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Spring 2018

"The Uncondemned"

April 19 | 4:30pm | IU Libraries Screening Room (Wells 048)

Film screeing and discussion to follow with Maria Bucur, Professor of History and Gender Studies, and Beth Lewis Samuelson, Associate Professor of Literacy, Culture, and Language, IU School of Education. "The Uncondemned" tells the gripping and world-changing story of a group of young international lawyers and activists who fought to make rape a crime of war, and the Rwandan women who came forward to testify and win justice where there had been none. Find out more about "The Uncondemned" here.


"Noem My Skollie" ("Call Me Thief")

April 12 | 7:00pm | IU Libraries Screening Room (Wells 048)

Film screeing and discussion to follow with American Historical Review editor and Professor of History Alex Lichtenstein. Sponsored by the American Historical Review, the African Studies Program, the College of Arts and Humanities Institute, and the IU Libraries Moving Image Archive. View the trailer here.


"Toward a Comparative History of Racial Thought: Historicism, Barbarism, and Autochtnoy"

April 6 | 4:00pm | Ballantine BH 005

Dr. Jonathon Glassman, Department of History, Northwestern University and author of War of Words, War of Stones. Presented by the IU Department of History, The African Studies Program, the Center for Research on Race and Ethnicity in Society, the Cultural Studies Program, the Department of English's Susan D. Gubar Chair, and the International Studies Department in the School of Global and International Studies.


Victor Gama: "Pieces for Acrux and Toha"

Thursday, March 22 | 7:00pm | Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Victor Gama is a composer and designer of contemporary musical instruments for new music. He performs solo, with his trio or with ensembles playing his large pieces from small to big halls such as the Concertgebouw, Carnegie Hall or Centro Cultural de Belém. He makes music for dance, film, theater and multimedia performances using his unique set of musical instruments as exclusive sound libraries. Come see his solo performance at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater and join in the "question and answer" session afterward. This event is free and open to the public. Mr. Gama will also be our guest at the March 23 Friday Colloquium.

We thank our co-sponsors for making his visit possible:
The College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI)
The Office of the Vice President for International Affairs
The IU Department of History
The Media School
Lotus Blossoms


People and Places Series

March 7 - March 9 | Various Event Locations (see below)

The African Studies Program is proud to bring you this series of events centered around questions of 21st century land rights, land tenure and land ownership. Please see all related events below.

We would like to thank our co-sponsors for making this series possible:
Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity & Multicultural Affairs
College Arts & Humanities Institute (CAHI)
Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies
Black Film Center/Archive
Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology
IU Libraries
Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center
Institute for Advanced Study

Roundtable--People and Places: Conversations about the Meaning of Land

Wednesday, March 7 | 5:00pm - 6:30pm | Grand Hall, Neal-Marshall BCC

A Roundtable Discussion with contributions by:

Valerie Grim, Director of Undergraduate Studies, African American and African Diaspora Studies; Professor, African American and African Diaspora Studies; Director, Thomas I. Atkins LLC. Heirs property laws, rural black land ownership, and significance for Millenials.
Jessica Steinberg, Assistant Professor, International Studies. Law and India.
David McDonald, Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology, Chair of the Department, Ethnomusicology Institute Director. Palestinians and land issues.
Eduardo Brondizio, Professor, Anthropology, and Center for the Analysis of Social Ecological Landscapes (CASEL). Land rights issues in Latin America.
Gregg Mitman, Professor of Science, Medical History, and Environmental Issues, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Director, "The Land Beneath Our Feet." Land rights in Liberia.
Emmanuel Urey, ABD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, narrator, "The Land Beneath Our Feet." Exemplar of land issues in film.
Yah Dolo-Barbu, Maurer School of Law. Land laws of Liberia.

Reception to follow

Using Media in Fieldwork

Thursday, March 8 | 11:00am | Folklore and Ethnomusicology, 800 E. 3rd St., Room 102

A presentation and discussion on using media in fieldwork and in collecting oral histories with Gregg Mitman and Emmanuel Urey.

Screening: The Land Beneath Our Feet

Thursday, March 8 | 5:00pm | IU Libraries Screening Room, Wells 048

Join us for a screening of this important, award winning documentary.

"The Land Beneath Our Feet follows a young Liberian man, uprooted by war, who returns from the USA with never-before-seen footage of Liberia’s past. The uncovered footage is embraced as a national treasure. Depicting a 1926 corporate land grab, it is also an explosive reminder of eroding land rights. In post-conflict Liberia, individuals and communities are pitted against multinational corporations, the government, and each other in life-threatening disputes over land. What can this ghostly footage offer a nation, as it debates radical land reforms that could empower communities to shape a more diverse, stable and sustainable future?" (source:

A discussion with director Gregg Mitman and narrator Emmanuel Urey will follow the screening.

Dr. Mitman and Mr. Urey will also discuss issues of filming a documentary and use of video documentation methods for fieldwork at the African Languages Program Friday Colloquium on March 9, 10:30am, in GISB GA 1112.

Fall 2017

Horizons of Knowledge Lecture: Dr. Benjamin Lawrance
Professor of History, University of Arizona

Tuesday, November 7 | 5:00pm | FA 102

"Africa’s First Failed Asylum Seeker? Dugmore Boetie’s Abortive Apartheid Exile"

The contemporary African migration crisis provides an opportunity to recover the lived truths of mass mobility alongside fears, hearsay, and rumor. Refugee narratives constitute an oral archive of persecutory histories; assembled, cataloged, and analyzed together, they contain embedded vocabulary and more that subtly recast statehood and national power. This presentation will look at the specific case study of Dugmore Boetie, a South African who wrote of life under Apartheid.

Dr. Lawrance is an internationally known legal historian and scholar, prolific writer and current editor-in-chief of the African Studies Review. His work in Africa and with West African migrants around the globe explores mobility, labor, and exploitation through time and space, and he has written about historical and contemporary slavery, human trafficking, cuisine and globalization, human rights, refugee issues and asylum policies.

Sponsored by the IU African Studies Program, the IU International Studies Program, the IU Department of Political Science, the IU Department of Anthropology, and the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program.

A reception will follow at 6:00pm in the GISB First Floor Lounge.


Special Guest Lecturer: Isabel Hofmeyr
Professor of African Literature, University of Witwatersrand and Global Distinguished Professor, New York University

Friday, November 3 | 4:00pm | IMU Sassafras Room

"Colonial Copyright, Customs and Port Cities: Intellectual Property and Material Histories"

Can colonial copyright provide us with accounts of intellectual property that complicate existing understandings which are largely extrapolated from European Histories?

Colonial copyright was shaped by the mobility of objects and texts and the attempts to govern them. The institutions that become analytically pertinent for understanding copyright are hence somewhat different from those established as normative in the European scholarship. One such site was Customs and Excise in the port city, the funnel through which all print material coming from outside the colony had to pass. Custom officials generally had little understanding of copyright legislation which encompassed a complex web of imperial law, colonial law, and the Berne Convention. Unable to fathom which law was supposed to apply where, customs officials had to elaborate their own sets of understandings and practices which they elaborated from their routines and procedures for governing and classifying the objects that passed through their jurisdiction. This talk traces such procedures, focusing on southern African colonial port cities and their maritime-border making processes in relation to both people and objects. It argues that we need to understand colonial copyright as part of this dockside or maritime-border making. Sponsored by the College Arts and Humanities Institute (CAHI) and the African Studies Program.


First Thursdays on the Arts Plaza

October 5 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm | The Arts Plaza
Join African Studies Program students and faculty in exploring the language of African clothing. Learn how to "speak" through cloth and proverbs, tie a headscarf, make an item of dress or jewelry, and see fabrics from across the continent. First Thursdays is an Arts & Humanities Council initiative begun last fall which celebrates the arts and humanities on the IU Bloomington campus. For more information visit The Arts and Humanities page.


"Medan vi lever (While We Live)"

September 28 | 7:00pm | IU Libraries Screening Room

Come see this story of a mother’s wish to leave Sweden and return to Gambia causes strife with her son, an aspiring Hip-Hop artist on the verge of success. A discussion with director Dani Kouyaté and Jane Bryce (University of West Indies) will follow at 9pm. This free program is presented by Beth Buggenhagen, Associate Professor of Anthropology, and the IU African Studies Program, with support from the Department of French & Italian, the Black Film Center/Archive, Black Camera, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of History, and the Institute for Advanced Study. Visit The Black Film Center/Archive for more information, and download the flyer here.