Duke's global centers & initiatives


Concilium on Southern Africa

Mission Statement

The Concilium on Southern Africa (COSA) is an interdisciplinary network of faculty members committed to widening and deepening relationships between Duke and the countries and peoples of Southern Africa.

COSA offers ongoing opportunities for Duke faculty, students and the local community to engage with issues pertaining to Southern Africa. To this end, COSA

  • Coordinates discussion groups, faculty and student exchanges, and visits to Duke by Southern African scholars, artists and social commentators
  • Provides a forum to share research, reports on student visits, and educational experiences
  • Explores issues relating to Southern Africa through reading groups and lectures
  • Organizes conferences and seminars to expand knowledge of, and deepen relationships with Southern Africa
  • Welcomes faculty members and other professionals in the Triangle interested in engagement with Southern Africa.

Summary of 2019-2020 Programs

This year, COSA hosted seven events. In the fall, the first event was The Media’s Mugabe, a discussion with Duke professor Tsitsi Jaji on the media’s relationship with Robert Mugabe and what his legacy might look like. On October 24, Marissa Moorman gave a talk on Angolan radio and the state, 1931-2002, which focused on the entanglement of sentiment, technology and power in the history of radio in Southern Africa. On October 29, COSA co-sponsored Mobile Phones in Africa: A Daily Revolution, which featured Papa Sow speaking on cell phones in Africa, highlighting their rapid,massive spread across the continent, in both urban and rural areas. The final event of the semester was Poetry in Zimbabwe Todaywith two of Zimbabwe’s most vital poets, Batsirai Chigama and Togara Muzanenhamo. Chigama and Muzanenhamo participated in a poetry reading and conversation with the public and one of Tsitsi Jaji’s English classes. In the spring, COSA hosted two events with the Honorable Dikgang Moseneke, a Duke University Rubenstein Fellow during the spring semester. Mosenekegave the Robert R. Wilson Distinguished Lecture co-hosted by the Office of the Provost, the Sanford School of Public Policy, and the Duke Law School. The event was part of Duke’s 2020 Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration. Additionally, Moseneke joined Duke faculty Anne-Maria Makhulu for a discussion on the #FeesMustFall student protests in South Africa. Finally, filmmaker Cherif Keita joined Tsitsi Jaji for a screening and discussion of his documentary “Remembering Nokutela,” a film about the wife of the founding President of South Africa’s ANC, and an educator, contributor to the Zulu Newspaper Ilanga Lase Natal, musician and composer of great talent. The film prompted the rediscovery of Nokutela’s unmarked grave, and returned her to a place of honor in South African history nearly a century after her death, at age 44.

2019-2020 Notable Programs

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