ASC Assistant Director Eric Schmidt along with the other officers of the Association of African Studies Programs (AASP) held its spring meeting last week.

The Association of African Studies Programs (AASP) held its spring meeting last week on April 7 and 8, 2022. An important information session organized by the association’s officers, including ASC Assistant Director Eric Schmidt, the AASP spring meeting brings together speakers from foundations and government agencies to talk about funding, fellowship programs, internships, study abroad, and professional development opportunities. It is a forum for members of established or nascent African studies programs to network, engage donors and policymakers, and participate in a healthy exchange of ideas.

This year’s meeting featured a keynote by Professor Lioba Moshi of the University of Georgia entitled “Rethinking the Institutionalization of African Studies in the United States.” Her lecture provided a valuable account on the disciplinary development of African studies with an emphasis on the role of African language programs, complementing historical retrospectives offered in recent years by African studies scholars like James Pritchett. Professor Moshi also invited input during the keynote by Professor Emeritus David Dwyer, who led the African language program at Michigan State University.

Other panels included:
  *   “Sustaining US-African Collaborations” with Mpho Seipubi (Mandela Washington Fellowship and Young African Leaders Initiative YALI alumna) and Kathi Seiden Thomas (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer RPCV Mali), founders and editors of Whose Stories Will We Hear; Nadira Branch (Fulbrighter, RPCV, and Gilman Scholar with service in Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, and Ghana), and BU alumna and former Research Affiliate Dr. Lori de Lucia (Harvard I Tatti Renaissance Studies Center)
  *   “Partnerships with Two-Year Colleges” with Dr. Geoff Bradshaw (Madison College), Dr. Aleia McCord (UW-Madison), and Professor Wendy Wilson-Fall (LaFayette College)
  *   “US and African Foreign Relations” with Professor Catherine Kelly (Africa Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University)
  *   “Connecting with Your Local African Communities” with Dr. Linda Vakunta (Deputy Mayor, Madison, WI) and Rep. Samba Baldeh (WI State Representative)
  *   Updates from officers regarding programs and organizations including Title VI, Fulbright-Hays, the Council for American Overseas Research Centers (CAORC), the Coalition for International Education (CIE), the West African Research Association (WARA), and the African Studies Association (ASA)

In addition to an annual spring meeting, the AASP organizes a panel and fall meeting at the ASA annual meeting and offers the David Wiley Travel Award and Francois Manchuelle Award. More details about these activities, awards, and membership are available on the AASP website: