Category Archives: Event

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

2017 African Critical Inquiry Workshop: Secret Affinities

The African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is pleased to announce that the 2017 ACIP workshop will be Secret Affinities: A workshop in critical reading and an interrogation of the city in Africa via Walter Benjamin’s “Passagen-Werk.” The project was proposed and will be organized by colleagues at the University of the Witwatersrand, Noëleen Murray (Director, Wits City Institute and Andrew W. Mellon Research Chair in Critical Architecture and Urbanism) and Brett Pyper (Head of the Wits School of Arts). Working groups formed in the initial Secret Affinities workshop will develop collaborative projects over the following year, presenting their outcomes in seminars and public forums in 2018. Activities will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Secret Affinities

Das Passagen-Werk, Walter Benjamin’s unfinished refection on modernity and history, is the starting point for a two-day workshop in which sections of Benjamin’s text (known in English as The Arcades Project) will be discussed with the aim of facilitating cross-disciplinary discussion in relation to heritage, architecture and public history practices associated with cities and the African present. As with Benjamin’s positioning in Paris, his ‘capital of the nineteenth Century’, we work from our vantage point in Johannesburg, city of an African (but also hybrid) modernity, arguably the ‘African capital of the twenty-first century.’ We follow Benjamin’s endeavour in Arcades to construct ‘a world of secret affinities’ in which his assemblage of notes, reflections and citations on a host of topics, could begin to inform each other in unpredictable ways.

The very site of the workshop illustrates the layered urban histories, experiences, transformations and architectural imaginations that the workshop will seek to examine through particular sites. It will take place at what is now known as Satyagraha House, built as a residence in 1907 by German-born Lithuanian architect Hermann Kallenbach with a rondavel-inspired design. Mohandas Gandhi lived there with his friend Kallenbach and others for two years. Today the buildings have been renovated as a heritage site, museum about Gandhi’s time in South Africa, and guest house. It is a place steeped in history that we cannot recover outside of imaginary recreation involving rhetorics of display and heritage curation; a place that cannot now be divorced from re-invention or politics, but that nevertheless has been re-invented in austere opulence by a French tourism company working with an historian, curator and heritage architect.

The Secret Affinities workshop will form small discussion and working groups made up of established scholars, artists, architects and postgraduate students. Groups will define projects located at the intersections of architecture, public history, spatial planning, heritage and urban studies to develop through regular meetings during the following year. Their outcomes will be presented in 2018 and could include exhibitions, performances, public lectures or seminars, publications, digital and on-line platforms, or special editions of journals.

Founded in 2012, the African Critical Inquiry Programme (ACIP) is a partnership between the Centre for Humanities Research at University of the Western Cape in Cape Town and the Laney Graduate School of Emory University in Atlanta. Supported by donations to the Ivan Karp and Corinne Kratz Fund, the ACIP fosters thinking and working across public cultural institutions, across disciplines and fields, and across generations. It 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 through an annual ACIP workshop and through the Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards, which support African doctoral students in the humanities and humanistic social sciences enrolled at South African universities.

Information about applying to organize the 2018 ACIP workshop and for the 2017 Ivan Karp Doctoral Research Awards will be available in November 2016. The expected deadline for both workshop applications and student applications is 1 May 2017.

For further information, see and

AfAA Awards for 2016!

Please consider nominating yourself, a colleague and/or student for an AfAA award. Contributions from all sub-fields of anthropology are welcome. The AfAA offers three annual awards:

  • the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award to honor a recent contribution that furthers the global community of Africanist scholars and the wider interests of the African continent, as exemplified in the work of Elliott P. Skinner.
  • the Bennetta Jules-Rosette Graduate Student Essay Award for outstanding graduate student essay in Africanist anthropology.
  • the Nancy “Penny” Schwartz Undergraduate Paper Award for outstanding undergraduate paper in Africanist anthropology.

For more information about these awards, please visit the AfAA Awards page.

AfAA @ AAA 2015: Business Meeting, Reception, and Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet

Join us on Thursday evening from 7:45-10 pm at CCC-401 in the Convention Center for the annual AfAA Reception, featuring a Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet.  The lecture is titled “Ethnography in the Age of Total Bureaucratization: Consent, Ethics, and the Familiar/Strange of Government Oversight.  Burnet is the 2013 winner of the Elliott P. Skinner Book Award for Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda. Before the lecture and reception, join us for the Business Meeting in CCC-401 from 6:45-7:45.

See the attached flyer for more details: Jennie Burnet Distinguished Lecture 2015

AfAA at AAA 2015: Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet and AfAA Reception with Business Meeting

COVER MAKER 6x9.indd


It’s almost time for the AAA Annual Meeting again, and we are looking forward to seeing you at some of the AfAA events we have planned!

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the AfAA Reception will be taking place from 7:45-10 p.m. In addition to food and dancing, the reception will include a Distinguished Lecture by Jennie Burnet, one of the 2013 winners of the Elliot Skinner Book Award for her book Genocide Lives in Us: Women, Memory, and Silence in Rwanda (University of Wisconsin Press, 2012).  Dr. Burnet will be speaking on “Ethnography in the Age of Total Bureaucratization.”  Dr. Burnet’s lecture and the reception will be held in CCC-401 of the Colorado Convention Center.

Prior to the reception, the annual AfAA Business Meeting will take place in CCC-401 at 6:30 p.m.  The AfAA Board Meeting/Breakfast will be held Thursday, Nov. 19 from 7:30-9:30 a.m.

A complete list of AfAA panels and events taking place at this year’s AAA meeting is coming soon!

AAA 2015 Annual Meeting Information

The 114th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association will be held from November 18-22 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, CO. The 2015 annual meeting theme is “Familiar/Strange.”

Online abstract submission began February 18 for all session, poster, and individual paper proposals, and will continue until the submission deadline of April 15. You can register and submit proposals here:

Decisions on proposals will be e-mailed to applicants between July 1 and 15.

A complete schedule and more information can be found here:

We hope to see you in Denver!

2014 AfAA Reception and Distinguished Lecture


Come celebrate with us! The Association for Africanist Anthropology (AfAA) of the American Anthropological Association cordially invites you to a reception and awards presentation on Thursday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian Institution.  Through the gracious offer by Director Dr. Johnnetta Cole, the AfAA is fortunate to hold its annual reception at the Museum, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The museum exhibits are open for your enjoyment!  In connection with the anniversary celebration, the museum will be featuring a new exhibition, “Conversations: African and African American Artworks in Dialogue,” reviewed by the New York Times here. (Please note that food and drinks are not allowed in the exhibit halls.)

Reception and Distinguished Lecture Schedule:

Food and drink in the Reception area 7:30-8:00 PM and 9:30-10 PM
Awards Presentations
Keynote speaker: Distinguished Professor Emeritus Steven Feld, Departments of Anthropology & Music, University of New Mexico
“The Audible Entanglements of Africanist Anthropology and Jazz Studies”
Dance party until 10:30PM

There is no separate business meeting. Please disregard the information in the AAA Program and attend the reception 7:30-10:30PM at the Museum of African Art.

Getting There:

ADDRESS: The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institution, 950 Independence Ave SW, Washington DC 20560

TRANSPORT FROM THE HOTEL: AfAA has hired a Bus that is available at the 24th Street Entrance of the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at 7:00PM (best for viewing exhibits) and 7:30PM. There will also be two return times.
The nearest Metro stop to the Museum is “Smithsonian” on the blue/orange/silver line. From the Marriott Wardman Park, take the Red Line from Woodley Park Station (one block from the hotel) in the direction of Silver Spring/Glenmont. Switch at Metro Center to the blue/orange/silver line in the direction of Largo or New Carrlon. Smithsonian is two stops after Metro Center. A map of the metro system can be found here.

AAA 2013: Meet the Authors!

Bloomsbury Anthropology will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” event featuring several books of interest to Africanist anthropologists and others.  Join us in Stevens Salon C at the Chicago Hilton on Friday, Nov. 22 from 10-11 a.m. at Booth 510!

Featured books include:

  • African Dress: Fashion, Agency, and Performance, edited by D. Soyini Madison and Karen Tranberg Hansen
  • Visual Research: A Concise Introduction to Thinking Visually, by Jonathan S. Marion and Jerome W. Crowder
  • Food and Identity in the Caribbean, edited by Hanna Garth

Hope to see you there!