Events Reminder from the Centre of African Studies, University of London,
March 2015
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CAS Annual Lecture

Centre of African Studies 50th Anniversary Lecture:
Yinka Shonibare MBE RA

Wednesday, May 13th | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm 
Brunei Galler Lecture Theatre (BGLT), SOAS


The Centre of African Studies is honoured to welcome the renowned artist Yinka Shonibare MBE RA to deliver our annual lecture, marking the 50th anniversary of the largest centre of expertise on Africa outside Africa.

Over the past decade, Shonibare has become well known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work explores these issues, alongside those of race and class, through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and, more recently, film and performance. Using this wide range of media, Shonibare examines in particular the construction of identity and tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Mixing Western art history and literature, he asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today. Having described himself as a ‘post-colonial’ hybrid, Shonibare questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions.

Registration is required via Eventbrite 

April Events

The 4th Annual Igbo Conference: Igbo Womanhood, Womanbeing and Personhood

17 & 18 April, 10:00 AM - 8:00 PM, Brunei Lecture Theatre and Suite, SOAS

This conference seeks to create a platform through which to engage with various conceptions of Igbo womanhood, vis-à-vis the changing position of Igbo women and the changing practices in Igbo culture. It seeks to explore Igbo traditions in relation to the role and status of women and examine the numerous social and political contributions made by Igbo women. The two day conference will comprise of plenary panels, Igbo cultural performances and workshops.

Find out more and register as soon as possible

Starting from (W)here? Understanding the international art market from an African perspective

25 & 26 April 9:00 AM -: 6:00 PM, Room B11, SOAS 

This training course marks the launch of The Africa Centre's African Creative Business Programme (‘ACBP’) initiative, starting with the two day intensive and interactive course designed for professional practice help and guidance for creative people.

This 2-day course includes lectures regarding African contemporary art, the influence of galleries, art and the internet, and many more. For a full list of the lectures and more details about the conference, please click here

We welcome curators; writers; gallerists; bloggers; critics; collectors; students; researchers; enthusiasts.

Admission Fee: £95 for the two day course, inclusive of lunch, tea & coffee & networking reception (5.45-7pm on Saturday 25th April)

To register, please contact Yovanka Perdigao

Whatever Happened to the Developmental State? The Curious Incident of South Africa

 Africa Seminar - Ben Fine (SOAS). Monday 27th April, 5.15-7pm, Room 4429

In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, GFC, the revival of support for state intervention, other than in the financial sector, has been remarkably limited and momentary. Yet, we are told that industrial policy is back on the agenda. If so, why has the developmental state not become more prominent given that it is so heavily associated with the rise of Japan and the East Asian NICs? But a counterexample is provided by South Africa which declared itself committed to being a developmental state just as the GFC broke. Is this an exception, or an exception that proves the continuing rule of neoliberalism?
Organised as part of the 'Economic Transformation in Africa' Working Group

Find out more

Future Sounds of Mzansi - Film Screening
28 April 2015 | 6:00 pm
Djam Lecture Theatre (DLT), SOAS

Co-directed by performance artist and producer Spoek Mathambo, this documentary aims to explore, express, and interrogate South Africa’s cultural landscape.  A chief vehicle of this exploration is electronic music, a staple of South African popular culture. The film engages with a potent range of pioneers sculpting the sounds of things to come. We swim in the sounds of deep house, glitch hop, sghubu sapitori, durban qhum, dubstep and shangaan electro.

Watch the trailer 

All welcome, to rsvp, email

TERM 3 Events
  • Vamba Sherif - 'Bound to Secrecy'
  • Book Launch, Tues 5th May, 6pm-8pm, Room 116


  • Steeped in the tradition of supernatural detective fiction and exploring the use and abuse of power in dysfunctional governments, this novel begins with the arrival of William Mawolo, a stranger from the capital, in a border town somewhere in Africa. On a secret mission to investigate the disappearance of the local chief, Mawolo is hampered by the suspicion of the local population, particularly Makemeh, the daughter of the missing chief, whose apparent indifference to her father's disappearance emboldens Mawolo to draw closer to her. As time goes by and no one in the capital orders him back, Mawolo decides to go above his official authority and take charge of the town, but this move only bolsters his ego and antagonizes the locals further—at which point he realizes that learning the secrets of the town might just bring about his own demise.
    Chair: Robtel Pailey (SOAS)

    Find out more

    In the Name of the People: Angola's Forgotten Massacre by Lara Pawson

  • Book Launch, Mon 18th May, 5.15pm-7pm, Room 4429

  • On 27th May 1977, a small demonstration against the MPLA, the ruling party of Angola - led to the slaughter of thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people. These dreadful reprisals are little talked of in Angola today - and virtually unknown outside the country. In this book, journalist Lara Pawson tracks down the story of what really happened in the aftermath of that fateful day. In a series of vivid encounters, she talks to eyewitnesses, victims and even perpetrators of the violent and confusing events of the 27th May and the following weeks and months. From London to Lisbon to Luanda, she meets those who continue to live in the shadow of the appalling events of 40 years ago and who - in most cases - have been too afraid to speak about them before. As well as shedding light on the events of 1977, this book contributes to a deeper understanding of modern Angola - its people and its politics; past, present and future.
    Chair: Christopher Cramer (SOAS)

    Find out more

    Re-Presenting Africa in Young Adult Speculative Fiction: The Ekpe Institution in Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Witch
    Africa Seminar - Louisa Uchum Egbunike (SOAS). Monday 1st June, 5.15-7pm, Room 4429
    Find out more


  • 'Africa – Why Economists Get it Wrongby Morten Jerven 
  • Book Launch, Thursday 4th June, 6pm-8pm, Brunei Suite
  • Not so long ago, Africa was being described as the ‘Hopeless Continent’. Recently, though, talk has turned to ‘Africa Rising’, with enthusiastic voices exclaiming the potential for economic growth across many of its countries. What, then, is the truth behind Africa’s growth, or lack of it?

    In this provocative book, Morten Jerven fundamentally reframes the debate, challenging mainstream accounts of African economic history. Whilst for the past two decades experts have focused on explaining why there has been a ‘chronic failure of growth’ in Africa, Jerven shows that most African economies have been growing at a rapid pace since the mid-90s. In addition, African economies grew rapidly in the 50s, the 1960s, and even into the 1970s. Thus, African states were dismissed as incapable of development based largely on observations made during the 1980s and early 1990s. The result has been misguided analysis, and few practical lessons learned.

    An essential account of the real impact economic growth has had on Africa, and what it means for the continent’s future.

    Respondent: Tunde Zack-Williams (University of Central Lancashire)
    Chair: Christopher Cramer (SOAS)

    Find out more

    The Humor Principle in Modern African Literature and Cinema
    Africa Seminar - Maik Nwosu (University of Denver). Monday 1st June, 5.15-7pm, Room 4429

    An examination of how the African comic imagination, which traces a path back to African folklore,  has variously manifested in modern African literature and the direct-to-video Nigerian film industry  known as Nollywood.
    Find out more


Other events
Text and Authority in the South African Nazaretha Church by Joel Cabrita (Cambridge University Press, 2014)
Book Launch & Talk - Monday 27 April, 5pm in Room S1 at CRASSH, the Alison Richard Building in Cambridge. 
This event is co-hosted by the Centre for African Studies. CRASSH and the IAI (International African Institute). 
There will be a short panel discussion on 'Current Trends in Christianity in Africa Scholarship', featuring David Maxwell (Cambridge) and J.D.Y. Peel (SOAS), chaired by Andrea Grant (Cambridge). A drinks reception will follow. 

October Gallery Events:

Talk: A History of the 20th Century in Maps
with Tom Harper and Tim Bryars,
In conjunction with London Book & Screen Week

Thursday 16th April 2015

Find out more

Sancho – An Act of Remembrance Film Screening & Q+A 
In conjunction with London Book & Screen Week
Friday 17th April 2015

Find out more

Jobs & Funding Opportunities


  • Junior Residency Fellowships for PhD candidates and advanced scholars, and a Workshop on 'Migration, Mobility and Development in Africa'
    Download CFP
    Download Description

    Call for Applications:Haycock Research Grant: Sudan and South Sudan
    The British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) invites applications for grants from the Haycock Fund, to support projects of research in Sudan/South Sudan. Applications may be for any sum between £1,000 and £10,000 pounds sterling, and may be made in respect of projects in any area of the humanities and social sciences. Applications may be for a one-off project, or may form part of an established larger programme of research activity.

    Find out more
Angelica Baschiera

Tel +44 (0) 7898 4370
Caitlin Pearson is leaving the Centre of African Studies. For any queries, please contact Angelica on

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Centre of African Studies, SOAS, University of London
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