The Africa Initiative (AI) is a faculty-led initiative that brings together scholars from across Duke University and the Duke University Health System who have a shared interest, through their research or programmatic activities, in the countries and cultures of the African continent. The goals of the initiative are to:
- build connections between schools, programs, institutes and departments;
- continue to foster new collaborations across disciplines;
- transport existing knowledge gained whether in Durham or the African continent to other Duke locations around the globe;
- and explore and pursue new funding opportunities and sponsored research.
Summary of 2020-2021
Due to the pandemic, the Africa Initiative was largely in hiatus this year, and sponsored or co-sponsored a dozen events only: Duke Performances’ Black Atlantic series, and a handful of faculty- and student-initiated events and projects—on a come-as basis.
Among the events we sponsored or co-sponsored were collaborations with the Department of International Comparative Studies, Duke University Center for International and Global Studies, Duke Performances, the Forum for Scholars and Publics, and the Franklin Humanities Institute.
Notable events include two Wednesdays at the Center programs: “A Luta Continua (The Struggle Continues): Anti-Racism in South Africa and the US,” featuring Anne-Maria Makhulu, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and African and African American Studies at Duke, and AI Co-Director Charles Piot; and “Perspectives on Anti-Blackness in the Arab World,” which featured a panel of Africa scholars—Moses E. Ochonu (Professor of History at Vanderbilt University), Yasmin Moll (Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan), and Afifa Ltifi (Ph.D. student, Department of African Studies at Cornell University.
This year, the Africa Initiative did not give student awards as our funding goes towards student-led events.
2020-2021 Notable Programs