25th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN. 55454; email:


The Africa Thesis Award - Leiden, The Netherlands Are you interested in Sub-Saharan Africa and is your Master's thesis on a related subject? If so, the African Studies Centre (ASC) in Leiden is offering the chance to win $4000 in its Africa Thesis Award! The award aims to encourage student research and writing on Sub-Saharan Africa and to promote the study of African cultures and societies. It is presented annually to a student whose Master's thesis has been completed on the basis of research conducted on Africa.

Any final-year student who has completed his/her Master's thesis with distinction (80% or higher or a Dutch rating of at least 8) at a university in Africa or the Netherlands can apply. Any thesis thematically related to socio-geographical, economic, political, juridical or anthropological issues or focusing on the humanities such as history, religion and literature (but with the exception of language and/or semiotic studies) can be submitted. Its geographical focus should be on Sub-Saharan Africa or its migrant communities elsewhere in the world. The thesis must be socially relevant.

Every submission must include: a signed letter of recommendation from the student's supervisor containing the grade and details about the quality of the thesis and the educational institution from which the student has graduated, and a copy of the thesis as well as a summary of a maximum of 500 words. Applicants based in the Netherlands are requested to submit two hard copies and an electronic copy of their thesis. Those based in Africa are welcome to send an electronic version of their thesis by e-mail. If a hard copy of the thesis is submitted, the applicant's e-mail address must also be included. The application will not be processed if it is incomplete. The thesis can be submitted if it is written in English, French or! Dutch. If the thesis is in Dutch, a five-page English or French summary should also be attached. This year's deadline for the submission of theses is 16 June 2008.

For more information or queries regarding the submission of a thesis, please contact Ms Gitty Petit, the secretary of the ASC Awards Committee: African Studies Centre (ASC), P.O. Box 9555, 2300 RB Leiden, The Netherlands; Tel: +31 (0)71 527 3376;

Fax: +31(0) 71 527 3344; e-mail:;



U.S. - Africa Sister Cities Conference, Lansing, MI -- July 23-26, 2008 – Radisson Hotel

The U.S. - Africa Sister Cities Conference features four days of business, motivational, health, cultural and informational activities, speakers and workshops designed to bring new levels of understanding between the people of the United States of America and the people of African nations. The conference theme: "Building Alliances with the New Africa" is a chance to learn from top leaders in various field of importance in "Building Alliances" between our nations. Participants may register for the entire conference, one or two days or just for the African Ball Gala.

For information on the conference and registration see:

To register by mail, send the registration form with a check or money order to: Convention Management Services, U.S.-Africa Sister Cities Conference, 500 Business Center Drive, Lansing, MI 48917, USA.

African Studies Association of the UK
The Presence of the Past? Africa in the 21st Century', African Studies Association of the UK, Department of Education and Social Sciences announce their Biennial Conference scheduled for 11-13 September 2008, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK PR1 2HE.

The ASAUK Conference always seek s to facilitate discussions between Africanist scholars who ordinarily would have few opportunities to talk, despite working on similar themes, because they are working either on different geographical areas or within different academic disciplines. Please address all enquiries to: Emma Kelly, e-mail:

2008 African Studies Association Meetings The 51st Annual Meeting of the African Studies Association is November 13-16, 2008 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers in Chicago, IL. For details regarding the meetings, please visit the website:

The ASA has secured special discount rates for all conference participants. Please contact the hotel directly to reserve a room: Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers, 301 East North Water Street, Chicago, IL 60611; Tel: 312-464-1000; Fax: 312-464-9140. Mention the group code "African Studies Association" to receive the following special discount rates: Single: $169.00 per night; Double: $169.00 per night. Suites will be offered at $300.00 and up depending on the type of suite requested. For other room size rates, including suites, please contact the hotel directly.

A deposit equal to one night's stay is required to hold each individual's reservations. Deposits are refundable if notice is received at least seventy-two (72) hours prior to arrival and a cancellation number is obtained. All deposits will be charged at the time the reservation is made. These room rates reflect a rebate of $10 for each occupied room night that is paid for at the full guestroom rate to be used for the general support of the African Studies Association. Please be sure to make reservations early in order to secure the special group rate.

 ****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****     ****
                  African Studies Center
100 CIP, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1035
           Phone (Area 517): 353-1700 - Fax: 432-1209

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

Previous Menu Home Page What's New Search Country Specific