SERSAS 2024 Spring Program

Southeast Regional Seminar in African Studies SPRING 2024 Conference


SERSAS 2024 Conference

Friday, March 8 – Saturday, March 9, 2024

Organized in collaboration with the University of Florida Center for African Studies, the University of Virginia, and SERSAS



5:00 – 7:30 PM

Welcome: Noreen McDonald, Senior Associate Dean for Social Sciences and Global Programs, College of Arts and Sciences, UNC 

Keynote Address:  “The Poisoned Chalice of the Coup D’etat in Africa”  

Dr. Moses Khisa, Department of Political Science, North Carolina State University 

Moses Khisa, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Political Science (with a joint appointment in Africana Studies) at North Carolina State University, USA, and was a visiting fellow at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, South Africa. He has a BA & MA from Makerere University, Uganda and MA & PhD in political science from Northwestern University, USA. His research and teaching include comparative politics and political economy of development, politics of institutional change, and civil-military relations in Africa. He is a columnist for the Daily Monitor newspaper and a research associate with the Centre for Basic Research, both in Kampala-Uganda, and a member of the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa (CODESRIA), Dakar. He is co-editor of Rethinking Civil-Military Relations in Africa and co-author of Africa’s New International Relations both published by Lynne Reinner Publishers, 2022, and editor of Autocratization in Contemporary Uganda, Zed Books/Bloomsbury, 2024. He has published several book chapters and more than a dozen articles in peer reviewed journals like African Affairs, Africa Development, African Studies Review, Armed Forces & Society, Third World Quarterly, Commonwealth & Comparative Politics, Civil Wars, Review of African Political Economy, and Journal of Eastern African Studies, among others 

Moderator: Dr. Patricia Sullivan, Department of Public Policy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 

Light refreshments will follow.


8:00-8:30: Light breakfast, Welcome – Peacock Atrium, FedEx GEC




Panel 1A:  The Racial and (Inter)National Politics of Sports – ROOM 1005ABSTRACTS

  1. Tyler Fleming, University of Louisville; The Curious Case of a ‘Tiger Kid’: Boxing and South Africa’s Racial & Immigration Policies under Apartheid
  2. Lorna Kimaiyo, Columbia University; Ethnicity and Sports in Colonial Kenya
  3. Wycliffe Njororai, Stephen F. Austin State University; Transnational African Male Football Player Mobilities and the Chinese Super League
  4. Yomi Ejikunle, University of Louisville; New Approach to Anti-Apartheid Struggle: Interrogating Nigeria’s Contributions to the 1968 Mexico Olympics Boycott Threat

Panel Chair: Laura Cox, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Panel 1B:  Radical (Re)actions in Revolutionary and Anti-Colonial Contexts – ROOM 1009 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Denis Waswa, Louisiana State University; Rethinking Mau-Mau Ecosophy: The Forest and Black Liberation in Kenya
  2. Catherine Lee Porter, Hampton University; Web-based approaches to understanding political association in Cold War Central Africa
  3. Rume Kpadamrophe, University of South Carolina; Chants of Freedom, Acts of Defiance: Women’s Resistance in Timbuktu
  4. Sandra F. Joireman, University of Richmond; Property Confiscation in the Zanzibar Revolution

Panel Chair: Emily Burrill, University of Virginia



Panel 2A:  Practices of Restoration and Integration in Violent or Exclusionary Spaces – ROOM 1005 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Marame Gueye, East Carolina University; A Soul of Small Places: Re-Imagining African Agency and the Role of Male Allies in the Fight Against Gender Violence in Senegal
  2. Edward Tejeda, East Carolina University; The effectiveness of art therapy when treating youth gang members with trauma
  3. Sara Ghebremicael, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Climate and Conflict Impacts on Food Security – Tigray, Ethiopia

Panel Chair: Joy Noel Baumgartner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Panel 2B: The Politics of Aesthetic, Cultural, and Material Production – ROOM 1009 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Alice R. Burmeister, Winthrop University; Strategies for Success: Reconsidering the Impact of Chinese Factory Production of Enamelware and Print Textiles in Northern Nigeria and Niger
  2. Taylor Hunkins, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Playful Places: How Maasai Mbili are Making Art for Their Kibera Community
  3. Rebecca Wolff, Christopher Newport University; Reconsidering the Uli Aesthetics at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Through the Lens of the Nigerian Civil War (1967-1970)
  4. Trenton Zylstra and Kelsey Rooney, East Carolina University and University of Chicago; Investigations into a mid-20th century Senegalese pirogue and the development of the Senegambian boat building tradition

Panel Chair: Victoria L. Rovine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill




Panel 3A: Governance, Health, and Access to Resources in Urban and Rural Communities – ROOM 1005 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Liza Malcolm, College of Charleston; Exploring Attitudes Towards COVID-19 Vaccination in Kono District, Sierra Leone
  2. Christian Doll, North Carolina State University; Small-Scale Money Transfer in Post-War South Sudan

Panel Chair: Moses Khisa, North Carolina State University 


Panel 3B: Moral and Creative Though in Gendered, Same-Sexed, and Local Communities – ROOM 1009 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Anmol Sahni, Emory University; Metonymical Nations and Synecdochical Families: Writing Back to the Ugandan and East African Self with Metafiction in Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi’s Kintu
  2. Seth Palmer, Christopher Newport University;  ‘They Need to Speak Knou in Public All the Time’: Enregistering Lowly Caste, Marked Racialized Ethnicity, and Transgressive Gender/Sexuality in Antananarivo
  3. Ben Burgen, University of West Florida; Resilience and Opportunity: Building Rural Futures in Senegal River Valley
  4. Adamu Danjuma Abubakar, University of Alabama; À la découverte d’une plume inconnue: Achille Sylvestre Ndonaye
  5. Huijoo Shon and Sora Han, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Reconceiving community development as spatial practice in the realm of environmental justice:  The case of grassroots movements in African nations

Panel Chair: Elizabeth Fretwell, Old Dominion University



12:30-2:00: LUNCH (Tuki catering, Chef Papa Assane Mbengue) – Peacock Atrium


Professionalization Workshop for Graduate Students (DURING LUNCH):  Join two professional development experts from the UNC Graduate School for break-out sessions over lunch.  One session will focus on the job search for academic positions, and the other will focus on non-academic job search strategies.



Panel 4: Strategies, Constraints, and Foreign Policy Impacts in Colonial and Post-Colonial Administrations – ROOM 1005 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Liz Timbs, University of North Carolina Wilmington; Rumor in Zululand and Natal in Local, National, and International Perspective, 1901-1916
  2. Cathy Skidmore-Hess, Georgia Southern University; They cannot kill just for destruction: development and game control in early twentieth-century Botswana
  3. Stephen M. Magu, Norfolk State University; Explaining Kenya’s Foreign Policy 1963 – 2023: History, Issues, Decisions, Expectations, Strategies and Consequences
  4. Christophe Ippolito, Georgia Institute of Technology; On France’s current challenges in Sahel region

Panel Chair: Lisa Lindsay, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


3:20-4:30 – A ROUNDTABLE


Panel 5A: Extending higher educational literacy through historical analysis, literary criticism, and translation – ROOM 1005 – ABSTRACTS

Covener: Bill F. Ndi, Tuskegee University | Presenters:

  • Bill F. Ndi, Tuskegee University, Translating The Journal of John Woolman
  • Benjamin Hart Fishkin, Tuskegee University, The Absurd and The Cameroonian Tragedy at Decolonization
  • Viviane Koua, Auburn University, Translating Emmanuel Fru Doh’s Boundaries
  • Godfrey Vincent, Wilberforce University, Rebels at the Gates: The Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union in the Era of George Weekes, 1962-1987

Roundtable Chair: Yvette Essounga, Tuskegee University


Panel 5B: Land Degradation, Rehabilitation and Conservation in African Landscapes – ROOM 1009 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Devon Maloney and Alfredo Rojas, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Mapping Fine-scale Land Degradation Neutrality in Northern Togo: A Pilot Participatory Study Using Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles
  2. Rajah Saparapa, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Toward Community-Based Environmental Management: Understanding Community Attitudes Toward Togo’s Fazao Malfakassa National Park
  3. Taylor Ouellette, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Agent-Based Modeling Land Dispossession & Conflict in Kruger National Park’s Makuleke Region
  4. Sehdia Mansaray, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Toposequences and Transects: Spatializing Mossi Soil Classifications Using Field Data and GIS

Panel Chair: Colin West, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill





Panel 6A: Current African History Research in the History Department, East Carolina University, NC: Themes of Emigration, Resistance, Ritual, and Public Health – ROOM 1009 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Shannon Vance, East Carolina University; The Continent that Lies Beyond’: Navigating Consumptions and Resistances to Colonialism with ‘Hidden Transcripts’ in l’AOF Senegal
  2. Lynn B. Harris, East Carolina University; Typhus, polio, and ‘dagga’ (cannabis): Highlighting the Trials and Tribulations of Public Health in Union of South Africa
  3. Jarvis L. Hargrove, East Carolina University; North Carolina Emigration to Liberia in the 19th and 20th Century
  4. Brennan Jenkins, East Carolina University; The Queen Mothers Ikegobo: A Symbol for the Achievements Expected of Benin’s Royal Women
  5. Armani Gibbs, East Carolina University; Medical and Health Practices at Sea: Unveiling African Traditions aboard Ships of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the 18th Century


Panel 6B: White Scholars in Black Spaces and Black Scholars in Black Spaces – ROOM 1005 – ABSTRACTS

  1. Bill F. Ndi, Tuskegee University; Francis B. Nyamnjoh’s The Travails of Dieudonné and the presence of Western scholars in Mimboland
  2. Benjamin H. Fishkin, Tuskegee University; White scholars at the forefront of a black field…
  3. Viviane Koua, Auburn University; Black Scholars in Black Spaces in the Western world
  4. Hassan Yossimbom, Kobe University Japan; Western Literary Canons in African Literary Spaces and African Literary Canons in Western Literary Spaces
  5. Yvette Essounga, Tuskegee University; Complexities, Intricacies, and Repercussions of White and Black Scholars in Black Spaces

Panel Chair: Bill Ndi, Tuskegee University



6:30 – 8:00 PM: To be announced



African Studies Center, UNC-Chapel Hill

University of Florida Center for African Studies

University of Virginia


Program Committee: Sara Ghebremicael, Laura Cox, Nancy Andoh