Northwestern University

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Jan
23
Wed 12:00 PM

PAS L+L: Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch - Beyond the Nkrumah State: Cultural Policy and its Afterlives in Post-independent Ghana

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When: Wednesday, January 23, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
History Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Join the Program of African Studies as we provide lunch and a lecture.

Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch, PAS Visiting Scholar; African History, Dartmouth College

Title: Beyond the Nkrumah State: Cultural Policy and its Afterlives in Post-independent Ghana

Abstract:

This paper explores the development of cultural organizations in Ghana’s post-independence era. It traces how cultural organizations formed during the Nkrumah-era lived on in later years, highlighting the ways in which civil society organizations such as the Arts Council of Ghana became alternative sites for Ghanaians to envision the development of the nation’s cultural and intellectual life. The Arts Council of Ghana also engaged with international bodies through shared cultural projects despite the volatile political and economic climate of the 1960s and 1970s. This paper exemplifies the ways in which transnational explorations of cultural life in post-independence Africa move us beyond the metropole/former colony binary and empire- and state-centered framings of African history. Moreover, post-independence historical narratives of Ghana (and other African countries more broadly) during this period have focused heavily on the violent political and economic landscapes that dramatically shaped the lives of the country’s citizens. But this historiography has neglected--albeit as the result of inaccessible archival records--the ways in which civil society groups utilized new arenas at home and abroad in generative ways, to fashion concrete projects for cultural and intellectual development through the arts. I utilize previously unused archival records to trace the development of cultural projects and the goals of the Arts Council of Ghana during the transformative era of post-independence Africa.

 

Bio:

Naaborko Sackeyfio-Lenoch is Associate Professor of African History at Dartmouth College. Her research focuses on 20th century Ghanaian and West African history. She is author of The Politics of Chieftaincy: Authority and Property in Colonial Ghana: 1920-1950. Her articles have appeared in several journals including the International Journal of African History Studies, History in Africa, International Review of Social History and Journal of West African History. Sackeyfio-Lenoch is the recipient of an ACLS Frederick Burkhart Residential Fellowship for the 2018-2019 year. She will be in residence at the Program in African Studies to work on her current book about the history of Ghana’s internationalism, and the role the country played in the global and cultural politics of the independence and Cold-War era.

Jan
30
Wed 12:00 PM

PAS L+L: Matt Rarey - Pouches, Archives, and the Art of Survival in the Black Atlantic

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When: Wednesday, January 30, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)
Buffett Institute for Global Studies

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Join the Program of African Studies as we provide lunch and a lecture.

Matthew Rarey, PAS Visiting Scholar; Art History, Oberlin College

Title: Pouches, Archives, and the Art of Survival in the Black Atlantic

Bio:

Matthew Francis Rarey is Assistant Professor of Art History at Oberlin College. A scholar and theorist of black Atlantic visual culture, his interests include assemblage and ephemeral aesthetics, conceptions of enslavement and its visual representation, and the development of Afro-Atlantic religious arts. His current book project - supported by a 2018-2019 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship - investigates the accumulative history small protective pouches with transcultural origins in West Africa that took on new forms and contested interpretations as they spread across the black Atlantic world between 1660 and 1835. A practicing curator, Rarey also coordinated the installations of the Arts of Africa at the Chazen Museum of Art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College. Rarey earned his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Feb
6
Wed 12:00 PM

PAS L+L: Sara Marzagora - Monarchical Nationalism in Ethiopia

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When: Wednesday, February 6, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
History Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Join the Program of African Studies as we provide lunch and a lecture.

Sara Marzagora, PAS Visiting Scholar; Postdoctoral Research Fellow, SOAS University of London

Title: Monarchical Nationalism in Ethiopia: Global Ideas of Sovereignty and the Reinvention of ‘Dynasty’ (1855-1941)

Abstract:

This paper traces the shift in the Ethiopian monarchical ideology from lineage as symbolic Christian filiation to dynasty as a political genealogy of sovereign power. From the end of the nineteenth century, and more prominently under Haylä Səllase, Ethiopian state sources started qualifying the Ethiopian ruling dynasty as ‘unbroken’ in history. A record of ‘uninterrupted’ power allowed the Ethiopian government to politically appropriate past glories and claim them as ‘ours’, thus compensating for the political weakness of the present with the political greatness of the past. The ideological rebranding of the Ethiopian monarchy in the 1930s brought Ethiopia closer to Japan, and the ‘eternalist clause’ of the Meiji constitution offered a powerful model of how to recodify dynasty in modern legal terms. An intellectual history of dynasty in the Ethiopian context sees the concept simultaneously associated with both hegemonic and counter-hegemonic political projects. The narratives of continuity enabled by the dynastization of history were successful in invigorating the pro-Ethiopian front during the Italian occupation of Ethiopia (1936-1941), but served at the same time to reinforce domestic mechanisms of class, political and cultural domination.

Bio:

Dr Sara Marzagora is an intellectual historian of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. She is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at SOAS University of London, where she is leading the Horn of Africa strand of a research project on global intellectual history and world literature. She has published articles on Amharic historiography, Amharic print culture and Ethiopian political thought, and is completing a book manuscript on Ethiopian conceptualizations of the “global” in the first half of the twentieth century.

Feb
13
Wed 12:00 PM

PAS L+L: Wendell Hassan Marsh - Shaykh Musa Kamara and the Genealogy of an African Islamic Modernity

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When: Wednesday, February 13, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
Institute for the Study of Islamic Thought in Africa (ISITA)

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Join the Program of African Studies as we provide lunch and a lecture.

Wendell Hassan Marsh, Buffett Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University

Title: Shaykh Musa Kamara and the Genealogy of an African Islamic Modernity

Bio:

Wendell Hassan Marsh conducts research and teaches on the encounter of Islam and the African world as mediated in Arabic and vernacular texts. Overall, his work seeks to decentralize the study of Islam from the classical Arab heartlands by locating debates over religious authority in French West Africa within an equivocal tradition of argument and dissent specific to the region. He has been awarded Fulbright, Ford, and Foreign Language and Area Studies fellowships for his work. Marsh is an assistant professor of African American and African Studies at Rutgers University-Newark.

Feb
20
Wed 12:00 PM

PAS L+L: Aldair Rodrigues - Deciphering Scarification in West Africa and Brazil During the Eighteenth Century

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When: Wednesday, February 20, 2019
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  

Where: 620 Library Place, room 106, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Program of African Studies   847.491.7323

Group: Program of African Studies

Co-Sponsor(s):
History Department

Category: Lectures & Meetings

Description:

Join the Program of African Studies as we provide lunch and a lecture.

Aldair Rodrigues, PAS Visiting Scholar; History, University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil

Title: Deciphering Scarification in West Africa and Brazil During the Eighteenth Century: Evidence from Diasporic Archives

Abstract:

This talk examines body markings in West Africa based on evidence collected in eighteenth-century documents preserved in Minas Gerais, the Brazilian gold mining region that held one of the largest concentrations of enslaved people from the Bight of Benin in the Americas. A vast majority of these slaves were caught during the expansionist wars that led to the formation of the Dahomey kingdom in the first decades of the 1700s.

Special attention will be given to the facial scarifications of people from Savalou, located in the north of the Zou river, close to Yoruba territories. Among the cases examined is a tax record of 1756 describing "Domingos of Sabarú nation of twenty years of age (...) with a star cut on the corner of his right eyebrow, and he has those marks that every Sabaru people have in their faces, and is worth 300 thousand reis." Descriptions of drawings like this one can be find in a variety of primary sources, such as tax records, parish books, inventories, testament wills, list of prisoners, and Inquisition cases.

Considering that body marking and aesthetics used to play an important role in dynamics of belonging (ancestry, lineage, ethnicity, social status), beautification and healing, a close reading of scarification descriptions found in Brazilian archives sheds light on new dimensions of West-African History and diaspora.

Bio:

Aldair Rodrigues is assistant professor in the department of History at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP), Brazil, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses about Colonial Brazil and the African diaspora. His current project focuses on the connections between the Bight of Benin and Brazil during the eighteenth century, particularly dynamics that took place inland in both sides of the Atlantic basin.