8/31/2016 Peter Durantine

Africana Studies Examines the Continent's Influence on the World

 From an exhibit on North African women writers to a lecture on American Muslims to a film on "Blaxploitation" in Italian cinema, Franklin & Marshall College's Africana Studies Program has organized a series of events for the academic year, focusing on Africa's world connections and influences.

“Africa Worldwide 2016-2017” is a series of lectures, film screenings, exhibits and student-led panel discussions examining issues of cultural difference and diversity, social justice, and global conflict and interdependence. The series is organized in collaboration with more than 10 other academic departments and programs (from International Studies, and Italian to Women’s, Gender and Sexuality), and support from the Office of the Provost. In addition, several student organizations and campus offices are participating in the series.

"Africana Studies is the study of Africa and its diasporas," Professor of Economics Eiman Zein-Elabdin, the Program Chair, said. "Our curriculum has traditionally focused on Africa and the African-American experience, with some attention to the Caribbean. The Africa Worldwide series gives some idea of the scope of Africana Studies generally.”

The series opens Aug. 29 with a book exhibit at Shadek-Fackenthal Library, featuring "Subversive Voices of North African Women Writers: In Memory of Assia Djebar and Fatima Mernissi." Djebar, an Algerian novelist and filmmaker who explored the struggles women face in society, died at age 78 in Paris last year. Mernissi, a Moroccan feminist and sociologist, died at 75 in Rabat, her country's capital, also in 2015.

Author and journalist Michael Deibert follows on Sept. 7 with a lecture in Stager Hall's Stahr Auditorium on his recent book, "Haiti Will Not Perish," a contemporary history about the world's first independent black republic that became part of the African-American diaspora in the early 19th century.

Seven more events, including two Common Hours, the weekly campus discussion on issues, are scheduled for the fall semester.   

"The subjects covered range from race, gender and sexuality, to religion, U.S. foreign policy, African immigrants in Europe, ethnic diversity in the media and international feminism." "We hope the series will engage a large number of students and faculty," Zein-Elabdin said.

Fall Events for Africa Worldwide 2016-17

  • Aug. 29-Oct. 31 – Subversive Voices of North African Women Writers: In Memory of Assia Djebar and Fatima Mernissi, Book Exhibit, Shadek-Fackenthal Library.
  • Sept. 7 – Haiti Will Not Perish, a talk by author and journalist Michael Deibert. 7 p.m., Stahr Auditorium.
  • Sept. 21 – Islam and Secularism: What is an American Muslim? Public lecture, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na`im, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law and Senior Fellow of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University, 7 p.m., Stahr Auditorium.
  • Sept. 22 – Racial Ideology and Racist Practices: Moving Beyond Critique, Sally Haslanger, Ford Professor of Philosophy and Women’s and Gender Studies, MIT. Common Hour: 11:30 am, Mayser Gymnasium.
  • Oct. 25 – Screening of Blaxploitalian: One Hundred Years of Blackness in Italian Cinema, Fred Kuwornu, Italian filmmaker. 7 p.m., Barshinger Life Sciences Philosophy Building Auditorium.
  • Nov. 16 – Race, Gender, and Visual Culture in Latin America, Tamara J. Walker, Assistant Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania. 4:30 p.m., Barshinger Life Sciences & Philosophy Building Auditorium.
  • Nov. 30 – Visions of Freedom: Havana, Washington, Pretoria, and the Struggle for Southern Africa, 1976–1991, Piero Gleijeses, Professor of US Foreign Policy, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Time and location to be announced.
  • Dec. 1 –Art & Aid: How Spoken Word, Instagram and Flash Mobs Helped get Vulnerable Girls in School and Combat Ebola, Katie Meyler, founder of More Than Me. Common Hour: 11:30 a.m., Mayser Gymnasium.
  • Student-led panel discussion, the Black Students Union. Date, time and location to be announced.
  • Assia Djebar Assia Djebar
  • Fatima Mernissi Fatima Mernissi
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