Institute of African Studies - Carleton University

October 9, 2015


African Studies Newsletter

Event @ Carleton: African Film Festival of Ottawa

  • When: October 16, 2015 – October 25, 2015
  • Time: Multi-day (see above)
  • Location: River Building
  • Room: 2200 (Theatre)
  • Cost: Check CFI website
  • Intended Audience: Anyone
  • More information available here

In partnership with Carleton University’s Film Studies program and Institute of African Studies and the Group of African Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Ottawa, the Canadian Film Institute is proud to present the inaugural edition of the African Film Festival of Ottawa.

The cinemas of Africa have consistently delivered some of most impressive, urgent, and engaged films in contemporary world cinema. This new annual festival will showcase the best of African cinema’s diverse and extraordinary films and filmmakers. The first African Film Festival of Ottawa will reveal the richness of the rarely seen cinemas of Africa.

The films selected primarily celebrate emerging voices from across the five regions of the African continent as well as its historical diaspora. They range across a number of genres from futurist to political thriller, melodrama to horror, social realist to fantasy. They are at once celebratory and critical, contemplative and reflexive, elegiac and prospective. The films have been screened, won awards, or entered for nomination at FESPACO (Pan African Film Festival of Ouagadougou), the Durban International Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, the American Film Institute Film Festival and the Academy Awards (Oscars), among others.

The full schedule and prices can be found at the Canadian Film Institute (CFI) website.

Talk @ Carleton: “Integrated systems and the future of OXFAM’s work in Africa”

  • When: October 14, 2015
  • Time: 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM
  • Location: Paterson Hall
  • Room: 433 (History Lounge)
  • Cost: Free
  • Intended Audience: Anyone
  • Event contact: Institute of African Studies
  • Email contact:
  • Phone contact: 613-520-2600 x 2220

The Institute of African Studies presents a Brownbag Seminar talk entitled “Integrated systems and the future of OXFAM’s work in Africa” with Neal Mc Carthy, OXFAM, USA

Event @ Carleton: First Carleton University Institute of African Studies Undergraduate Conference

The Institute of African Studies (IAS) at Carleton University is hosting its first Undergraduate research conference on 17th of October 2015. This event is organized by the Institute of African Studies Students Association (IASSA).

The goal of this one-day interdisciplinary conference is to provide a platform for future researchers in the field of African Studies. Topics that will be presented on that day will include:

  • Globalization, Popular and Youth Culture
  • Population, Displacement, Migration and Land
  • Gender, Sexuality and Intersectionality
  • Critiques of Imperialism, Colonialism and the Slave Trade
  • Natural Resources and International Development
  • Race, Identity, and Diaspora
  • Crime, Security, and Political Leadership
  • Environment and Conservation

Register Button

There will be guest-speakers, cultural components, and an environment that fosters the kind of support and encouragement that undergraduate students treasure. It will also include lunch and coffee breaks will be provided throughout the day.

The conference will take place in the Carleton University’s Discover Centre on the fourth floor of the MacOdrum Library.

For directions, here is a link to our campus map

For general information, please email the organizing committee at:

Event @ Carleton: Documentary Launch-“Mental Health on Air”

Depression and mental illness affect youth regardless of where they live. Two radio shows, along with school-based listening clubs, are helping to foster the next generation of leaders of Malawi and Tanzania by starting a discussion on the difficult topic of depression and mental health.

Join Farm Radio International and at the launch of this documentary:

Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m., Kailash Mital Theatre, Carleton University


Watch the trailer:

Ottawa’s 4th Annual “Felabration”:A Tribute To Fela Kuti

Displaying fela2015.jpg

The Ottawa International Drumming Festival in collaboration with Mercury Lounge proudly Present:
Ottawa’s 4th Annual “Felabration”:A Tribute To Fela Kuti.

When:Saturday October 10th, 2015

56 Byward Street in the Market.
Price: $7.00 in advance online at or $10.00 at the door

Come celebrate the music of this multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick. Afrobeat is a complex fusion of jazz, funk (especially the music of James Brown), Psychedelic Rock,and traditional West African Chants and Rhythms. Afrobeat also borrows heavily from the native “tinker Pan” African-style percussion.

Event starts with an early evening of Drumming circle from 8:00pm – 11:00pm. Follwed by DJ Trevor Walker, spinning originals and remixes of Fela – With Jesse Matthews & Arien Villegas on percussion, Mario Nora Mulligan Gauvreau on trumpet, & Mikando Mathieu on trombone


The Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God’ at the National Arts Centre

Rooted in African storytelling traditions, ‘Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God’ is a play about the struggles of a black woman in the proud community of Negro Creek, Ont. It’s an inspiring story of overcoming tragedy in life; a potent and profoundly emotional story of living, dying and the power of forgiveness. It’s also a story about fighting for what you believe in and preserving a town’s rich history.

The production runs in the NAC Theatre from October 21st – November 7th. You can find more info on the production here:

Global Centre for Pluralism / Centre mondial du pluralisme

October 22, 2015 – Pluralism Forum
Prospects for Pluralism Post-Arab Spring: Does Tunisia suggest a way forward?

His Excellency Mehdi Jomaa, Dr. Marwan Muasher and Dr. Bessma Momani
Thursday, October 22, 2015

17:30 Reception
18:00 to 19:30 Pluralism Forum

The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat
199 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Canada
Click here to register.
If you are unable to join us in Ottawa, a live webcast will begin at 18:00 (ET)
on October 22nd at
Join former Prime Minister of Tunisia H.E. Mehdi Jomaa, Vice-President for Studies at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Foreign Minister of Jordan, Dr. Marwan Muasher as they explore the challenges and opportunities for pluralism in the Middle East and North Africa along with Senior Fellow Dr. Bessma Momani, Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Presented in partnership with:

The Pluralism Forum is a series of moderated discussions with leading international authorities on the policies and practices that support pluralism.

Founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism is an independent organisation that advances respect for diversity and the benefits of inclusion around the world.

Le 22 octobre 2015 – Forum sur le pluralisme
Les perspectives du pluralisme après le printemps arabe :
la Tunisie propose-t-elle une voie à suivre ?

Son Excellence Mehdi Jomaa, M. Marwan Muasher et Mme Bessma Momani

Gender Post-Doctoral Fellow – Globalized trade and investments

The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.

We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.



CIFOR is seeking a qualified, committed and collaborative post-doctoral fellow to undertake research on gender and agribusiness expansion in tropical countries. The successful candidate will document the mediating factors that affect rural women and men in the process of agribusiness expansion, and assess how different outcomes can be realized under smallholder-inclusive investment models. The post-doctoral fellow will be a part of the CGIAR Research Consortium on Forest, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP FTA) Flagship 5 on “Global Trade and Investments”, and work closely with researchers at CRP Policy Institutions and Markets (PIM) and CRP Water Land and Ecosystems (WLE), focusing on the gender differentiated impacts of large-scale land and water acquisition.


Duties and responsibilities

• Carrying out a review of literature on gender and agribusiness expansion; assessing whether and how different policy responses (such as responsible investments policies, regulatory safeguards and codes of conduct – among others) take into account gender issues linked to commercial commodity investments
• Designing a detailed research protocol to conduct primary research on policy process and local level impacts; analyzing primary and secondary data
• Developing a strategy for engaging with both research and boundary partners, and informing key government and donor strategies on agribusiness expansion
• Authoring reports, working papers, briefing notes peer-reviewed journal articles addressing the knowledge gap on gender-differentiated outcomes and gender inclusive investment models
• Responding to relevant call for proposals, and providing support fundraising efforts
• Disseminating knowledge products to relevant policy actors and monitoring their impacts.

Education, knowledge and experience

• A PhD in a gender related issues in any of the following disciplines: development studies, economics, sociology, anthropology and other relevant disciplines. A solid foundation in political economy or political ecology
• A minimum of two years, hands-on experience with gender and natural resource management, forestry, environmental management required
• Sound command of qualitative and quantitative research methods applied to developing country contexts
• Experience in developing and facilitating training, workshops and/or events (with a gender theme preferred)
• Excellent skills in synthesis and review
• Fluency in spoken and written English at a professional level. A second language preferred (such as French, Swahili, Portuguese, Bahasa Indonesia)
• Proven ability to work collaboratively in cross- cultural contexts with researchers, policymakers, donors, and civil society
• Emerging international, peer-reviewed publications record
• Experience in proposal development/writing required and fundraising preferred.

Personal Attributes and Competencies

• Excellent facilitation skills
• Demonstrated ability to take initiative and complete tasks with an attention to detail
• Ability to work independently and as part of a team
• Ability to multi-task and work to tight deadlines
• Excellent interpersonal communication skills
• Values the sharing of information in a collaborative atmosphere of constructive evaluation and learning
• Willingness to travel as required.

Terms and Conditions

• This is a Post-Doctoral Fellow position. CIFOR offers competitive remuneration, commensurate with skills and experience
• The appointment will be for a period of two years, inclusive nine-month probationary period, with a possibility of extension contingent upon performance, continued relevance of the position and available resources. Maximum assignment of Post-Doctoral Fellow is four years.
• The duty station will be at CIFOR Headquarters in Bogor, Indonesia or CIFOR Hub in Nairobi, Kenya.

Application process

The application deadline is 30 September 2015.
We will acknowledge all applications, but will contact only short-listed candidates.

EXTENDED DEADLINE: 11th October for African Borderlands Research Network cfp Workshop

Call for papers:ABORNE Workshop, April 14-16, 2016, Beuggen (Germany)

The African Borderlands Research Network invites contributions to a conference in Beug-gen, Germany (close to Basel, Switzerland). 

The Beuggen conference will analyse changes in African borderlands and in African Border-land Studies in the nine years since ABORNE’s inception. We invite contributions that fall under one of the following three themes:

1. New development in African borderlands and in African Borderlands Studies: what has changed since ABORNE’s founding conference in 2007?
One of the premises in founding ABORNE was that many borderlands are dynamic places in which global changes often become visible earlier than elsewhere. A large number of case studies have indeed shown that borderlands can be seen as observatories of social change. Due to their special dynamism and the economic and political chances they offer, border-lands make changes that affect the entire continent or the globe particularly visible. In this section, we ask for contributions that analyse trends in such changes over the last ten years. Papers can start from case studies, but should clearly be conceptual in nature. They should address one of the following two subthemes:
In the first sub-theme, we look for papers on specific real-world changes visible in border-lands. Papers should address how – to name but a few examples – transport corridors, transfrontier parks, regional integration efforts or the commodities boom have affected Af-rican borderlands, and should analyse trends that emerge if we take a comparative view of the last ten years.
If we postulate that social change becomes more easily visible in borderlands, we assume that borderlands, through all these changes, keep up distinct traits that enable them to ab-sorb every new wave of social change. Contributions to the second sub-theme should ask whether the social dynamics at play in borderlands indeed remain largely stable. Are bor-derlands indeed, in this sense, resilient to change – ever-adapting to new situations in a way that leaves the fundamental dynamism of adaptation intact? Or do the changes described in the first sub-theme affect the very nature of borderlands and their capacity to remain la-boratories of social change? In other words: will borderlands remain recognisable as bor-derlands in the sense that we have become familiar with over the last decade, or might re-gional integration efforts, transport corridors or transparency initiatives make them disap-pear?

2. Is there a theory of borderlands?
The section is closely linked to the first one, but takes an even broader view. Many scholars agree that we recognise a ‘typical’ borderland if we see it. Yet what exactly is it that we see as common to borderlands? What makes the widely differing case studies comparable? What do we expect to find in a borderland, and what would surprise us? 
We invite scholars to start their presentation from these questions. Ideally, each presenta-tion should centre around one particular trait of (African) borderlands. The choice is very open – it can be an institution like cross-border chieftainship, regional integration organisa-tions or trade networks, a social practice like corruption or smuggling, a technology like the border beacon or one-stop border posts. Starting from an analysis of this feature, the pres-entations should use differences and commonalities between different border regions as inroads to theorising borderlands. 
Ultimately, presentations in this section should ask what borderlands are and why, and should contribute to a general theory of African borderlands and borderlands in general. We look for bold, but closely argued papers synthesizing discussions the network has had over the last eight years.

3. Reports from the field (and the archive): new research, fresh case studies
ABORNE conferences have always been a place to discuss new research and fresh results. We invite both younger and older scholars to present papers on things they find interesting, intriguing, puzzling or new – and to tell us why they think the developments they describe are relevant for borderland studies. Papers in this section might just as well build on in-depth research as on a sidetrack one never has had the time to properly follow. They can be speculative, but should not be boring.

Timeline and Organisation:
Extended deadline for paper abstracts is 11th October 2015. Please send a paper title, a clear and concise abstract of about 250 words and a short CV to A scientific committee will select those contributions which best fit the themes of the call for papers. Participants will be notified about the outcome by October 31st 2015.
The organisers will not be able to fund travel expenses for participants from Europe and North America. Limited travel funds MIGHT be available for a small number of African par-ticipants. When submitting your abstract, please indicate if you cannot attend the confer-ence without subsidies. 
There will be no conference fee. Room and full board for the conference days will be €140 (double room)/ €147 (single with joint bathroom)/ €167 (single with en-suite bathroom); we hope to be able to cover a part of this sum with external funding. 

Schloss Beuggen is a 13th century moated castle on the river Rhine that was the seat of the Teutonic order in Suebia, Burgundy and Alsatia. As becomes a castle, it was plundered dur-ing the Peasant’s War and sacked by the Swedish during the Thirty Years War. Secularized in 1806, it served as a hospital for Austrian soldiers fighting against Napoleon, 3.000 of whom are buried in a mass grave nearby. Today, it’s a congress hotel operated by the Lutheran Church. 
The border to Switzerland is about 50 meters away from Schloss Beuggen (at least by boat or swimming). The castle can easily be reached by public transport from the airports in Basel (1 hour) or Zurich (2 hours) for passengers provided with a Schengen visa for Switzer-land and Germany.

Funded PhD studentship on social protection in Southern Africa

Funded ESRC linked project PhD studentship available at the
School of the Environment, University of Dundee

Applications are invited for a full-time, three-year PhD
studentship to undertake a research project examining the
political and economic power relationships behind social
cash transfer schemes (pensions, child grants etc) that are
being implemented in Lesotho and Malawi. The project will
involve extensive fieldwork in both countries.

The studentship is supervised by Dr Lorraine van Blerk
(Reader, Human Geography) and forms part of a larger
ESRC/DFID grant examining Social cash transfers,
generational relations and youth poverty trajectories in
rural Lesotho and Malawi (PI: Dr Nicola Ansell, Brunel
University). The studentship will start no later than 1st
January 2016.

More information is available here:

Informal enquires can be made to Dr. Lorraine van Blerk:<>

IAS News: Application Form for African Studies Abroad course now available

The application form is now on-line for AFRI 3100/5100, African Studies Abroad course, being held in Malawi in May 2016 with Prof. Paul Mkandawire on the topic of “Unequal Landscapes of Global Health.”

Please visit the African Studies Abroad course page to access the Application form (which is due on October 30th, 2015). Prof. Mkandawire’s powerpoint presentation from the Information Session is also available on this page.

Carleton University  

African Studies Newsletter is produced by the
Institute of African Studies

Subscription preferences can be changed below.