Into Africa – Three BU Grad Students & Their Research

For many decades, Boston University’s African Studies Center (ASC) has produced top scholars in the field. Now part of the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies, the ASC trains students in multiple African languages and academic disciplines. In the last two years, eleven BU doctoral students have conducted field research in Africa through the ASC, with eight of them funded by Fulbright or Fulbright-Hays grants. This report introduces three of these student researchers who traveled to three southern African countries in 2015.

Art historian and curator Lynne Cooney settled in Johannesburg to study post-apartheid art at a major urban museum. In tiny Lesotho, environmental historian Christopher Conz probed the history of the exchange of information on land use. And cultural historian Lilly Havstad lived in the Mozambican capital Maputo to research foodways and the colonial legacy. Their combined inquiries shed light on patterns of growth and change in parts of a vast and complex continent that remains often misrepresented and misunderstood.


The writer’s travel for these stories was supported in large part by the BU African Studies Center.