Penn African Studies Newsletter, Nov./Dec.'96

Penn African Studies Newsletter, Nov./Dec.'96

Penn Graduate Students to Present at ASA

Four Penn graduate students, Molly Roth, Wendy Haugh, Elisa Forgey, and Brenda Chalfin are presenting papers at the African Studies Association meeting in San Francisco, November 23-26, 1996.

Molly Roth will present a paper entitled SAPed Strength: Economic Development and Altered Modernity. The paper is a result of a summer pre-dissertation trip to Mali in 1995 also funded by the Ford Foundation Workshop on States and Identities at Penn. The paper examines the promotion of rural and neighborhood savings and loan societies in Mali and the divergent meanings of accumulation for those involved. She looks at the ways Western NGOs contribute to "structurally adjusting" Malian production and consumption practices, encouraging utilitarian calculations for accumulating wealth in material form. She also explores resistance to these projects, such as reconversions to "social capital" through gifts and debt creation. Roth argues that the structurally adjusted macro-environment requires "structurally adjusted" social institutions and individuals.

Wendy Haugh is presenting a paper entitled Nation-Building in Post-Apartheid Namibia, which grew out of her pre-dissertation research in Namibia last summer funded by SSRC and the Ford Foundation Workshop on States and Identities at Penn. She examines the new government's efforts to build national unity while recognizing cultural, linguistic, and ethnic diversity. Haugh focuses on the "Open Line," a call-in radio show on the government-owned radio station, advertised as a vehicle for exercising newly-won rights. The show's host envisions an inclusive nation comprised of equal and non-confrontational citizens. Many callers, however, express strong opinions on various topics and construct a nation comprised of often opposed racial and ethnic groups.

Elisa Forgey will present a paper entitled Post-Modern Pasts? The 1905 Trial of a Duala Prince in Hamburg, Germany. Her paper analyzes the 1905 trial of Mpondo Akwa, from German Kamerun, in which he and his lawyer, Dr. M. Levi, challenged, but also utilized, the meta-narratives supporting the German colonial endeavor by asserting the universal applicability of German law. In so doing, they caused a fairly early "crack" in those meta-narratives. Forgey argues that continued reliance on a world-historical and linear chronology in the various Western approaches to African history, including post-modernist, serves to obscure the instructive moments in the past when Africans were neither the passive recipients of European influences nor wholly resistant to them. Forgey's paper grew out of research completed during a year in Germany (1992-93) funded by Fulbright, a trip to Cameroon (Summer 1995) funded by the Social Science Research Council (SSRC), and documents and interviews provided by Herta Grove, the daughter of Dr. Levi.

Brenda Chalfin is presenting a paper entitled The Changing Face of `One Mouth': Export Promotion and Household Labor in Northern Ghana. The paper is based on her 1994-1995 dissertation research in Ghana funded by Fulbright and Wenner-Gren. Chalfin analyzes the effects of export promotion policies, stimulated by Structural Adjustment, on rural households. She examines "shea", an oilseed procured and processed by rural women. She considers the implications of the expanding export market for shea on women's socio-economic status and material relations with kin, co-wives, and neighbors. The paper illuminates the effects of the new global commodity regimes focused on high-value crops on the organization of labor and flow of resources within and between rural households.


Bring your family and friends for food, music, drink,

and dancing Penn African Studies style!

Second Annual


Friday, November 15

7:00 to 11:00 p.m.

Undergraduate Lounge, Stiteler Hall

37th and Locust Walk

Of Prepositions and Propositions: Perspectives on Feminism and the Epistemology of Africanist Collaboration [1]

by Wambui Mwangi and Elisa Forgey, University of Pennsylvania

This is an abridged version of the paper Elisa Forgey presented on behalf of herself and Wambui Mwangi at the Fourth Annual African Studies Workshop held October 4th at the University of Pennyslvania.

In this paper, we argue for collaboration as an act of scholarship that challenges the structural and material inequalities attending the cross-Atlantic intellectual economy that is African Studies. The central focus on collaboration comes from our awareness that it has become virtually impossible to talk honestly and overtly about Feminism, Africa, and African Studies--or any combinations of these--no matter where one is speaking, except through the lenses of conflict. We, as feminists who study Africa, wanted to write about feminism and about the study of Africa and, in the process, to reflect on what the spillages between the two forms of scholarship could mean to our ways of theorizing within, and practicing, each of them. The world which frames this collaboration is the uneasy relationship between scholars of Africa in Africa and scholars of Africa outside of Africa.

So, rather than discussing African feminisms from the outset, we move towards this discussion via an analysis of the rifts among African scholars of Africa and American Africanists, rifts which in many ways structure the debates between African and American feminists. Conflicts among scholars of Africa and among feminists are related to global economic, social, technological, and political changes that have occurred since the 1960s: decolonization, the growing importance of international

organizations set up by Bretton-Woods as well as of multinationals, the deindustrialization of the Western economies, the advent of "flexible accumulation," and the increasingly rapid and voluminous mobility of peoples, goods, and information. Because of the undeniable material basis and social reality of these conflicts, we have focused upon the "politics of location" as the guiding principle of this study. It is important to state here that we are not concerned with consensus, but rather with the possibilities of productive communication across the various and evolving geographical and disciplinary divides, especially as these crystallize along the fault lines of African "insiders" and Africanist "outsiders."

The project of creating a "we" out of our collaborative enterprise forced us to raise, analyze, and take very seriously the material and historical dimensions of our respective intellectual contexts, while paying heed as well to the limitations and falsifications attending a bipolar split along geographical lines between "insiders" and "outsiders." In order to be able to begin to conceive of collaborative epistemology, we had to work through the social reality of inequality, distance, and disaffection that does, in the end, follow the logic of the Africa/West bipolar opposition. It hardly needs to be said that scholars of Africa in Africa work in contexts wildly different from their Africanist colleagues in the U.S. In Africa, academic freedom is largely a matter of personal courage; in the midst of struggles to gain control over and access to resources, create communities for intellectual interaction, invent ways of disseminating the products of scholarly work while negotiating the treacherous ground of their relationship to state authorities, scholars also have to contend with the ordinary daily business of worrying about the payment of their salaries, trying to organize their work around power interruptions, lack of potable tap water, shortages of gas, fuel, matches, various food items, medicine, transportation, etc. Meanwhile, in the U. S., downsizing, decreasing job and grant opportunities, and shifts in administrative priorities and the criteria for professional advancement have lessened both the structural incentives for Africanist scholars to travel to Africa and the intellectual imperatives to maintain networks of communication with African scholars and African realities. The intensification of the pressure to achieve a "high profile" without (and sometimes in the place of) the benefit of recourse to sustained fieldwork experiences, have led to, in Jane Guyer's words, a "decreasing regular involvement of the theoretical wing in day-to-day Africa, and a certain myopia about the current state of Africa on the part of some in the academy." [2]

This social, epistemological, and material distance raises anew the colonial heritage and neo-colonial context of epistemology, and knowledge production, in general. These rifts and heritages have many African scholars concerned that they are either used as producers of "raw data" by powerful Western institutions and scholars or patently ignored. Many African scholars, such as Ayesha Imam and Thandika Mkandawire (as well as Christopher Miller), [3] have pointed out that the structured exclusion of African scholars from elite institutional practice in the United States is based on the dubious propositions that (1) empirical work is a- or pre-theoretical, (2) that theory enjoys some sort of ontological supremacy over empiricism, and (3) that Africans do not in

fact produce what can be called "theory." The assumptions behind these propositions are part and parcel of the structured inequality of the so-called "global economy," and a direct progeny of the colonial era. This historical and political-economic burden became the central issue of a recent exchange between Archie Mafeje, from the American University in Cairo, and Sally Falk Moore, from Harvard, in the CODESRIA Bulletin. It began with a critique by Archie Mafeje of Sally Falk Moore's Anthropology and Africa. In this critique, Mafeje attacks the book for telling a story about the discipline of Anthropology that does not engage some of the important debates among social scientists in Africa. Particularly offensive, to him, are what he calls her contemptuous tone regarding those scholars that have sought to deconstruct the "colonial mentality" of Anthropology, the relative absence of Africans in her book, either as citations or as characters, and the marginal causal role she ascribes to African intellectuals in changing the shape and focus of Anthropology in the 1960s. Mafeje's final paragraph is the most vituperative: "Mudimbe's hostility to colonial anthropology is shared by many African scholars. To harbour such feelings an African scholar does not have to be a trained anthropologist....What is important is the images of Africa they conjure up and their association with the colonial past. Sally Moore mistakenly thinks that this does not matter any longer in the post-colonial era and pours scorn on the `colonial period mentality' critique. These issues are still very much alive among African intellectuals, to whom she seems to pay no attention, as is reflected in her references in which Africans are conspicuous only by their absence. This might confirm existing beliefs among Africans about white racism and Eurocentrism. The insistence by writers such as her that anthropology is not, in so many words, a study of the uncivilized by the civilized is likely to aggravate such feelings. Independent Africans are in a position to decide what kind of relations in knowledge-making will be tolerated and which will not be tolerated." [4]

Sally Falk Moore's response is, predictably, equally vituperative, but instead of responding to the central concern voiced by Mafeje--that the current intellectual environment in Africa is ignored time and again by Western scholars-- she attempts to section Mafeje off

from a serious intellectual community, and thus to deprive his critique of its impact: she alleges (1) that he is unfamiliar with the new work in anthropology, which is of high quality and very multifaceted; (2) that he did not read her book carefully; (3) that his concerns are outdated and nostalgic, and that he is hence erecting a straw-man; (4) that he is free to write his own book on Anthropology and thus should not criticize hers in such a manner; (4) that he can't pretend to have had any influence on the anthropologists with whom he worked, and thus he greatly overestimates his role, and the role of Africans in general, in effecting a paradigm change in Anthropology, etc. That she finds Mafeje irrelevant becomes quite clear in her final paragraph: "I should add that I am saddened by the fact that Mafeje's tone is so insulting. I realize that there are audiences for which one has only to shout `colonialist, racist, Eurocentrist' as he does referring to me, and it is like shouting `fire' in a crowded theater. There are some people who respond instantly to this kind of name-calling, and many namecallers who legitimate themselves by doing the labeling. I believe that the social science community represented by CODESRIA is more sober in its judgments than that. Surely this undignified display does not pass for scholarly disagreement. There is so much work to be done; there are so many research themes to be explored, so much current history to be recorded, so many serious questions about methods and models to be debated, so many difficulties in the way of open communication, it is a pity to have to waste time on crude invective." [5]

The main bone of contention between these two scholars is something rather elemental: the issue is about who is going to be included and which agendas will be represented in a discussion of the epistemology of Africa. This is not just a matter of Mafeje's ego or of political hysteria, as Falk Moore would have it. Rather, the entire exchange strongly underscores the absence of a sense of a common project between African scholars of Africa and American Africanists. The fact that the disagreement has become so nasty demonstrates that at moments when this lack of a common project becomes glaringly obvious, the inheritance of colonialism and the continuing neo-colonial burden that African Studies must bear begin to be centralized, along with their attendant framing mechanisms.

At the heart of this mutual exclusion is the issue of "authenticity," that is, the means by which scholars seek to claim authority and pertinence for their work. Here we speak not only of that form of authenticity that is so much disparaged in the United States--the claims of those African scholars who assert the primacy of their

interpretive rights, rights which are variously founded on cultural fluency, political engagement, lived experience and immersion in daily Africa, a specifically African epistemological heritage, and so forth. We are also speaking of a much less recognized authenticity, what we call the "new authenticity," one that is forged from the inverted double of the older form. This form no longer bases its claims on the universalism or truth of its categories of analysis, but precisely on their contingency and fragmentation, and which by leveling the justification for any one authoritative voice, or authorizing condition, admits them all into an indeterminate discursive arena wherein they jostle and overlap, producing "hybridity," "polyvocal exchange," and "bricolage."

We believe it is not particularly useful at this time to begin attempting to outwit the logic of authenticity or to make sanctimonious claims that one has indeed escaped it. Claims of authenticity, in all their various formations, are about power, and more pertinently, about power differentials. Thus we agree with Doreen Massey, the British geographer and feminist, who has pointed out that globalization is a "highly complex social differentiation" rather than a mystical system of directionless "flows." To counter the fraught politics of location that are the consequences of globalization, and that are reflected in the Mafeje/Falk Moore debate, Massey suggests scholars begin to conceive of their work, at least in part, as what she calls "a politics of mobility and access," by which she means an intellectual practice that traces the fault lines of, in our case, intellectual production, and the ways in which the various sides are unequally and historically interconnected. [6] Though Doreen Massey does not suggest it, we think central to an intellectual politics of mobility and access is the act of collaboration, in so far as it is only through productive, long-term and continuous dialogue that mutual terms of mobility and access can be successfully negotiated, as many feminists, especially African feminists, have pointed out. [7]

In our paper we investigate an issue in feminism that is so contentious that people can't agree on its designation: female genital mutilation, clitoridectomy, female circumcision, genital surgery. When African feminists charge that Western feminists should research and focus on analogous forms of abuse in their home countries instead of digging up causes in Africa, they are responding to the very real way in which FGM is often discussed, with western feminists in charge of the agenda, receiving the most press and recognition and having an influence on global organizations such as the United Nations, as well as the foreign policies of their respective countries.

In an article entitled "Female Genital Mutilation in Africa: Some African Views," Salem Mekuria points out that African women must be at the lead of any movement to eradicate FGM and to suggest or take measures against it, and that these women should be working as closely with local areas as possible. [8] The ways in which mobilization has been conceptualized after over twenty years of struggle--in which people at different layers of involvement have a level of say directly proportional

to their proximity to the place under discussion--can be seen as a product of the fact that FGM is not, and cannot be, simply a matter of abstract reflection and scholarship. Because it is such a delicate and serious subject, it demands that those working on it consider the effects their representations will have. Needless to say, those people best able to theorize the effects of representations of FGM are those working at and invested in the local level; these are also the people least able to exact control over these representations. In saying this, we do not mean to suggest that people not involved in grassroots activism have nothing to contribute and should remain silent. Rather, we are suggesting that conceptualizing the problem on a multiplicity of layers can lead to more fruitful collaborations, such that much of the hard work expended on the subject will not be wasted and have effects opposite the ones they were intended to have. One imagines a coalition that brings people together from various different groups, places and interests; that drafts an agenda firmly rooted in practice and everyday reality; and that divides up work according to peoples' placements, talents, and areas of expertise.

Projects that recognize the continuing importance and relevance of global inequalities and historical burdens to the context of intellectual production do often arise out of direct collaboration; for example, the Nigerian feminist Molara Ogundipe-Leslie has been involved in global feminism since the 1970s, and a new work by Inderpal Grewal and Caren Kaplan, Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices, is the direct outcome of a fundamental belief in collaboration as the way to, in their words, "formulate transnational feminist alliances." [9] Because of this, we think it would be useful for these projects to be more actively pursued and publicly analyzed and discussed amongst scholars of Africa. Such collaborations need not be grand designs. For example, despite the logistical difficulties, everyone knows that it is possible to keep up correspondences between African scholars in Africa and Africanist scholars in the United States; it would be of great benefit to graduate students in both regions if loose institutional affiliations were kept alive over the long-term, and some new sorts of review practices created to facilitate dialogue and intellectual exchange across the Atlantic, such as the practice of exchanging working papers by graduate students in two different universities. This would, in our opinion, offer graduate students in the West the opportunity to conceive of their invisible audience as including colleagues on the continent, offer graduate students in Africa the same thing, plus hard-to-come by resources (such as articles not available at their university libraries), and could result in the creation of new intellectual problematics, ones that would arise out of years of interpenetration and dialogue, ones that could be seen as the products of an entirely new form of boundary-marking, a "collaborative authenticity," if you will. Projects such as these do not address directly the material inequalities that structure scholarship on Africa; they aim, instead, to build more equitable intellectual alliances that recognize these inequalities, work within them, and harness them to agendas set through negotiation and dialogue. They would be a step, we believe, in positively creative alternatives to the trenchant, bitter, and ultimately divisive colonial "insider/outsider" dichotomy with which we must all still contend.

[1] We would like to extend our thanks to Achille Mbembe, Mamadou Diouf, Jane Guyer and Scott George for their helpful comments on this project.

[2] Guyer, Jane. 1996. African Studies in the United States: a Perspective. Atlanta: ASA Press. p. 7.

[3] Miller, Christopher. 1995. Theories of Africans: Francophone Literature and Anthropology in Africa. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 7; Mkandawire, Thandika. 1993. "Problems and Prospects of Social Sciences in Africa" International Social Science Journal. p. 135; Imam, Ayesha and Amina Mama. 1994. "The Role of Academics in Limiting and Expanding Academic Freedom," In: Academic Freedom in Africa. Mahmood Mamdani and Mamadou Diouf (eds.) Dakar/London: CODESRIA. p. 77.

[4] Mafeje, Archie. 1996. "A Commentary on Anthropology and Africa," CODESRIA Bulletin 2. pp. 6-13.

[5] Falk Moore, Sally. 1996. "Concerning Archie Mafeje's Reinvention of Anthropology and Africa," CODESRIA Bulletin, forthcoming.

[6] Massey, Doreen. 1994. Space, Place and Gender. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 150-151.

[7] See, for example: Amadiume, Ifi. 1987. Male Daughters, Female Husbands: Gender and Sex in an African Society. London: Zed. pp. 6-7.

[8] Mekuria, Salem. 1995. "Female Genital Mutilation in Africa: Some African Views," ACAS Bulletin 44/45. pp. 2-6.

[9] Grewal, Inderpal and Caren Kaplan. 1994. "Introduction: Transnational Feminist Practices and Questions of Postmodernity," Scattered Hegemonies: Postmodernity and Transnational Feminist Practices. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press; Ogundipe-Leslie discusses her involvement in "global" feminist organizations in her "Introduction" to her book, Re-Creating Ourselves: African Women and Critical Transformations. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994.

Publishing in African Studies

Janet Rabinowitch, Senior Sponsoring Editor at Indiana University Press, spoke at Penn on October 9th on Publishing in African Studies. African studies is a strength of Indiana University Press. It publishes eight to ten new Africa titles a year in history, anthropology, folklore, and philosophy. They also have particular interests in feminist work, popular culture, and film studies. Rabinowitch described changes that are affecting university presses, suggested how to transform a dissertation into a book manuscript, and detailed the publishing process.

Changes Affecting University Presses

Rabinowitch reported that university presses are currently under great pressure. Whereas they used to sell 2,000 scholarly monographs, now they are more likely to sell 500. This results from a variety of factors. Sales to libraries are declining. There has been a consolidation in the bookselling business with a loss of independent bookstores. Budget cuts in higher education have led to fewer students. The proliferation of bulk packs means the loss of book sales. Professors are trying to attract students and assign less reading, and students don't always read the books that are required. This shrinking market means that presses are very concerned about sales and are searching for books with wide appeal across disciplines and with textbook potential.

Transforming a Dissertation

into a Book Manuscript

Given the constraints that presses now operate under, Rabinowitch emphasized the importance of preparing a marketable book manuscript. A dissertation must be transformed into a book manuscript, the change of audience requiring changes in the manuscript. The primary dissertation audience is the student's committee. For this audience, students assume a lot of knowledge and interest; they do not have to prove the work's significance, and they usually provide exhaustive detail.

A book, however, must be written for a much wider audience. Rabinowitch underscored the importance of standing back from your specialized area and providing the broader picture, a context. The significance of the book must be established -- why it is important, what it contributes, and how it fits into the current field. There must be a clear statement of what you are trying to accomplish in the book and how it relates to broader issues.

When writing, it is very important to focus on the book's structure and its analysis. Subordinate details to the overall design of the book. Do not write as if you are going through your notes. Make sure that all points are clear and the text flows. Avoid long abstracts. It is also valuable to put aside your work periodically and solicit feedback from colleagues. Write and rewrite. It is only through continued rewriting that you see new things that should be changed. Less is more. Long books on specialized topics are difficult to sell. Emphasize a sharp focus and an economy of words.

A well-prepared manuscript is essential. Everything should be doubled-spaced and neat and consistent. Notes should match the bibliography. There should be no misspellings, and gender-neutral language is a must. Presses now also ask that a disk accompany the manuscript.

The Publishing Process

Rabinowitch also detailed the publishing process. When deciding on which university presses to approach, talk to professors. Look at works produced by various presses, and talk to editors at conferences. Consider the presses' review process, editorial expertise, and sales and marketing skills. Once you have chosen the presses, send prospectuses to the appropriate editors using their names. Your prospectus will receive even more attention if you mention someone who knows the editor or the press. It is better still if that person also writes directly to the editor on your behalf.

Send prospectuses to a variety of presses and try to find out who might be interested. A prospectus includes a cover letter, an outline of the aims of the book and its chapters, and your vita. In your cover letter, describe your book; explain its significance and how it fits into the existing literature.

If a press is interested, it will first request a chapter or two, and then the whole manuscript. When submitting the whole manuscript, the press will request an exclusive submission -- meaning that no other presses will receive the whole manuscript. The presses require this because of the significant investment required to review a manuscript. A review usually takes six months. Good reviewers who take time to critique your work and make suggestions are extremely useful, and their comments should be taken seriously. The press will send you the reviewer comments. Editors then have to submit a dossier to the director. They have to explain who the book audience is, why it should be published, whether it has textbook potential, what fields it applies to, and whether it fits the press' focus. These days, authors have to sell their books to the editors, and then editors have to sell the books to the directors.

African Studies Graduate Assistants Study Abroad

The four students who filled the African Studies Center graduate assistant positions during the past three years all recently returned from Africa. Joe Glicksburg and Amanda Seidl-Friedman went for language study; Edda Fields did pre-dissertation research, and Yvonne Teh did dissertation research.

Yvonne Teh, an anthropology student and African Studies graduate assistant in 1993-1994, spent a year and a half in Tanzania from January 1995 to July 1996. She spent two-thirds of her time in Dar es Salaam and one-third in Zanzibar, living with Tanzanian families. Her research was funded by a Penfield Travel Scholarship from Penn and a RISM-Landes grant from the Research Institute for the Study of Man in New York.

Her dissertation research was on the relevance and utility of museums in Tanzania. She was interested in the roles that museums, often considered Western, colonialist, and elitist institutions, have in a non-Western, post-colonial, and poor country like Tanzania. Like many anthropologists, she relied heavily on participant-observation to collect data. While she did some surveys and interviews, she found that the best approach was to spend time hanging out with people. Her best information came from friends. She also attended numerous meetings and official events (i.e., exhibition openings, museum "Open Days," and lecture series). In addition, in Zanzibar, she was recruited to be a museum consultant for the Zanzibar National Museums. Teh emphasized that in order to understand what the museums were doing, she had to understand the social, economic, political, and cultural contexts in which the museums were operating.

Joe Glicksburg, a political science student and African Studies graduate assistant in 1994-1995, spent an academic year in Cairo, Egypt from late August 1995 to June 1996 studying Arabic. He was enrolled at the American University in Cairo where he studied Arabic full-time, and he lived in an apartment in a suburb of Cairo with another graduate student. He was funded by a Fulbright scholarship.

Glicksburg wanted to improve his Arabic to the point where he could more easily do primary source research. Although he had taken Arabic courses in the U.S., his year in Cairo enabled him to boost his language skills by providing concentrated study in an Arabic-speaking environment. He focused on colloquial Egyptian and Modern Arabic, especially contemporary written media. His general interests are Middle-Eastern, North African, and sub-Saharan African (especially the Horn) politics and history. His specific research interests are Egyptian politics and history, including the rise of Egyptian nationalism, changing conceptions of Egyptian collective identify, and the Nasser period.

Amanda Seidl-Friedman, a linguistics student and African Studies graduate assistant in 1995-1996, spent two months this summer studying Swahili in Tanzania with the Group Project Abroad program sponsored by Fulbright and administered by Yale University. The program prepares students for research in Swahili-speaking countries like Tanzania and Kenya. She spent one month in Zanzibar and one month in Arusha. She had intensive Swahili classes and did anthropological-type exercises, such as examining neighborhoods. She met interesting people and heard many dialects of Swahili spoken in Zanzibar.

Edda Fields, a history student, was also an African Studies graduate assistant in 1995-1996. She spent two months this past summer in Guinea and Sierra Leone conducting pre-dissertation research. Working closely with faculty at the Universite de Conakry and at the Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, she revised her dissertation topic on agricultural innovation, cultural contact, and commercialization in the Rio Nunez region. In Guinea she stayed at an apartment provided for visiting researchers, and in Sierra Leone she stayed with friends, having been there twice before. Her research was funded by the Ford Foundation Workshop on States and Identities at Penn and the Department of History.

During her six weeks in Guinea, she spent most of her time in Conakry talking to various people including faculty, refugee officials, and development-types. She also spent time in the national archives. She made two short visits upcountry where she visited a rice project which used both indigenous and improved methods. She saw the bunds, dikes, and dams which local farmers had used for centuries and talked to farmers about indigenous agricultural practices. She also visited the governor, spent time in the archives, and visited a slave castle. During her two weeks in Freetown, Sierra Leone, she spent time in the national archives and renewed contacts with faculty. She also visited the remains of Bunce Island, the slave fort from which her oldest traceable female ancestor was sold.

News Briefs

Popular Culture in Africa Seminar

The annual African Studies Seminar graduate seminar, this year focusing on "Popular Culture in Africa," will be taught in the 1997 spring semester by Timothy Burke, Assistant Professor of African History at Swarthmore College and Sandra Barnes, Professor of Anthropology at Penn. The course will be offered Friday afternoons from 2:00 - 5:00 p.m. In keeping with the African Studies tradition, a lecture series featuring visiting speakers will precede the seminar at 12 noon on alternating Fridays.

The seminar will focus on popular culture in sub-Saharan Africa, examining the ways people reflect on and represent various aspects and issues in their lives, in public media, and through a diverse range of performative and creative outlets. It will look at the ways popular culture, past and present, treats pleasure and pain; identity, difference, and diversity; wealth and power; modernity and history; gender relations; suppression, resistance, and violence; and local versus global processes.

Intensive Swahili

Fulfill half your language requirement in one semester with Intensive Swahili offered this spring. Learn to speak, read, and write KiSwahili. Know the cultural and value system of Swahili-speaking peoples. Learn folktales and cultural skills through films and texts. The class will meet Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 4:00 - 7:30 p.m. in the 1997 spring semester. The course title is Elementary Swahili I & II: Accelerated, and students can register using any one of the following course numbers: AFST 185 680, LING 185 680, or AFAM 185 680 for undergraduate credit and AFST 585 680 or LING 585 680 for graduate credit. For additional information, contact the African Studies Center at 898-6971 or the Penn Language Center at 898-6039.


PASA has three events scheduled for November and December. Tuesday, November 5th is the date of their general monthly meeting, which will feature a mock talk show on the relations among Africans, African-Americans, and Caribbeans on Penn's campus. There will be a panel consisting of members of PASA, CASA, Dessalines, and BSL. It will be held from 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. in Room 205, Steinberg-Dietrich. On November 16th, PASA, CASA, and Dessalines are hosting a semi-formal dinner dance. It will be held at the Newman Center, 3720 Chestnut St. from 8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Tickets will soon be on sale for $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the door. Contact Shamis Abdi at for more information. PASA's December monthly meeting will be a study break for exams on Tuesday, December 3rd. For more information on the monthly meetings contact Adonija Tienou at

Cultural Awareness Day

Penn African language students and their instructors will meet on Saturday, November 9th for their biannual cultural awareness day. The students will wear African clothing and share presentations about the languages and cultures they are studying. A highlight is the potluck of African dishes prepared by the students. The event will be held at W.E.B. DuBois College House multi-purpose room from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Visitors are welcome, but please bring food or drink to share at the potluck.

SSRC Africa Program Director to Speak

The African Studies Center has arranged for Ron Kassimir, Director of the Africa Program at the Social Science Research Council, to lead a discussion on The SSRC and Area-Based Research on December 6th at 12:00 noon in 421 Williams Hall. He will address questions about SSRC funding for Africa and other area studies and the foundation climate in general. In anticipation of his talk, he has provided brochures about SSRC fellowships and proposal writing. Copies are available at the African Studies Center, 642 Williams Hall. If you have any questions you would like him to receive ahead of time, send them to Molly Roth at

African Studies Web Site

Three entries from the African Studies Web site are now featured under "Today's Spotlight," which is part of "NetGuide Live," a new, on-line rating service. The featured items include: African Studies Association, African Studies [home page], and K-12 resources. Their web site address is

Check the What's New link on the African Studies Web site ( African_Studies/AS.html) for a variety of new documents. There are updates on several countries including Angola, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Zaire, and Zambia. Also included are announcements of conferences, events, and job opportunities.


University of Pennsylvania, Course List for Spring, 1997


Africa-focused Courses:

African Studies

AFST 701 401 African Studies Seminar: Popular Culture in F 2:00-5:00 Barnes/Burke


Cross List: ANTH 701, SOCI 701, HIST 701, AFAM 701


ANTH 214 401 Societies and Cultures of Africa T 1:30-4:30 Kopytoff

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Society

ANTH 514 401 Anthropology of Africa T 1:30-4:30 Kopytoff

Asian & Middle Eastern Studies

AMES 062 001 Land of the Pharaohs MW 3:00-4:30 Silverman/Wegner

AMES 465 001 Egyptian Artifacts R 1:30-4:30 Wegner

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 2: History & Tradition

Comparative Literature

COML 203 401 African Literature TR 10:30-12:00 Lund

Folklore and Folklife

FOLK 455 401 African Folklore TR 1:30-3:00 Ben-Amos

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 2: History and Tradition


FREN 390 301 Literature Francophone TR 9:00-10:30 Moudileno

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 3: Arts & Letters


HIST 075 401 African History Before 1800 MW 2:00-3:00 Reese


Fulfills General Requirement: History and Tradition

HIST 206 301 War and Society in African History T 2:00-5:00 Cassanelli

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 2: History and Tradition

HIST 498 401 Africa and the Islamic World R 3:00-6:00 Reese

Cross List: AMES 437

History & Sociology of Science

HSSC 305 301 Health and Healing in Africa TR 1:30-3:00 Feierman

Political Science

PSCI 165 601 Contemporary African Politics TR 6:30-8:00 Shariff

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 1: Society


Penn Language Center:

Amharic: AFST 241/541 680 - Elementary Amharic II MW 4:00-6:30 Hailu

AFST 243/543 680 - Intermediate Amharic II MW 6:45-9:15 Hailu

Swahili: AFST 181/581 680 - Elementary Swahili II TR 4:30-6:15 Omar

AFST 185/585 680 - Accelerated Elementary MWF 4:00-7:30 Shariff

Swahili (Note: 2 c.u's)

AFST 281/583 680 - Intermediate Swahili II MW 4:30-6:15 Omar

AFST 285/586 680 - Advanced Swahili II MW 6:30-8:45 Omar

Yoruba: AFST 171/518 680 - Elementary Yoruba II MW 4:30-6:15 Ogedengbe

AFST 271/532 680 - Intermediate Yoruba II TR 4:30-6:15 Ogedengbe

African AFST 490 680 - African Language Tutorial I TBA Staff

Language AFST 491 680 - African Language Tutorial II TBA Staff


Arabic: AMES 030 001 - Elementary Arabic I and II MTWRF Al-Ghandour


AMES 030 680 - Elementary Arabic I and II TR 6:30-8:45 Allouche

AMES 031 001 - Intermediate Arabic I and II MTWRF Staff


AMES 031 680 - Intermediate Arabic I and II TR 6:30-8:45 Khan

AMES 033 001 - Advanced Intermediate Arabic TR 10:30-12:00 Al-Ghandour

W 4:30-6:00

AMES 530 001 - Advanced Arabic and Syntax TR 10:30-12:00 Rowson

F 2:00-4:00

Egyptian: AMES 560 001 - Late Egyptian TBA Silverman

Fulfills Distribution Requirement 1: Society

Africa-related Courses:


ANTH 483 401 Witchcraft and Sorcery W 2:00-5:00 Kopytoff

Cross List: RELS 417

City & Regional Planning

CPLN 437 401 Housing Planning in Developing Countries M 12:00-3:00 Hoek-Smit

Cross List: CPLN 737


DEMG 622 401 Fertility T 2:00-5:00 Menken

Cross List: SOCI 622


ECON 760 001 Development Economics M 6:00-9:00 Foster


EDUC 810 001 Cultural Perspectives on Human Development W 2:00-4:00 Wagner

Folklore and Folklife

FOLK 560 401 The African Diaspora M 2:00-4:00 Staff

Cross List: AFST 560


HIST 011 001 The World: History and Modernity MW 3:00-4:30 Lees/Cassanelli

Fulfills General Requirement: History and Tradition

History & Sociology of Science

HSSC 539 301 Science and Colonialism T 1:30-4:30 Kuklick H


MUSC 022 401 World Music and Cultures MWF 11:00- Morelli

Cross List: ANTH 022, FOLK 022 12:00

Fulfills General Requirement: Arts and Letters

MUSC 022 601 World Music and Cultures M 4:30-7:10 Staff

Fulfills General Requirement: Arts and Letters

MUSC 705 401 Seminar in Ethnomusicology M 2:00-5:00 Staff

Political Science

PSCI 116 001 Political Change in the Third World TR 12:00-1:30 Sil

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Society

PSCI 532 301 Political Economy of North-South Relations W 10:00-1:00 Callaghy

Fulfills Distribution Requirement: Society

Social Work

SWRK 750 001 Comparative Studies in Social Welfare W 6:00-7:50 Estes

Wharton School

PPMT 789 001 Politics, States and Markets in Less Developed TR 3:00-4:30 Pack


Calendar of Events

November 2, 1996 to February 2, 1997

Mysteries of the Maghreb: Rugs and Textiles of North Africa

Arthur Ross Gallery

220 South 34th Street

November 5, 1996

PASA General Meeting

A Mock Talk Show on the

Relations among Africans, African-Americans, and Caribbeans

7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Room 205, Steinberg-Dietrich

University of Pennsylvania

November 6, 1996

Administering U.S. Policy to Africa in the Field

Jerold North

former Ambassador to Djibouti and DCM in Somalia

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

121 Stokes, Haverford College

November 7, 1996

1996 Honorable A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr. Lecture

Rethinking Black Liberation Past, Present, and Future

Dr. Manning Marable

Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies, Columbia University

5:00 p.m.

Room 110, Annenberg School for Communication

3680 Walnut Street, University of Pennsylvania

November 9, 1996

Cultural Awareness Day

held by Penn African Languages

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Multi-Purpose Room, DuBois College House

University of Pennsylvania

November 11, 1996

Localizing Modernity

Kwame Anthony Appiah

Harvard University

12:00 - 2:30 p.m.

History Lounge, Room 329A

3401 Walnut St., University of Pennsylvania

November 15, 1996

Tales of Remembering and Forgetting

Nozipo Maraire

Neurosurgeon and Novelist

Yale University Medical School

12:00 noon

Williams Hall, Room 421 West

University of Pennsylvania

November 15, 1996


Fall African Studies Party

Food, music, drink, and dancing

7:00 - 11:00 p.m.

Undergraduate Lounge, Stiteler Hall

37th and Locust Walk, University of Pennsylvania

November 16, 1996

PASA, CASA and Dessalines

Semi-Formal Dinner Dance

8:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

Newman Center, 3720 Chestnut St.

Tickets $8.00 in advance, $10.00 at the door

Contact Shamis Abdi at

November 17, 1996

Concert in Museum Gallery

African Rhythms

Penn African drum and dance troupe

The troupe performs rhythms and dances from

West Africa, the Caribbean and South America

2:30 p.m.

33rd & Spruce, University of Pennsylvania Museum

November 24, 1996

Man by the Shore/L'Homme Sur Les Quais

1992 movie directed by Raoul Peck

Story of a young women who recalls her childhood in the 1960s during Papa Doc Duvalier's regime in Haiti

2:30 p.m.

Neighborhood Film/Video Project

International House of Philadelphia, 3701 Chestnut St.

December 3, 1996

PASA General Meeting

Study Break for Exams

Date and Time TBA

Contact Adonija Tienou at

December 6, 1996

A Discussion on The SSRC and Area-Based Research

with Ron Kassimir, Director, Africa Program, SSRC

12:00 noon

Williams Hall, Room 421 West

University of Pennsylvania

December 8, 1996

World Culture Day: Peace Around the World

A festive afternoon celebration for children that

looks at traditional holidays of the season including

Kwanza, Hanukkah, Christmas, and Milad an-Nabi

1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

33rd & Spruce, University of Pennsylvania Museum



Coca-Cola Foundation and Michigan State University

The Coca-Cola Foundation and Michigan State University have joined forces to increase the number of U.S. college students and high school teachers who go abroad. The foundation has given Michigan State $50,000, an amount the university has matched, to award individual grants of up to $5,000 for study in one of 80 overseas programs sponsored by the university in Africa, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East and other parts of Asia. Undergraduate and graduate students from any accredited institution in the United States, along with high school foreign language teachers, are eligible. Grant winners can spend either a summer or a semester overseas. About 30 summer grants and 10 semester-long grants will be awarded in the first year. Michigan State will begin sending out applications soon. Information about the program may be obtained from the Study Abroad Office at Michigan State, fax 517-432-2082.

International Predissertation Fellowship Program

The Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies will continue their International Predissertation Fellowship Program to increase the flow of the most talented students of social science into careers in advanced research on the developing world and to encourage departments of social sciences to more effectively promote and facilitate interdisciplinary preparation for research in developing countries.

The program provides an opportunity for graduate students in doctoral programs to pursue training that will prepare them to conduct theoretically sophisticated dissertation research on the developing world that is informed by knowledge of local language, history, and culture. The application deadline for Penn is January 2, 1997. For further information contact Dean Walter Licht, 16 College Hall or Ellen Perecman, Social Science Research Council, 810 Seventh Avenue, New York, New York, 10019, 212-377-2700, fax: 212-377-2727.


The School for International Training

The School for International Training is seeking academic directors for the 1997 spring semester. There are positions available in Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya upcountry, Kenya coast, Madagascar, Mali, South Africa, and Tanzania. Candidates should send resumes and cover letters to Christine Spaulding, School for International Training, Academic Studies Abroad, P.O. Box 676, Kipling Road, Brattleboro, VT 05302-0676.

Operation Crossroads Africa, Inc.

Operations Crossroads Africa, Inc. is accepting applications for their 1997 summer work/travel/study program in Africa. They are also accepting applications for Group Leader positions. This is an intense working and learning experience at the grassroots level in Africa. Students usually arrange with their schools to receive credit for their experience. Crossroads sponsors several categories of projects including community development, agricultural, anthropology, public health, wildlife management, computer literacy, African music, and teaching English. Crossroads participants live in Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Eritrea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

The program runs from the end of June to mid-August. There is a several-day orientation in New York prior to leaving. Crossroads staff and alumni help participants raise the necessary funds for expenses. Contributions are tax-deductible. The earlier one applies, the better. For more information contact LaVerne Brown at Operation Crossroads Africa, 475 Riverside Dr., Suite 831, N.Y., N.Y., 10115-0050. Phone 212-870-2106, fax 212-870-2055, and e-mail

Visions in Action

Visions in Action, an international non-profit organization founded in 1988, offers one-year volunteer positions in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and South Africa to work with non-profit development and media organizations. Opportunities are possible in agriculture, communications, environment, nutrition, human rights/law, health, small business, and more. Volunteers select positions within their area of preference according to their skills, and interests.

Internships are also available in the Washington, D.C. office in international administration, public relations, fundraising, recruiting, and special projects for a period of three months. For more information contact Visions in Action, 2710 Ontario Road, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20009. Phone 202-625-7403, fax 202-625-2352, and e-mail


XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies

The XIIIth International Conference of Ethiopian Studies will be held December 12-17, 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. The coming conference will be the first to be held in East Asia and will be sponsored by the Japan Association for Nilo-Ethiopian Studies. Pre-registration deadline is November 30, 1996. Abstracts for papers are due by March 31, 1997, and papers are due June 30, 1997. For further information contact XIIIth ICES Project Office, c/o Katsuyoshi Fukui, Faculty of Integrated Human Studies, Kyoto University, Sakyo, Kyoto 606-01 Japan. Phone +81-75-753-6614, Fax +81-75-753-6615, e-mail, and web site:

1997 African Literature Association Conference

The twenty-third Annual Conference of the African Literature Association presents FESPACO Nights in Michigan: African Film and Literature hosted by Michigan State University. The conference will be held April 16-19, 1997 at the Kellogg Center. It will focus on recent developments in African film, although papers on literature will be welcomed. The deadline for submission of proposals is November 15, 1996. Plenary sessions will feature African and African-American film makers, writers, and critics, including Assia Djebar, Gaston Kabore, Tsitsi Dangaremgba, Flora M'mbugu-Schelling, Bassek Ba Kobhio, Ngozi Onwurah, Francois Woukouache, Manthia Diawara, Trin T. Minh-ha, Charles Burnett, and others. For more information, contact Kenneth W. Harrow, Dept. of English, Morrill Hall, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1036, 517-353-7243, fax 517-353-3755, and e-mail


Africa on the Internet

The Africa Policy Information Center offers access to the full text, with graphics, of Africa on the Internet, a background paper on the status of Internet connectivity on the continent. The paper covers the use of communication tools, such as e-mail and bulletin boards, and information on where to find related policy information, mailing lists, and newsgroups on the Internet. The Web address is

The Association for Third World Studies

The Association for Third World Studies maintains an e-mail list, ThrWrld, over which a good deal of news items are (re)posted concerning events in countries of Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific. To subscribe, send an e-mail message (no subject) to In the body of the message type SUBSCRIBE ThrdWrld (then your first and last names).

African Studies Center

Important Names and Numbers

University of Pennsylvania

642 Williams Hall

Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

215-898-6971 Fax: 215-573-8130

Director and Staff

Prof. Sandra T. Barnes, Director


Dr. Alwiya Omar, Language Coordinator


Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Outreach Coordinator


Lynette Loose, Program Coordinator


URL for African Studies

World Wide Web:

Dept info:

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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