A-to-Z Index



Upcoming Events

"The World of the Kanga: Stories of an East African Cloth" Opening Reception

Friday, February 7, 2014
Spitzer Art Center, 486 W. Market Street, Harrisonburg

View the flyer for more information.

Past Events

5th Africana Studies Annual Interdisciplinary Conference

REVOLUTION: Reclaiming Tradition, Redefining Change in Africa and the Diaspora
October 17-18, 2013
Events located in Memorial Hall on Oct. 17 and the Festival Conference and Student Center on Oct. 18.

View the full schedule.


“The Ground We Stand On: Women and Africa in Scholarship and Activism”
Presented by Achola Pala (a global advisor on women's rights in governance, land and livelihoods)
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Taylor Hall, Room 404

Dr. Achola Pala, a Kenyan anthropologist, is a renowned feminist thinker, researcher and educator; and one of the leading social scientists in Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology and a Master's degree in Education from Harvard University, as well as an undergraduate degree in the Humanities (Literature) and Social Sciences (Sociology) from the University College, Dar-as-Salaam, Tanzania. She is an acclaimed research scientist, rights advocate and public speaker with extensive travel in Africa and numerous multimedia appearances worldwide. Currently she holds the position of Global Advisor of the Huairou Commission and is based in Nairobi, Kenya.

David Owusu-Ansah               

"Researching Islamic Education in Ghana"
Presented by David Owusu-Ansah
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Transitions, Warren Hall

Dr. David Owusu-Ansah, a professor of history at JMU, discussed the research process   behind his book “Islamic Learning, The State and the Challenges of Education in Ghana.” The book analyzes governmental attempts to introduce secular education through Islamic schools in a country where Muslims are a religious minority. This event was sponsored by the Africana Studies minor program and the Office of Cross Disciplinary Studies and Planning. Copies of Owusu-Ansah's book were available for purchase. Discussion and a reception followed.

"From Mothers to Presidents:  A Linguistic Analysis of Media Portrayal of Two Female African Presidents"
Presented by Jemima Asabea Anderson
Monday, December 3, 2012
Harrison Hall, Room 2105

Jemima Asabea Anderson, Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, University of Ghana, Legon, examined the media representation of two female African Political leaders: Ellen Sirleaf Johnson and Joyce Banda from a linguistic perspective. Several studies have shown that the media represent female politicians in ways that question or undermine their authority, competence and credibility as politicians (Ross, 1995, Kahn, 1996; Lithgow, 2000 and Gidengil and Everitt, 2003).  Findings show that there are differences between the media presentations of these two female African political leaders.  On the basis of the findings, she argued that there seems to be a reduction of gender imbalances in the way female African political leaders are portrayed, especially in the international media. She attributes this development to greater sensitivity about gender biases and professionalism on the part of the reporters.

4th Africana Studies Annual Interdisciplinary Conference

Greening the Diaspora: Dispersing Seeds, Growing Cultures
October 18-19, 2012
Festival Conference & Student Center

The conference featured scholars from across the globe presenting papers, panels, artistic renderings, posters and other presentations on the theme "Green the Diaspora: Dispersing Seeds, Growing Cultures." Participating scholars took on a multidimensional and multifaceted inquiry into this question of the Diaspora. This concept lends itself to studies of the African Diaspora as it manifests in all parts of the world. These discussions included, but were not limited to, those particular cultural forms established as a result of ancient trade routes, of the enslavement experiences and their global dispersal of African people, as well as more contemporary African cultural forms in the Diaspora that continue to grow and change in modern societies. With this idea of "greening" we had as well an opportunity to talk about the valuing of the environment and of the conservation of these material elements of culture that could very well be lost because of neglect.