The African Studies Centre Leiden is the only multidisciplinary academic knowledge institute in the Netherlands devoted entirely to the study of Africa. It has an extensive library that is open to the general public. The ASCL is an interfaculty institute of Leiden University.
ASCL senior researcher Benjamin Soares has been named professor by special appointment of The Anthropology of Islam in Africa and its Diaspora at the University of Amsterdam. The chair was established on behalf of the African Studies Centre Leiden. Soares, an anthropologist, is a scholar of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa. His research focuses on religious life from the early 20th century to the present. As professor by special appointment, Soares will join the Globalizing Culture and the Quest for Belonging programme of the UvA's Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR). He will stimulate research in the anthropology of Islam and Muslim societies in Africa and elsewhere (photo: Julie Gawron).
Excellent news from the research programme Society and Change in Northern Ghana: Dr Samuel Ntewusu, co-coordinator of the programme, has been appointed KNAW Visiting Professor for 2016-2017 by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The position allows Samuel to travel to Leiden three times for the programme, and organise a conference and several workshops. Within the same programme, Dutch photographer Jan Banning will do a photo project on the chiefs of Gonja and Dagomba, in the form of ‘portraits in context’.
President Zuma of South Africa and President Putin of Russia attended China’s victory parade in September 2015. Zuma’s visit reflected a broader shift in South Africa’s foreign policy in favour of China and Russia. The clear pivot towards China and Russia during Zuma’s presidency (2009-present) differs sharply from the more balanced multipolar approach under Nelson Mandela’s presidency (1994-1999), writes Heinrich Matthee in the latest ASC Infosheet.
The Dogon of Mali form one of the visual highlights of West Africa. With the spectacular setting of their villages against the Bandiagara cliff, their iconic mask performances and their ethnographic fame, they form a core attraction in West African culture tourism. But also Dogon daily life is well worth capturing on camera. This exhibition at the ASCL consists of photos made by senior researcher Wouter van Beek, on the occasion of his retirement at Tilburg University.
The African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL) has become part of Leiden University as of 1 January 2016. After many years of working closely together, for example in the jointly offered Research Masters in African Studies, the unofficial ties between the two institutions have now become formal. Leiden University wants to make Africa a more prominent element of its curriculum. The ASCL has become an interfaculty institute.
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