Innovative Language Course Piloted at SPH: Swahili with a Health Focus

May 3rd, 2016 in Center News.

Boston University’s African Studies Center (ASC), an affiliated center of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, piloted a Swahili language course designed for Masters of Public Health candidates during the Spring 2016 semester, and students discussed the benefits of the course as well as the close the ties between the School of Public Health and the African Studies Center.

The class, Swahili With a Health Focus (CAS LE491), emphasizes Swahili language useful in conducting fieldwork and surveys, as well as cultural specific notions of health. 

Jennifer Beard, Assistant Professor of Global Health, took the class this semester, and said the African Studies Center provides a link for faculty and students at the Medical Campus to colleagues on the Charles River Campus with similar research areas.


20th Issue of “Mother Tongue” dedicated to Dr. Harold C. Fleming (1926-2015)

May 3rd, 2016 in Center News.

In honor of Harold C. Fleming, emeritus professor of Anthropology and African Studies at BU, who passed this past year in Gloucester, MA, the 20th issue of Mother Tongue, a journal of linguistics he founded in 1995, will be dedicated to his memory. The issue will include articles by several eminent anthropologists and genetic linguists, including Stephen Zegura (U. of Arizona), Gábor Takács (ELTE, Hungary), Paul Black (Charles Darwin U.), Václav Blažek (Masaryk U.), and Roger Blench (Cambridge U.), among others. It will also include a biography of Dr. Fleming, and a list of his publications.

Dr. Fleming had a long career at BU, beginning in 1965. He retired in 1989, and continued as a Research Fellow in the African Studies Center and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology.

John D. Bengtson, vice president of the Association for the Study of Language In Prehistory (ASLIP), writes that “Hal Fleming was a distinguished anthropologist and linguist, specializing in East African languages and kinship systems and especially in Ethiopian languages. During his years at BU, he established himself as one of the world’s experts in the history and relationships of African languages, and a leading supporter of the controversial efforts of Joseph Greenberg to extend the methods of historical linguistics into remote prehistory. Hal was a world figure in his discipline, developing ties with the Moscow circle of historical linguists and eventually founding and editing an international newsletter on historical linguistics that became the journal Mother Tongue. Hal Fleming’s network gave rise to the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory, for which he served as president from 1988 to 1996, and in which he remained active until his passing. With his full white beard and well-endowed tummy, Hal was also the fellow who who dressed up as an eerily convincing Santa Claus for the annual winter anthropology party. Always ready with a kind word and a twinkle in his eye, Hal was an esteemed colleague and a dear friend to many in African Studies, Anthropology, History, and Linguistics. He will be remembered fondly.”

More to be found here:


Two SPH Students Win Graduate FLAS Awards

April 21st, 2016 in Center News.

By Michelle Samuels

“My heart was left in Senegal,” says Faith Umoh. After two years there with the Peace Corps, she returned to the US last spring to pursue an MPH at the School of Public Health—and discovered a way to stay connected to Senegal and Wolof, its main language, at the same time.

Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships from the Boston University African Studies Center support both undergraduate and graduate BU students studying African languages. Next year’s fellows include two SPH students, Umoh and Dan Flanagan.

Being able to speak the language of a population “is really about access to care,” says Flanagan, a BA/MPH dual degree student studying Zulu.


Sandro Galea, Dean of BUSPH, and the Future of Public Health

April 11th, 2016 in Center News.

The Other End of THE RIVER

But something happened to Galea in Somalia. “It was there that I got this feeling, like I’m standing on the side of the river, pulling people out,” he says. “I was doing that over and over and over again. And I felt I was doing a lot of good, but I also knew that once I left, the same thing would keep happening. So I really wanted to understand who was throwing people in the river to begin with.”


Fr. Vincent Machozi (STH ’15), Catholic Priest and Human Rights Activist, Murdered in Kivu Province, DRC

March 29th, 2016 in Center News.

Fr. Vincent Machozi (STH’15), a Catholic priest of the religious order Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists), who for several years documented human rights abuses in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was murdered Sunday night by armed gunmen, shortly after he posted an online article denouncing the involvement of the Congolese and Rwandan presidents in the massacres of innocent civilians.

During his years at BU, Vincent found a welcome home at the African Studies Center and regularly worked with the Outreach Program. We are working on organizing a memorial in his honor at Marsh Chapel.


And more


Update: (4/2/2016)

There will be a mass in memory of Fr. Machozi at 6 pm on Saturday, April 2, 2016, at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 487 Broadway, Everett, MA 02149 (Questions call 617-389-5660). The mass will be celebrated with the cooperation of all the communities in which Father Vincent worked during his stay in Massachusetts. The mass will be followed by a potluck in the church hall, to contribute please call Mamou Katende at 978-333-0025.


Update: (4/8/2016)

There will be a memorial and service held at Marsh Chapel on BU’s central campus on April 26 beginning at 2:00 pm. The service will be followed by a communal meal in the community room at Marsh Chapel. More information will be forthcoming.

Update (4/28/2016)

BU Today article on the memorial service.

All are invited to share their memories of Father Vincent Machozi here.

Watch a video of Father Vincent Machozi’s funeral in the Democratic Republic of Congo here.

Watch a video of Father Vincent Machozi’s memorial service at Marsh Chapel here.


New in Fall 16: ID716 In the Shadow of the Grove-African Field Methods and Research Design

March 14th, 2016 in Center News.


New Pardee Publication: The Need for New Paradigms in Public Health

December 21st, 2015 in Center News.

Cancer in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Need for New Paradigms in Global Health

Cancer is the leading global cause of death, and has been on the rise in low- and middle-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide, which are projected to account for roughly 80 percent of global cancer diagnoses by 2030. Much like the inadequate funding and priority-setting that plagued the treatment of HIV/AIDS early in the epidemic, cancer treatment is suffering from a cycle of inaction in sub-Saharan Africa.

In this Pardee Paper, Maia Olsen, a 2013 Pardee Graduate Summer Fellow, examines the lessons learned from the global response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and applies them to the future of political advocacy, funding, and treatment of cancer in the region.

Maia Olsen is a Program Manager for the NCD Synergies project at Partners In Health, a policy and advocacy program focused on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries among the poorest populations worldwide. She holds an MPH in International Health from Boston University and a BA in Anthropology and Global Development Studies from Grinnell College.


Join Us in Welcoming Cynthia O. Ezeani, WARA’s New Associate Director

December 11th, 2015 in Center News.

Cynthia O. Ezeani joined the ASC community in October as the Associate Director for Programs & Development at the West African Research Association.  Cynthia is an alumna of the BU School of Law, where she earned her Masters in International Banking and Finance Law (LLM) in 2013. More recently, in 2015, she was awarded a Masters in Public Policy (MPP) from Simmons College. More

African Diaspora and Remittances: New CFLP Policy Report

December 10th, 2015 in Center News.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are transmitted as private remittances globally every year. Remittances follow migration, and the ongoing global refugee crisis inevitably will lead to more need for migrants to send funds back to their homelands. Nowhere is the role of diaspora in sustaining local livelihoods and supporting national development as evident as in Africa, where 40% of the population still lives in poverty. Diaspora remittances support family livelihoods and community development, and sustain local innovation and entrepreneurship. They are also central to the creation of transnational communities and networks where new democratic values and knowledge are co-produced. However, remittance transfers to Africa remain among the costliest in the world. Remittances often flow through informal channels, highlighting security concerns.


You can view the report here

Groundwater Potentials in Arid Land of Chad Interpretation of Recent Space Images and Field Surveys

December 9th, 2015 in Center News.

In July 2015, the Center for Remote Sensing began a two-year research project to map potential groundwater resources for use in urban and agricultural development in the landlocked Republic of Chad in north Africa.