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African Studies Centre at Oxford

African Studies Centre at Oxford

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The University of Oxford is one of the world's leading centres for the study of Africa. In every Faculty and Division across the University there are active research programmes focused on the continent. The African Studies Centre, within the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, acts as a focal point for graduate level work and faculty research on Africa. Alongside the vibrant doctoral programmes, the MSc in African Studies, inaugurated in 2006, is already recognised as Europe's most prestigious and successful training programme in its field.


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  • Democracy in Africa
    Wed, Oct 14, 2015


    Booklaunch of Democracy in Africa which provides the 1st comprehensive overview of the history of contemporary democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa and explains why the continent's democratic experiments have so often failed, as well as how they could succeed. Speakers: Professor Nic Cheeseman, Oxford University; Professor Stephen Chan OBE, SOAS; Dr Phil Clark, SOAS. Chaired by Professor Catherine Boone, LSE. Beginning in the colonial period with the introduction of multi-party elections and ending in 2013 with the collapse of democracy in Mali and South Sudan, the book describes the rise of authoritarian states in the 1970s; the attempts of trade unions and some religious groups to check the abuse of power in the 1980s; the remarkable return of multiparty politics in the 1990s; and finally, the tragic tendency for elections to exacerbate corruption and violence.During this event the author Professor Nic Cheeseman and a panel of experts will explore some of the most important questions facing Africa and democracy today in the wake of recent events in Burkina Faso, Burundi, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

  • African Studies Annual Lecture Is Africa Rising?
    Thu, Jul 02, 2015


    Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, gives the 2015 Annual Lecture for the African Studies Centre.

  • Media, Conflict and Democracy in Africa
    Wed, Jun 25, 2014


    Joint Seminar of the African Studies Centre and Reuters Institute. Speakers; Catherine Gichuru (Editor, Nairobi Star, Kenya), Winston Mano (Westminster, editor, Journal of African Media Studies), Nic Cheeseman (African Studies, Oxford), Alexandra Reza (IR, Oxford), Chaired by David Levy (Reuters Institute, Oxford)

  • African Studies and OCAF Seminar: Staying Out of Place: The Dialectics of Being and Becoming in Exceptional Spaces
    Tue, Feb 18, 2014


    Simon Turner, Aalborg University, Denmark, gives a talk for the African Studies Centre Based on ethnographic fieldwork in two exceptional spaces, namely among Burundian refugees living clandestinely in Nairobi and living in a refugee camp in Tanzania, the article argues that displacement can be about staying out of place in order to find a place in the world in the future and is therefore closely linked to temporarily and temporariness. I suggest that the term dis-placement described this sense of not only being out of place but also being en route to a future. Burundians in the camp and the city are doing their best to remain out of place, in transition between a lost past and a future yet to come, and the temporary nature of their sojourn is maintained in everyday practices so that they may remain displaced; on their way to something else. The article argues that such everyday practices are policed by powerful actors in the camp and are ingrained in practices of self-discipline in Nairobi. Comparing the two settings demonstrates that displacement can take on different forms, just as non-places or states of exception are different according to context.

  • African Studies and Horn of Africa Seminar: South Sudan Crisis Roundtable
    Tue, Feb 18, 2014


    Roundtable discussion looking at the ongoing crisis in South Sudan Chair: Jason Mosley, Chatham House and African Studies Centre, Speakers: Annette Weber, SWP Berlin, Douglas Johnson, author of "the Root Causes of Sudan'd Civil Wars, Peter Biar Ajak, Cambridge University, Discussant: Dr Ahmed Al-Shahi, Middle East Centre, Oxford University

  • 'Live Dangerously Brothers': Liberia's Ex-Combatants and their place in the post war city
    Tue, Jan 28, 2014


    Danny Hoffman, Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington, gives a talk for the African Studies seminar series

  • What are friends for? Friendship and Public life in the post colony: African Studies Centre Annual Lecture 2013
    Tue, Aug 13, 2013


    Wale Adebanwi, Associate Professor, African American and African Studies, University of California-Davies, gives the 2013 African Studies Annual Lecture.

  • Transitional justice in the Somali setting
    Wed, Jul 24, 2013


    Markus Hoehne, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, gives a talk for the Horn of Africa seminar series workshop 'Post-transitional' directions in the Somalias on 30th April 2013.

  • State-building in Somali Studies: Future framework
    Mon, Jul 22, 2013


    Part of the Post-transitional directions in the Somalias, Horn of Africa Seminar Series workshop.

  • Insider-outsider and gendered dynamics for Somali researchers in Somalia
    Mon, Jul 22, 2013


    Part of the Post-transitional directions in the Somalias, Horn of Africa Seminar Series workshop.

  • The evolving role of Islamist groups in Somali politics
    Mon, Jul 22, 2013


    Part of the Post-transitional directions in the Somalias, Horn of Africa Seminar Series workshop.

  • Crisis and displacement; different solutions for different kinds of displaced
    Mon, Jul 22, 2013


    Part of the Post-transitional directions in the Somalias, Horn of Africa Seminar Series workshop.

  • Growing up in the New South Africa
    Mon, Mar 11, 2013


    Rachel Bray (Independent Scholar, Oxford) gives a talk for the African Studies seminar series on 7th March, 2013.

  • The return of garrison rule in the Ethiopian Ogaden, 2006-2012
    Mon, Mar 11, 2013


    Tobias Hagmann (Roskilde University) gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar Series on 28 February, 2013.

  • Human rights in Africa: opportunities and challenges
    Thu, Mar 07, 2013


    The Bram Fischer Memorial Lecture 2013. Navi Pillay, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights gives a talk about human rights in Africa.

  • The ANC in Exile
    Mon, Feb 25, 2013


    Stephen Ellis (Free University, Amsterdam) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre seminar series on the African National Congress (ANC).

  • 'Now we are all workers.' The remaking of marginality on the streets of Addis Ababa's inner city
    Wed, Feb 13, 2013


    Marco Di Nunzio (Universit? Libre de Bruxelles) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre seminar series on 7th February 2013.

  • The British Army and Mau Mau, 1952-56
    Mon, Feb 04, 2013


    Huw Bennett (Aberystwyth University), gives a talk for the African Studies Centre seminar series on the British Army and Kenyan Mau Mau.

  • 2012 Annual African Studies lecture. Diaspora and Spiritual Awakening: Religion and the Politics of Race and Empire in the Life of Kwame Nkrumah
    Tue, May 22, 2012


    Emmanuel Akyeampong (Harvard) gives the 2012 Annual African Studies Centre Lecture.

  • Surviving on the Margins: Youth and the Underground Oil Economy in the Niger Delta
    Tue, May 15, 2012


    Paul Ugor (Birmingham) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre Seminar Series on 10th May 2012.

  • Somalia after the London Meeting: How Much Difference Does a Day Make?
    Tue, May 08, 2012


    Laura Hammond (SOAS) gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar series. In association with the Horn of Africa Seminar.

  • Squatter movements in the Vaal Triangle
    Mon, Mar 12, 2012


    Dr Noor Nieftagodien (University of Witwatersrand) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre on 8th March 2012.

  • Buganda Nationalism in the 21st Century
    Mon, Mar 05, 2012


    Dr Florence Brisset-Foucault, Research Associate, Cambridge, gives a talk for the African Studies Centre seminar series.

  • Kenya's Somalia Invasion: Security, Development and Humanitarian Assistance in Eastern Africa
    Fri, Feb 24, 2012


    Professor David Anderson gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar series on 23rd February 2012.

  • The Legitimation of Criminal Justice in Post-Genocide Rwanda: international, national and localised courts
    Tue, Feb 21, 2012


    Dr Nikki Palmer (Oxford) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre seminar series on 8th February.

  • The Politics of Ethnicity in Ethiopia: Actors, Power and Mobilisation under Ethnic Federalism
    Mon, Feb 06, 2012


    Louise Aalen, Bergen University, gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar Series on 2nd February 2012.

  • Who Killed Dag Hammarskj?ld? The UN, the Cold War, and White Supremacy in Africa
    Mon, Jan 23, 2012


    Dr Susan Williams (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London)gives a talk for the African Studies Centre Seminar Series on 19 January.

  • The Killing Fields: The Impact of the Global Arms Trade on Africa
    Tue, Nov 29, 2011


    Andrew Feinstein gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar series on the arms trade and its impact on Africa.

  • Zimbabwe's Fast Track Land Reform: Politics, Production and Accumulation
    Fri, Nov 18, 2011


    Phillan Zamchiya (International Development/St Antonys), gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar Series.

  • Potency and the Role of the Environment in KhoeSan medicine
    Fri, Nov 18, 2011


    Chris Low, African Studies, Oxford, gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar Series.

  • African Local Knowledge: Natural, Biomedical and Supernatural Ideas about Livestock Health
    Fri, Nov 18, 2011


    Karen Brown (Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine) and William Beinart (African Studies/St Antony's) give a talk for the African Studies seminar series.

  • Power, Ambition and Ideas in the political career of Apartheid Prime Minister H F Verwoerd
    Tue, Nov 08, 2011


    Jonny Steinberg, (African Studies/St Antony's) gives a talk for the African Studies Centre Seminar Series.

  • The Ecology of Conflict: Human-Wildlife Conflict on the Hwange National Park Boundary, Zimbabwe'
    Mon, Oct 31, 2011


    Andrew Loveridge (Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Zoology) gives a talk for the St John's College Colloquium on Environmental Conflict and its Resolution (joint event with Oxpeace and Human Sciences).

  • Climate Change and Conflict in Sudan: what if development is not the answer to save Darfur?
    Mon, Oct 31, 2011


    Harry Verhoeven (Politics/St Cross) gives a talk for the St John's College Colloquium on Environmental Conflict and its Resolution (joint event with Oxpeace and Human Sciences).

  • Ethnic violence, water scarcity and managing resources to promote peace
    Mon, Oct 31, 2011


    Karen Witsenburg (Both ENDS and Max Plank Institute for Anthropology) gives a talk for the College Colloquium on Environmental Conflict and its Resolution (joint event with Oxpeace and Human Sciences).

  • Cruising through Uncertainty: Mobile Phone Practices and the Politics of Respect in Southern Mozambique
    Thu, Oct 27, 2011


    Julie Archambault (African Studies/St Annes College), gives a talk for the African Studies Centre.

  • ORENGA Special Lecture - Fashola's Lagos: the man, the method, the megacity
    Thu, Oct 27, 2011


    Babatunde Fashola, Governor of Lagos State, Nigeria, gives a special lecture for the African Studies Centre.

  • Witchcraft and the Colonial Life of the Fetish (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Wed, Jun 22, 2011


    Professor Florence Bernault (Wisconsin) presents her work on the historical role of 'fetish' and 'witchcraft' in colonial Africa and the historical development of their linguistic uses.

  • 'Rubber Will Not Keep in this Country' - Failed Development in Benin, 1897-1921 (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Wed, Jun 22, 2011


    Dr James Fenske (Oxford) presents his ongoing research on the history of the rubber trade in Benin, and presents a comparative study to other areas of rubber trade in West Africa.

  • The Politics of Legal Pluralism: the Case of Community Policing in Mozambique and Swaziland (African Studies Seminar)
    Wed, Jun 22, 2011


    Helene Maria Kyed (DIIS) looks at the role of community policing in Mozambique and Swaziland.

  • Worldliness, Citiness, Postcolonial Life and Thinking from the South
    Wed, Jun 01, 2011


    Achille Mbembe, Professor of Social Theory, University of Stellenbosch, gives the second 2011 Africa Studies Annual lecture on 26th May 2011.

  • 'City, Art, Motion: Rethinking the "Now" in Johannesburg' (Annual Lecture 2011)
    Wed, Jun 01, 2011


    Sarah Nuttal, Research Professor, Department of English, University of Stellenbosch, gives the first 2011 African Studies Annual Lecture on 26th May 2011.

  • Ethnicity, Power and Kinship. Female Chiefs in Tanzania, 1870-1940
    Mon, May 23, 2011


    Heide Schmidt, Professor of African Studies, University of Vienna, gives a talk for the African Studies Seminar series on 16th May, 2011.

  • Pan-African Solidarity in the Central African Federation, 1953-1963 (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Tue, May 17, 2011


    Zoe Grove, PhD student at Keele University, presents her research on the history of the Central African Federation, especially looking at the issues of cross-border migration and the movement of ideas.

  • How to Build a Successful Opposition Party in Africa (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Tue, May 17, 2011


    Michael Sata, President of Zambia's leading opposition party, the Patriotic Front (PF), presents a talk on what it means to lead an opposition party in Zambia.

  • Women, Sports and Societies in Colonial and Postcolonial Africa (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Fri, May 13, 2011


    As part of the Women's Sport in Africa conference (University of Oxford, 7 Mar 2011), Prof. Nauright (George Mason Univeristy) presents on historical research looking at sports in Africa, with a particular view to women's sport and his own work.

  • Support Democracy Abroad: The Record in Africa
    Mon, Mar 14, 2011


    Prof Thomas Carothers, Vice President for Studies, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Nuffield College, gives a talk for the Rothmere American Institute on 2nd Feb 2011.

  • The Fischer Lecture: Human Rights and the Law in South Africa (African Studies Seminar/Rhodes House Trust)
    Sun, Mar 06, 2011


    George Bizos SC, human rights lawyer and defense barrister for Nelson Mandela, gives the 2011 Bram Fischer lecture at the Rhodes House, Oxford.

  • Politics and Genocide: Rwanda (African Studies Seminar)
    Sun, Mar 06, 2011


    Dr Omar McDoom (London School of Economics) looks at a single community in southern Rwanda, using spatial mapping, in order to understand why some people chose to kill during the violence and others did not.

  • Encountering Islam in Eastern African: Transnational History and Imperialism, c. 1880-1930 (Global and Imperial History Research Seminar)
    Wed, Feb 09, 2011


    Prof. Anderson (Oxford University) examines the tumultuous history in the Jubaland area of southern Somalia and northern Kenya at the turn of the 20th century. (Presented in the Global and Imperial History Research Seminar). Professor David Anderson (Oxford University, African Studies Centre) presents research on the history of Jubaland, located in Southern Somalia and, previously until 1924, part of the Kenya colony and East African protectorate.Focused on the tumultuous history of British involvement in this area, Prof. Anderson uses the themes of Islam, imperialism(s), and transnational history to understand what was going on in this region at the turn of the 20th century.Anderson offers possible insights for the troubles facing this region today. (Presented at the Global and Imperial History Research Seminar, History Faculty, University of Oxford, http://www.history.ox.ac.uk)

  • The case of the slave ship Progresso: the Royal Navy, the trans-Atlantic slave trade and the Cape (African Studies Centre Seminar)
    Wed, Feb 09, 2011


    Prof. Harries examines the surprising role the Cape played in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and the challenges the Royal Navy was forced to deal with in stopping slave ships. Professor Patrick Harries' (Basel University) examination of the historical role the Cape area played in the Trans-Atlantic slave trade offers significant conclusions on the challenges the Royal Navy faced in prohibiting the slave trade, the reality of conditions aboard slave ships, and how historians might view P.G. Hill's classic work 'Fifty Days on Board a Slave Vessel'.

  • Dambisa Moyo Lecture (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Tue, Feb 01, 2011


    Dambisa Moyo, the internationally renowned author and economist, presents material from her books, Dead Aid and How the West Was Lost, looking at the policies that affect both Africa and the West. Dambisa Moyo, the internationally renowned author and economist, shares her thoughts on the policies affecting both Africa and the West in this lecture given at Oxford's Rhodes House.Utilizing research from her books 'Dead Aid' and 'How the West Was Lost', Ms. Moyo challenges the policy choices the West has made, both towards Africa and internally, and the detrimental effect they have had - and are continuing to have. [African Studies Centre, Oxford. http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk]

  • 100 Years of 'Struggle' Between the Polity and the Market in South Africa (African History and Politics Seminar)
    Sat, Jan 29, 2011


    'A Luta Continua! Reflections on 100 Years of "Struggle" Between the Polity and the Market in South Africa', presented by Dr Jesmond Blumenfeld (Brunel). Dr. Jesmond Blumenfeld (Brunel, Oxford Analytica) looks at the history of economic policies and the marketplace over the last 100 years in South Africa.He further examines the continuity within the polity-marketplace relationship during and post-apartheid. [African Studies Centre, Oxford. http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk]

  • 20 Years of Multi-Partyism in Kenya (African Studies Seminar)
    Tue, Jan 25, 2011


    A roundtable discussion examining the current state of Kenyan politics, twenty years after it changed to a multi-party state. The change to multi-partyism in Kenya in the early 1990s brought with it the hope of significant developments for the East African country.This roundtable discussion examines, through presentations by scholars, a former Kenyan official, a journalist, and Great Britain's former ambassador to Kenya, what changes multi-partyism has had on Kenya.The panel includes (in order of presentation): Gabrielle Lynch, Leigh Gardner, Lillian Cherotich, Sir Edward Clay, Michela Wrong, and John Githongo.The round-table is moderated by David Anderson. [African Studies Centre, Oxford. http://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk]

  • Development as an Alien Culture: the purposes of governance in South Africa
    Mon, Jul 26, 2010


    Dr Jonny Steinberg gives the 2010 Africa Studies Centre Annual lecture held on 11th June 2010, Nissan Lecture Theatre, St Antony's College, Oxford University.

  • Islam, the ‘Originaires’ and the making of the public space in a colonial city: Saint Louis of Senegal
    Tue, Jun 16, 2009


    Mamadou Diouf from the University of Columbia gives the 2009 African Studies Annual Lecture on the influence of Islam in Post-Colonial Africa, in particular, the public spaces of the former French Colonial City of St Louis in Senegal.

  • Detective Fictions: In Pursuit of Sovereignty in the Postcolony
    Tue, May 05, 2009


    Professor Jean Comaroff gives the 2008 African Studies Annual Lecture on the situation in South Africa, the rise of crime and violence as well as the rise private security companies and belief in the supernatural forces of witchcraft.

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