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Events Calendar

The African Studies Center hosts and co-sponsors a wide array of talks, conferences, symposiums, and seminars by internationally renowned intellectuals, artists, and scholars.

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Batman Saves Congo? Strategic Partnerships for Humanitarianism
Prof. Lisa Ann Richey

Thursday, September 21, 2017, 5:30 PM
Fedex Global Education Center, Room 3024, UNC-CH

Lisa Ann Richey is Professor and Director of the Doctoral School of Social Sciences and Business at Roskilde University in Denmark, and she has written extensively on celebrity humanitarianism. She is a Visiting Professor during the 2017-18 academic year at Duke's Kenan Institute for Ethics. Dr. Richey is also a researcher with the Research Network on Celebrity and North-South Relations and the author of Celebrity Humanitarianism and North-South Relations. More information about her work can be found at This talk is part of the Thursday Jama series sponsored by the Carolina Seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes. The Thursday Jama is open to all area faculty and graduate students in any discipline. Light refreshments will be served.   Free.   Please Contact: Stacey Sewall for more information.

REFUGEE Multimedia Art Exhibition
Monday, September 25, 2017 - Friday, November 3, 2017, 8-5:00.
Friday Center, UNC-CH

This fall, the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education will host a multimedia art exhibition, REFUGEE, organized by the Annenberg Space for Photography. Complete with over 150 portrait photographs and a documentary film, REFUGEE explores the lives of refugees from five continents who are dispersed and displaced. With over 65 million displaced refugees throughout the world, the exhibit offers visitors insight into the plight of refugees, including their efforts to survive, their needs, their dreams, and their hopes for a better future. This exhibit is part of the University-wide Arts Everywhere initiative, and academic programming around the exhibit is welcomed and encouraged, including class visits and experiential learning opportunities.   Free.   Please Contact: Robert Bruce for more information.

8th Annual SEALLF Conference
Friday, September 29, 2017 - Saturday, September 30, 2017, All day.
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 4003, UNC-CH

The South East African Languages and Literatures Forum (SEALLF) is an annual conference organized by a group of scholars working on African language pedagogy, linguistics, and literature. This year's theme is: African Languages and Literatures in the Era of Globalization. Africa has been undergoing rapid social processes over the years. These changes have propelled Africa from the pre-colonial era, through the colonial era to the postcolonial era. The postcolonial era has ushered Africa into the era of globalization. The era of globalization unlike the pre-colonial and colonial eras has had a great implication on African languages and literatures. The question, which we ask is: What opportunities and challenges does the era of globalization present to African languages and literatures? Each prospective presenter should submit electronically an abstract of 250 words (please contact the organizers for detailed information on thematic content) to the organizing committee: at by Monday May 26, 2017. Abstracts should include the presenter’s name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information.   Contact organizer for cost information.   Please Contact: Esther Lisanza for more information.


Global Social Development Innovations Symposium
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 - Friday, October 13, 2017, Schedule TBA.

The aim of this symposium is to bring global thought leaders together to discuss cross-sectoral efforts and interventions that have helped to improve the economic security of vulnerable and marginalized populations, and weigh in on the next frontier of impactful work. Speakers include researchers, practitioners, funders, private sector, government and civil society, who will discuss how partnerships among these sectors help to address the most intractable problems in development. The symposium will cap at 150 attendees. GSDI Homepage   Free.   Please Contact: Gina Chowa for more information.

The Gather-Gather Business: The Nigerian Civil War and the Origins of "419"
Samuel Fury Childs Daly

Thursday, October 12, 2017, 5:30 PM.
FedEx Global Education Center, Room 3024, UNC-CH

Using a collection of legal records from the secessionist Republic of Biafra’s courts, this presentation connects the practice of Nigerian fraud, colloquially known as "419" after the section of the criminal code that prohibits it, to the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970). Biafra’s legal record reveals how Biafrans and their government negotiated what kinds of survival tactics, many of them “criminal,” were permissible in the context of warfare and humanitarian crisis. Like in many conflicts, acts of violence and deception became ordinary – and in some cases honorable – when surviving and winning the war trumped all other considerations. In the years that followed the war's end, scarcity and economic precarity led many ex-soldiers to carry the tactics of the battlefield into civilian life. The forms that postwar crime took ranged from armed robberies by ex-soldiers who transformed their disbanded military units into criminal gangs, to elaborate schemes to defraud which made use of the cloak-and-dagger theatrics and blurred lines of authority that the war had left behind. This talk is part of the Thursday Jama series sponsored by the Carolina Seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes. The Thursday Jama is open to all area faculty and graduate students in any discipline. Light refreshments will be served.   Free.   Please Contact: Stacey Sewall for more information.


SERSAS/SEAN 2018 Spring Conference
Friday, January 26, 2018 - Saturday, January 27, 2018, All day.
University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

The South East Regional Seminar in African Studies (SERSAS) & Southeast Africanist Network (SEAN) will hold their Annual Joint Meeting at the University of Florida in Gainesville. The joint SERSAS/SEAN conference prides itself on providing a collegial and welcoming atmosphere, and we are particularly interested in supporting emerging scholars. Co-sponsored by the African Studies Center, UNC-Chapel Hill and the Center for African Studies, University of Florida.   Registration/fee is required.   Please Contact: Todd Leedy for more information.

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