Professor Ibrahima Thioub, faculty in the Department of History, University Cheikh Anta Diop, was recently awarded an honorary degree (Docteur Honoris Causa) by the University of Nantes, France. Professor Alain Supiot, Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Nantes, wrote:
“….instead of reducing this history (of the slave trade) to an analysis of the relations (of Africa) with Europe, Professor Thioub has brought to the fore the internal relations of oppression and exploitation (within the African communities themselves) without which such a trade would never have been possible…..”
“Professor Thioub’s academic pursuits and findings are a lesson and an encouragement to all those who still believe in the virtues of Kant’s credo: sapere aude: be bold enough to use and express your own mind.”
The West African Research Center was among the first institutions to be invited to attend the ceremony in Nantes. Unfortunately time and a crowded agenda did not allow the director to attend. The Center chose to celebrate the event by inviting Professor Thioub to give a public lecture on the topic:”Politics and Violence in Africa: Democracy in its Infancy or the Culture of Predation“. The Senegalese historian boldly addressed the topic. While blaming Europe for centuries spent draining Africa’s human and natural resources, Professor Thioub did not spare local dignitaries who took advantage of the heinous trade.
The lecture was attended by a crowd of more than 80, including many regular attendees of WARC’s events who praised the Center for contributing to the cultural vibrancy in Dakar: “Le WARC est l’une des rares institutions à offrir cette animation culturelle et intellectuelle de qualité ici à Dakar.”
WARA is pleased to announce that our colleague and friend, Senegalese historian Penda Mbow, of Université Cheikh Anta Diop, has been awarded the Jean Paul II Peace Prize. This distinction has been conferred upon Professor Mbow in recognition of the impact of her teaching, research, and activism. In accepting the Prize, Professor Mbow noted how this reflects the importance the Church places on interreligious dialogue, and serves as an inspiration for her to continue in this work.In Professor is a valued member of the WARA community and is a frequent presence at WARC, where she can often be found working in a quiet corner or delivering a lecture. In December, Professor Mbow served as an academic director of the West African Peace Initiative’s conference on the role of religion in conflict, conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Professor Mbow is also the founder of Mouvement Citoyen, a civil society advocacy group.
It is with great sadness that we note the passing of long-time WARA member, Katherine Payne Moseley (KP Moseley). Kay, who was a dynamic member of the WARA team, passed away peacefully on October 4, 2012 at her Vermont home. She will be missed by the WARA community.
Kay was involved in many WARA initiatives, most recently, the Saharan Crossroads conferences. Her oft-quoted study with Immanuel Wallerstein on precapitalist social structures initiated a long list of publications on the Trans-Saharan trade, the political economy of West Africa including Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and most recently the economic and social history of the larger oases band of the northern Sahara edge that includes Morocco and Mauritania. Kay also actively promoted water and other environmental issues as represented by her paper “Development or Ecological Suicide? Dilemmas of Water Exploitation in the Sahara.” A Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University, she did her fieldwork in Dahomey, and taught at Fourah Bay College (Sierra Leone), the University of Port Harcourt (Nigeria), as well as Vanderbilt, Brooklyn College and several other US universities. From 2000-2006 Kay worked as a Foreign Service Officer and served in Chad, the Sudan and Mauritania. She was a Director on the board of a number of nongovernmental agencies including the Asian Scholar Fund.
She is remembered by family and friends for her warmth, sense of fun, wit, love of jazz, African rhythms and music in general. We remember her generosity, hospitality, openness and elegance. She lives vividly in our memory.
3rd Annual IU Graduate Students in African Studies Symposium
Intersections: Global Encounters on the African Continent
23 March 2013, Indiana University, Bloomington IN
Keynote Speaker: Bruce Whitehouse, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Lehigh University
Indiana University’s Graduate Students in African Studies (GSAS) invite papers for our annual conference that explore global encounters in Africa. The theme is intentionally broad to attract contributions from graduate students with a wide range of perspectives from across disciplines. Research can encompass both historical and contemporary accounts. The committee is interested in research that considers not only how the global impacts Africa, but how Africa and Africans impact the global.
Papers might consider, but are NOT limited to, the intersections between Africa and the global within the following areas:
● public policy; or
Proposals are welcome from graduate students in any discipline. We welcome proposals on completed papers, as well as dissertation or thesis chapters, works in progress, and preliminary research findings. Abstracts should describe the student’s research in no more than 300 words. They should include the title of the research the author proposes to present, university affiliation, discipline, address and phone number. The deadline for submission of abstracts is 28 January 2013. Please direct all submissions and questions to email@example.com. Additional information can be found on the symposium website at http://iugsas.wordpress.com/.
Book Presentation and Dedication
On Thursday December 6, 2012, WARC was once again the venue for the presentation of publications relevant to current concerns in Senegal and the region. More than 35 people attended the presentation of the following books, all by noted Senegalese scholar, Djibril Diop.
• Urbanisation et Gestion du Foncier à Dakar (L’Harmattan Senegal 2012)
• Les Régions a l’Epreuve de la Régionalisation au Senegal: Défis et Perspectives (L’Harmattan Senegal 2012)
• Décentralisation et Gouvernance Locale au Senegal: Quelle Pertinence pour le Développement Local (L’Harmattan Senegal 2006)
Mr. Djibril Diop is a Senegalese scholar currently teaching in Canada. He graduated from University Gaston Berger in Saint Louis, Senegal before completing his Ph.D. in France. His research focuses essentially on urbanization, decentralization, territorial management, local government and local populations’ empowerment.
All three books presented focus on the macrocephalia of the Senegalese capital, Dakar, the resulting drift from the land and the scarcity of investment opportunities for the other regions in Senegal.
The statistics provided, particularly in the book dealing with urbanization and land grab issues in Dakar help the reader understand all the various development problems concentrated in Dakar: high poverty and unemployment rates, especially among the youth, money laundering though investment in the building sector, and the need for improved planning of the urban space.
Meanwhile, the walls of the future DAART building are steadily going up at WARC.