AfAA Events at the American Anthropological Association Annual Meeting 2018

Join AfAA at the AAAs in San Jose for several exciting events!
Thursday, November 15, 2018:
– Business Meeting: 6:30 PM, Hilton, Plaza Room
– Presentation of Awards: 7:15 PM, Hilton, Plaza Room
– Distinguished Lecture by Jemima Pierre (UCLA): “Africa, Anthropology, and the Study of Racial Capitalism: A Tribute to Bernard Magubane on the 25th Anniversary of the Association for Africanist Anthropology”: 7:45 PM, San Jose Convention Center, MR 212 D
– Reception (with music, food, socializing…): 8:30 PM, San Jose Convention Center, MR 212 D
Friday, November 16, 2018:
Insurgent Sections Reception (joint event with AFA, AQA, NASA, ABA, SUNTA, SANA, and ALLA)
Featuring DJ Emancipacion.  There will also be a cash bar with light refreshments.
7:45 PM, Fairmont Regency, Ballroom 2
Hope to see you at these events!

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: African Critical Inquiry Programme – Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards

The African Critical Inquiry Programme is pleased to announce the 2018 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards to support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences who are enrolled at South African universities and conducting dissertation research on relevant topics. Grant amounts vary depending on research plans, with a maximum award of ZAR 40,000.

The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) seeks to advance inquiry and debate about the roles and practice of public culture, public cultural institutions and public scholarship in shaping identities and society in Africa. The Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards are open to African postgraduate students (regardless of citizenship) in the humanities and humanistic social sciences. Applicants must be currently registered in a Ph.D. programme in a South African university and be working on topics related to ACIP’s focus.  Awards will support doctoral research projects focused on topics such as institutions of public culture, particular aspects of museums and exhibitions, forms and practices of public scholarship, culture and communication, and the theories, histories and systems of thought that shape and illuminate public culture and public scholarship.  Awards are open to proposals working with a range of methodologies in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, including research in archives and collections, fieldwork, interviews, surveys, and quantitative data collection.

For full information about this opportunity and how to apply, see the full Call for Proposals listed under “ACIP Opportunities” at

2017 AAA meeting update!

The Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA) held its annual business meeting, presentation of awards, Distinguished Lecture, and reception on Thursday, 30 November:

Still time to mingle!!! FRIDAY, 1 December 2017, from 7:45 PM – 10:15 PM, please come enjoy the ABA-AFA-AFAA-ALLA-AQA-SANA-SAW Joint Sections Reception, in the Omni, Diplomat Ballroom!!!


Saturday, 2 December 2017; 4:15 – 6:00 PM

Roosevelt 3 | Marriott | Exhibition Level

Sponsored by: Association for Africanist Anthropology & General Anthropology Division

Professor Elizabeth Colson (1917 – 2016) was known as many things: ethnographer exemplar, Africanist of renown, scholar of displacement and migration, fan of mystery novels, insightful social and political anthropologist, woman pioneer in academia, avid bird watcher, impactful colleague, endurance walker, compelling advisor and teacher, loyal friend. Her anthropological career spanned more than seven decades. This event is an “Open Memorial” for Professor Elizabeth Colson, who died in Zambia on August 3rd, 2016 at the age of 99. We invite all who have thoughts, memories and reflections about the many ways Elizabeth Colson has impacted our: scholarship as anthropologists, Africanists, and social scientists; our professional trajectories as women, teachers and colleagues; and our personal lives through friendship, mentoring and inspiration. Many people knew Elizabeth Colson, many more have been influenced by her work. This is an opportunity for AAA members to recognize and honor the impact of Professor Colson on our intellectual pathways and our personal commitments in the discipline and beyond.

2017 AAA Meetings: Deadline approaching soon!

If you haven’t yet submitted a panel, paper, or poster for the AAAs in Washington, D.C. this fall, now is the time to do so! The deadline is Friday, April 14, 2017 at 5 p.m., by which time all participants need to have registered and paid for the 2017 Annual Meeting. Details can be found here: Hope to see you at the AAAs this fall!

2016 Elliott P. Skinner Book Award Winner and Recipients of Honorable Mentions

James Ferguson, the Susan S. and William H. Hindle Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University, is 2016 recipient of the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award for his book, Give a Man a Fish:  Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution, published by Duke University Press.

In addition, there are two recipients of honorable mentions.

J. Lorand Matory, the Lawrence Richardson Professor of Cultural Anthropology and of African and African American Studies at Duke University for his book Stigma and Culture:  Last-Place Anxiety in Black America published by University of Chicago Press.

Richard Werbner, Professor Emeritus of African Anthropology at the University of Manchester for Divination’s Grasp: African Encounters with the Almost Said, published by Indiana University Press.

The Ferguson and Matory books were originally presented in the Lewis Henry Morgan Lecture Series at the University of Rochester.

Congratulations to the winner and honorable mention recipients!

AfAA Events at the 2016 AAA Meetings

The AAAs are almost here, and we hope to see you there!  Here is a list of AfAA events taking place at the meetings this year.

Board Meeting:  Thursday, November 177:30-9:30 AM Hilton Board Room 2
Business Meeting:  Thursday, November 17 @ 6:30-7:30PM, Room 3-1460

Reception: Thursday, November 17 @ 7:45PM-10PM, Room 3-1520.  This year’s reception will feature a Distinguished Lecture by Dr. Anita Spring (AfAA President and Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida), “African Women Entrepreneurs Micro to Global: Successes and Barriers.”  Also, don’t forget to stay for the awards, food, music, and dancing!

In addition, there are a number of excellent panels and papers sponsored or cosponsored by AfAA and/or featuring AfAA members scheduled for this year’s meetings. More details on these coming soon!

See the attached flyer for more information on the Distinguished Lecture: distinguished-lecture-flyer-6

In Memoriam: Elaine Rosa Salo


Elaine Rosa Salo passed away on August 13, 2016 in Delaware, Newark, at the age of 54. Born in 1962 in Kimberly, South Africa, Salo was a leading African feminist scholar activist whose powerful analyses showed how motherhood practices and personhood more generally in peripheral places provided ways to shape life opportunities. She taught at the University of the Western Cape (1988–1999), the University of Cape Town (1986–1987; 2000–2009), the University of Pretoria (2009–2013) and the University of Delaware (2013–2016).

Salo’s work straddled a commitment to social and gender justice. Her work re-centered the ideas and practices of subordinated mothers and young people struggling for survival in peripheral places as a key site of self-actualization that challenged the intersecting gendered, racist and economic oppressions that reproduced these marginalized neighborhoods. In her 2010 WEB du Bois lecture at the UIUC entitled “Lessons in Leadership for Africa: Listening to, Learning from Feminist Pan-African Discussions, Activism, and Scholarship” and her 2014 lecture at the Nordic Africa Institute titled “Who is a moral person in South African township communities?” she laid out the elements of a revolutionary and humane subaltern feminism situated in a politics of situated maternal experiences, empathetic dialogues, transnational networks, reflective scholarship and an ethic of caring and sharing.

Salo completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Cape Town (1980–1984), and her master’s at Clark University in Massachusetts (1984–1986). In 2004 she earned her doctoral degree from Emory University, Department of Anthropology with a dissertation titled “Respectable mothers, tough men and good daughters: Making persons in Mannenberg township, South Africa.”

Salo was a passionate teacher and mentor. She taught courses in women’s movements, gender and development, citizenship and the anthropology of gender and sexualities. She led through personal example, engaged research and teaching, and inspired a new generation of feminist scholars to continue the struggle for social and spatial justice with her beautiful humility, brilliant mind and a wicked sense of humour and sharp commentary.

At institutions where she was based, Salo became a friend, colleague, mentor and support to many. She was feisty, truly passionate and a powerful African feminist and thinker. Beyond her academic, activist and intellectual pursuits, Salo was in essence someone who fully understood the meaning of being human. She displayed these qualities and attributes in all that she did.

Salo survived breast cancer in the past, but it returned last year and claimed her life. She passed away surrounded by her family and loved ones. Beloved wife of 28 years to husband Colin Miller, cherished mother to her son, Miles Miller, and her daughter, Jessica, sister to her brothers Ken and Bertram Salo, daughter of the late Edgar and Rosa Salo.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held for Elaine Salo at the upcoming American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Minneapolis. Saturday November 19th, 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. Hilton Hotel, room Marquette VII.

Initial comments by Cory Kratz, Mike McGovern, Anna-Maria Makhulu, Melissa Melby and Ken Salo, followed by open mike contributions. For more info please contact Faranak Miraftab [email protected].

Call for Abstracts – Everyday Life on the African Continent: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity

Call for Abstracts for edited volume

Everyday Life on the African Continent: Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity

Editors:  Kemi Balogun, Lisa Gilman, Melissa Graboyes, Habib Iddrisu

Project Description

This volume, edited by a multi-disciplinary group of scholars who work in different regions of Africa, will be a collection of essays focusing on forms of leisure and expressivity on the continent. Each short and descriptive  essay (5000-6000 words), will be written in accessible prose and will focus on providing details about a cultural form, explaining the context(s) in which it occurs, and providing some analysis as to its significance. The book will be thematically organized, with multiple chapters on topics such as Fashion and Beauty, Sports and Games, Love and Dating, and Creative Arts.The volume targets an undergraduate audience with limited knowledge of the continent. The intent is for the volume to include essays from all regions of the continent, from rural and urban settings, about the present or the past, and about “popular” or “traditional” practices. This edited volume is under precompletion contract with Ohio University Press, and draft chapters will be due by February 2017.

This project will contribute a critically needed text that exposes undergraduate students to the positive aspects of daily life on the continent. A particular focus will be upon the creative and dynamic ways that people in African contexts are using their leisure time, having fun, being creative, and engaging in forms of expressive culture. Much of the material available for undergraduate African Studies courses emphasizes the challenges facing the continent, focusing on war, poverty, corruption, disease, or human rights violations. These issues are real and deserve sustained attention. However, the narrow focus on “Africa’s problems” creates pedagogical problems. It can reinforce stereotypes students are already conversant with and misses an opportunity for students to consider the similarities and differences between their lives and those of their African counterparts. As those of us who have spent time on the continent know firsthand, challenging conditions do not preclude people from making music, falling in love, playing sports, participating in festivals, writing blogs, telling jokes, wearing expressive clothing, making videos, playing games, dancing, eating delicious food and finding pleasure in myriad other ways in their daily lives. These are the types of topics we anticipate for this volume.

Contributors are welcome to write about their research expertise and may distill research findings from an article or monograph to make it accessible to undergraduates. This is an opportunity to write about a compelling topic outside of one’s disciplinary scope, and essays about first-hand experience are also acceptable. We welcome all abstracts that convey a sense of energy and excitement on the part of the author.

Companion Symposium

The book editors will be hosting a companion symposium on the topic of “Fun, Leisure, and Expressivity in Africa” at the University of Oregon on February 23-24, 2017. Chapter contributors will be strongly encouraged (but not required) to participate in this event, and funding to offset travel costs will be available. Draft chapters will be pre-circulated, authors will receive feedback from the volume editors during the symposium. We anticipate this symposium being a key activity for establishing connections between the authors and building cohesiveness throughout the book.

Submission details

Abstracts of roughly 500 words are due by September 30, 2016. Abstracts should briefly describe the topic, place, and time frame, how it fits into the parameters of the volume, and why it is significant. Contributors are welcome to submit multiple abstracts about different possible topics.  and then receive feedback from the editors about which might be the best fit.

When submitting your abstract, please indicate whether you would like to participate in the symposium in February, and if you’d like to be considered for funding to offset travel costs.

Abstracts should be emailed as word docs to [email protected].


  • September 30, 2016—Abstracts due
  • November 15, 2016—Notification of Acceptance & Notification of Funding Awards for Symposium
  • February 15, 2017—Pre-circulation of Symposium Papers/ Chapter Drafts
  • February 23-24, 2017—Symposium at the University of Oregon
  • April 1, 2017—First Draft of Full Chapter Due to Editors for review
  • June 1, 2017—Comments back from Editors on Draft Chapters
  • July 15, 2017—Revised draft due to Editors
  • July 15-Sept. 1—Editors work on finalizing manuscript
  • September 1, 2017—Submission to Ohio University Press


For questions or additional information, and to submit abstracts, please contact: Lisa Gilman, [email protected]

Putting Africa back on the map