ASCL Newsletter July / August 2016

African Studies Centre Leiden Newsletter, No. 18, July - August 2016
ASCL Highlight

Out now: ASC Annual Report 2015

The African Studies Centre's Annual Report for 2015 is out now! In 2015 we finalized preparations to become part of Leiden University as an interfaculty institute. It was also the year in which we lost our most successful researcher, Professor Stephen Ellis. You can read the Annual Report online; printed copies will be available soon.

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Research news

Interview Samuel Ntewusu, KNAW Visiting Professor: 
'A misunderstanding of the past leads to a misunderstanding of the present'

Samuel Ntewusu is KNAW Visiting Professor and one of the coordinators of the ASCL research project 'Society and Change in Northern Ghana.' There is lot we don't know about the history of Northern Ghana, and that's a problem for today's policies, Ntewusu stresses. 'Understanding the pre-colonial history will be a guide for policymakers.’

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News from knowledge platform INCLUDE

INCLUDE is launching a new knowledge forum to foster discussions on policy questions related to inclusive development in Africa. Researchers, policymakers and practitioners are invited to share their expertise by answering the ‘Question of the Week’. This week’s question is: To what extent should agricultural transformation policies in Africa focus on entrepreneurship? Share your answer, gain new insights from the discussion or submit your own question!

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New publications

Benjamin Soares (ed.): Muslim Youth and the 9/11 Generation

The contributors to this volume, edited by Adeline Masquelier (Tulane University) and Benjamin F. Soares (ASCL, UvA), show how the study of Muslim youth at this particular historical juncture is relevant to thinking about the anthropology of youth, the anthropology of Islamic and Muslim societies, and the post-9/11 world more generally.

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Working Papers by Samuel Ntewusu


Visiting KNAW Professor Samuel Ntewusu published two Working Papers while at the ASCL, linking to the research project 'Society and Change in Northern Ghana'. 
Gyama Bugibugi (German gunpowder): A history of German presence in Nawuriland, Ghana

Between two worlds: A biography of Honorable chief Nana Obimpe of Ghana.


Working Paper Stephanie Cawood: Towards an itinerary of ideas. Intertextual mapping in the rhetoric of Nelson Mandela


This Working Paper by visiting fellow Stephanie Cawood explores forms of intertextuality in the rhetoric of Nelson Mandela. Explicit forms include e.g. Afrikaans literary voices, Shakespeare, the ‘classics’, colleagues and friends from the struggle period.

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More publications

Angela Kronenburg a.o.: Food security and land governance factsheet Kenya

Matthijs van Leeuwen a.o.: three ASC Infosheets: 
1. Post-conflict land governance reform in the African Great Lakes region. Part I - The challenges of post-conflict land reform 

2. Post-conflict land governance reform in the African Great Lakes region. Part II - Reshuffling land ownership for development

3. Post-conflict land governance reform in the African Great Lakes region. Part III - securing tenure of smallholder peasants

Library news

Photographs by Roel Coutinho online from Guinea-Bissau and Senegal in the 70s

The Coutinho Collection consists of about 1250 photographs (negatives and slides) taken in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau in 1973 and 1974 by the Amsterdam and Utrecht professor and microbiologist Roel Coutinho. Coutinho donated the collection to the African Studies Centre Leiden, where the photographs were digitized and “donated” to Wikimedia under a Creative Commons license.

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Library acquisition trip to Lagos and Ibadan

The Library's Gerard van de Bruinhorst recently made an acquisition trip to Nigeria. He visited more than fifty different book selling joints in Yorubaland (Lagos and Ibadan), went to the 15th edition of the Nigeria international Book Fair on the University of Lagos premises, and attended the conference “Book, the Untapped Entertainment Treasure in Africa”. Read his report!

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New web dossier: Crime in Africa

The final book by the late Stephen Ellis, This Present Darkness: A History of Nigerian Organised Crime, was launched at the ASCL on 9 June; occasion for the ASCL Library to compile a web dossier on Crime in Africa, with a special focus on Nigeria. ASCL senior researcher Chibuike Uche wrote the thematic introduction.

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ASCL Community news

Visiting fellows and new publication

Community members Yu Qiu and Britta Frede are currently visiting the ASCL. Yu Qiu is a joint ASCL-IIAS visiting fellow who studies the private life of Nigerian traders in Guangzhou (China). Britta Frede is a DIN-Postdoctoral Fellow at the Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies, currently focusing on contemporary Muslim women scholars and their transforming institutions of Islamic education in African cities. 

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marieke on RTL
ASCL in the media

Marleen Dekker interviewed in OneWorld about direct cash transfers to alleviate poverty

ASCL senior researcher Marleen Dekker, coordinator of the Knowledge Platform INCLUDE, was interviewed by OneWorld about the succes of cash transfers as a means to alleviate poverty. 

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Robtel Neajai Pailey interviewed about 'Where is the African in "African" Studies?'

Robtel Neajai Pailey (University of Oxford), one of the keynote speakers during the ASCL seminar 'Where is the African in "African" Studies' held on 31 May, was interviewed by OneWorld.

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Jan Abbink interviewed by Trouw about a new UN-report on Eritrea

ASCL senior researcher Jan Abbink was interviewed by Trouw about a new UN-report on Eritrea. The Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in Eritrea published its report on 8 June.

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21-25 September: Voice4Thought Festival: 'People in Motion'

In Europe, many of the new migrants’ liberties are clipped. They have to abide by the political choices that others make about their lives. In the Netherlands and other European countries many migrants live in a kind of in-between ‘state’, in which they can’t express themselves. V4T strives to give these people a voice and start a dialogue. During the festival at diverse locations in Leiden, artists, scientists and journalists will share their ideas through music, film, dance, visual arts, workshops and debates. 

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15 October: NVAS Africa Day 2016: Sport in Africa

Focusing on sport as a social phenomenon and as an instrument for social change, the Sport in Africa Day highlights a diverse range of sports and games that are relevant in individual African societies. The Netherlands Association of African Studies (NVAS) organises this Day in collaboration with the Utrecht University School of Governance and Utrecht University research focus area Sport & Society.

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Other news

Wim van den Doel member of Executive Board of NWO

Professor Wim van den Doel, dean of the Leiden University Faculty of Humanities and chair of the ASCL Board of Governors, has been appointed member of the Executive Board of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) with effect from 1 January 2017.

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New exhibition at the ASCL: Photos of Senegal by Loïs Diallo

After a legal career and several years of art and culture studies, ​​Loïs Diallo became a freelance writer and photographer in 1998. Loïs' current photo exhibition at the ASCL (third floor) is inspired by the beauty of Senegal. Her book on the Peul, the Lebou and the Jola will appear soon.   

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Exhibition in the ASCL Library: African portraits in weaving by Celine Michel

The ASCL Library (ground floor) exhibits a series of hand-made weavings of African portraits, made by Celine Michel.
The weavings are partly inspired by pictures she took in Burkina Faso, where she used to live as a child. Each weaving piece takes about 50 hours.  

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Highlight Africa

10-18 July: African Union 27th Summit

At the opening of the AU 27th summit in Kigali, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, called the 2016 AU theme on Human Rights 'a spur to action', referring to South Sudan where internal conflicts are destabilizing the country again. The African year of Human Rights has a particular focus on the rights of women.

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