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Remembering our Trailblazers

This page is dedicated to our dearly departed colleagues and friends, whose hard work and commitment to the study of Africa contributed significantly to the production and exchange of knowledge on Africa. The tireless work of these individuals has profoundly impacted and changed narratives about Africa and Africans for the better, which in turn has changed attitudes and approaches toward studying and engaging the continent. We honor and thank them for their hard work.

If you would like to submit an obituary or tribute to this page please click here.

Please note that obituaries and tributes will be accepted and posted on a rolling basis, and need not be for recent deaths. Submissions will be accepted for any individual acknowledged to have made a positive contribution to the study of Africa as a scholar, practitioner, artist, politician, peace maker, etc.

Gerald Bender (1942-2017)

Gerald Bender served as President of the ASA from 1986 to 1987.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Aminata Diaw

Aminata Diaw passed away on Thursday, April 13, 2017.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Jan Vansina: September 14, 1929 – February 8, 2017

Jan Vansina, a pioneering historian whose vast corpus of work transformed our understanding of African history—and the history of many other areas—died on February 8, 2017, in Madison, Wisconsin. He was 87.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Jan-Georg Deutsch

Jan-Georg Deutsch passed away on December 22, 2016.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Isidore Okpewho (1942-2016)

Isidore Okpewho passed away on September 4, 2016. He was 74 years old.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Alain Ricard (1945-2016)

Alain Ricard passed away on Saturday, August 27, 2016. He was a dear friend a colleague who will be missed by everyone who had the honor of sharing his passion for ideas, travel, friendship, Africa, literature, theater and so much more.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Elizabeth Colson (1917-2016)

Elizabeth Colson passed away in July 2016.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Sam Moyo (1954-2015)

Sam Moyo passed away on November 21, 2015, following a car accident in New Delhi, India.

  • Written by Kathryn
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George Houser (1916-2015)

George Houser passed away on August 19, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
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Stephen Ellis (1953-2015)

Professor Stephen Ellis passed away on July 29, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3869

Jack Goody (1919-2015)

Professor John "Jack" Goody passed away on July 16, 2015.

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 3965

John Hunwick (1936-2015)

  • Written by Kathryn
  • Hits: 4518

Said S. Samatar (1943-2015)


  • Written by Kathryn
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Member Aid For Africa
African Studies Association is a participating member of Aid for Africa, a unique partnership of nonprofit organizations serving families and communities throughout Africa.
African Studies Association
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Tel: 848-445-8173
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