ASCL Newsletter May / June 2016

African Studies Centre Leiden Newsletter, No. 17, May / June 2016
ASCL Highlight

9 June: Launch Stephen Ellis' last book and commemorative meeting

The late Stephen Ellis' last book This Present Darkness; A History of Nigerian Organised Crime will be launched at the ASCL on 9 June. The launch will also be a commemorative meeting to honour our colleague, who died in July 2015. Various speakers will give short presentations, a.o. Stephen's widow Gerrie ter Haar, Christopher Clapham (University of Cambridge) and Sanne Kaasjager (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). You are all very welcome.

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Education news

Submit your Master's thesis for the Africa Thesis Award 2016!

The best Master's thesis based on research related to Africa will be awarded with € 500 and will be published in the ASCL's African Studies Collection. Any final-year student who has completed his or her Master's thesis with distinction (80% or higher or a Dutch rating of at least an 8) at a university in Africa or the Netherlands may apply. Deadline: 10 July.

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Delegation Leiden University visits South Africa and Mozambique

Leiden University launched an Africa Strategy at the beginning of 2016, connecting all Africanists in Leiden, and also connecting them to knowledge centres in Africa. A delegation of Leiden University visited South Africa and Mozambique 14-22 April. Existing relationships were strengthened, new ones explored. 

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Research news

INCLUDE to co-host side panel at the African Development Bank Annual Meetings 23 May

INCLUDE will co-host a side panel at the African Development Bank (AfDB) Annual Meetings in Lusaka, Zambia, on 23 May. High-level policy-makers and private sector representatives will enter into a discussion on ‘Jobs for women and young people – the transformative potential of agribusiness’. Read the new
dossier and follow the event on INCLUDE’s Twitter and 
Facebook channels! 

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Being young in times of duress. A research collaboration between the ASCL and UNICEF in the Central African Republic

The ASCL and UNICEF Netherlands will work together in a research project in the Central African Republic (CAR). The ASCL will carry out independent research on the outcomes of previous reintegration programmes for children formerly associated with armed groups, in close collaboration with researchers and students from the University of Bangui. 

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Decolonizing the Academy: conference report

The University of Edinburgh Centre for African Studies and the Global Development Academy organized the conference ‘Decolonizing the Academy’ on 21-22 April, calling for an examination of how knowledge and power are defined, distributed, and denied through the Academy. Focus was on African Studies: how do our institutions reinforce unequal access to power, opportunities, and knowledge? How do we decolonize our work? Akinyinka Akinyoade represented the ASCL.

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Trade, Investments And Development Cooperation In Sino-Dutch Relations: conference report

PhD candidate Agnieszka Kazimierczuk participated in the international conference “Trade, Investments And Development Cooperation In Sino-Dutch Relations” organised by the Dutch Studies Centre (DSC, Fudan University, Shanghai) with the Consulate-General of the Netherlands in Shanghai on 8 April.

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New publications

Philosophic sagacity and intercultural philosophy. Beyond Henry Odera Oruka

In this work, Pius Maija Mosima attempts to contribute to the future of African and intercultural philosophy by comparing the late Kenyan philosopher Henry Odera Oruka’s philosophic sagacity and intercultural philosophy as conceived by Dutch intercultural philosopher Wim van Binsbergen.

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Infosheet: Indonesia in Africa: Revitalizing Relations

In addition to building a political and security community within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and tightening linkages with the US, Australia, and emerging powers like India and Russia, Indonesia has increasingly turned to Africa.

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Journal article: A tale of two giants: oil and economic development in Nigeria and Indonesia (1960-1999)

This article by Akinyinka Akinyoade and David Enweremadu in Global Development Studies compares the development trajectories of Indonesia and Nigeria in the period 1966-1999, and identifies the key factors that drove rapid socio-economic development and economic stagnation observed in both countries.

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Library news

Library Highlight: Photobooks: Malick Sidibé and 'Sahara rocks!'

Malick Sidibé, one of Africa’s most influential photographers, died on 14 April at the age of 80. Sidibé was best known for his black-and-white portraits in his native Bamako, Mali, in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. A newly acquired photobook by the ASCL Library is Sahara rocks! about the contemporary Sahara, by French photographer Arnaud Contreras. Both photographers feature in our latest Library Highlight.

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ASCL Community news

Visiting fellows and new publications

Community Members Samuel Ntewusu from Ghana and Stephanie Cawood from South Africa are currently visiting the ASCL. Samuel Ntewusu is a 2016/2017 KNAW Visiting Professor. Stephanie Cawood explores the cultural, ideological and historical influences that shaped the thought and rhetoric of Nelson Mandela. 

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marieke on RTL
ASCL in the media

Marcel Rutten in ZEMBLA about Dutch rose growing company in Ethiopia

Marcel Rutten was interviewed in a ZEMBLA investigative documentary about Dutch rose growing company SHER in Ethiopia, that carries the FairTrade mark. Rutten talks about the amount of water that is needed for large-scale rose growing. 

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Worldwide excellent reviews of Stephen Ellis' last book

'This Present Darkness: A history of Nigerian Organized Crime', Stephen Ellis' last book, has received excellent reviews in e.g.The EconomistFinancial Times, and Times Higher Education. We made an overview.

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Matthijs van Leeuwen interviewed by Nieuwsuur about Burundi

Matthijs van Leeuwen, researcher within the ‘Grounding Land Governance' programme, was interviewed by Nieuwsuur about the explosive situation in Burundi. Read and watch the interview.

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26 May: The Oriental African: Assessing 200 years of Khōjā Asian Islamic heritage in East Africa

Iqbal Akhtar, joint visiting fellow of the ASCL and the International Institute for Asian Studies (co-organizer of this seminar) will talk about his new book The Khōjā of Tanzania, Discontinuities of a Postcolonial Religious Identity, in which he attempts to reconstruct the development of Khōjā religious identity from their arrival to the Swahili coast, late 18th century, until the turn of the 21st century.

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31 May: Where is the African in ‘African’ Studies?

This seminar, initiated by Miriam Siun, a student of the Research Master African Studies, will be dedicated to questions like: Why is there a lack of African scholars represented within the field of African studies? What validity does research produced about Africa by non-Africans have for Africans? Keynote lectures by Robtel Neajai Pailey, University of Oxford, and Jan-Bart Gewald, African Studies Centre Leiden, will be followed by a discussion.

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2 June: Muslim preaching of the Bible and Christian tafsir of the Qur’an in East Africa

Competition between Islam and Christianity in East Africa is intense. One approach is to use the Bible and Qur’an in order to persuade the ‘other’. This seminar will examine how Muslim preachers of the Bible began to hold public meetings using the Bible to show the truth of Islam. Speaker: John Chesworth, University of Birmingham.

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Other news

25 May: PhD Defence Marlous van den Akker: 'Monument of Nature? An Ethnography of the World Heritage of Mt. Kenya'

Marlous van den Akker will defend her PhD thesis entitled 'Monument of Nature? An Ethnography of the World Heritage of Mt. Kenya' at Leiden University on 25 May at 16.15. Her promotor is Prof.dr. P.J. Pels. Everyone is welcome to attend!

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Call for Papers: The Individual in African History: The Importance of Biography in African Historical Studies

The editors of the 2018 volume of the ASCL/Brill series African Dynamics, Jan-Bart Gewald, Klaas van Walraven and Meike de Goede, invite proposals for papers that explore the interface between the individual (or groups of individuals) and their historical context in Africa. Deadline for submitting proposals: 3 June 2016.  

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Highlight Africa

23-27 May, Lusaka: African Development Bank Annual Meetings

At the Annual Meetings, the AfDB Group will unveil its new agenda for the continent’s economic transformation, the New Deal on Energy, the Strategy for Jobs for Youth, and its plan for Africa’s Agricultural transformation. Energy and Climate Change will be the topmost priority.

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