Letter from the President

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to this edition of the ASA Newsletter.  Six months out from the next annual meeting we can report that the association has received a record number of individual, panel and roundtable submissions from those seeking to participate in the Indianapolis program.  Even though our conference hotel is rather large, we shall nevertheless be straining its limits as we seek to be as inclusive as possible.

Maya Angelou: Still Rising

By Anne Adams, Professor Emerita, Cornell University

Twenty years ago, in May, 1994, at his inauguration Nelson Mandela read the poem “Still I Rise.”  He had become acquainted with Maya Angelou’s writing while a “caged bird” at Robben Island prison.  Of all the writers and thinkers that we know Mandela read, the inspiration reflected by the choice of poem for his inauguration—from a woman of the African Diaspora—says as much for Mandela as it does for Angelou.  So, in telling a new South African society: “You may write me down in history/With your bitter, twisted lies/You may trod me in the very dirt/But still, like dust, I’ll rise”—Mandela, via Angelou (including even a reference to gold mines!), affirms the intrepid resilience that his inauguration celebrated.

Announcing the 2014 Board Election Results

The ASA secretariat is pleased to announce the 2014 Board election results as follows:

Vice President-elect

Dorothy L. Hodgson (Anthropology, Rutgers University – New Brunswick)

Interview with James Brennan, 2013 Ogot Award Winner

Dr. James Brennan is Associate Professor of History and African Studies, at the University of Illinois. His research interests include Urbanization, Political Thought, and Media in East Africa, History of Decolonization, History of the Indian Ocean. He won the African Studies Association's Bethwell A. Ogot book prize, for this book Taifa: Making Nation and Race in Urban Tanzania

Video: Spring 2014 Presidential Lecture, given by Professor James Pritchett

Watch ASA President James Pritchett's Spring Presidential Lecture, entitled "The Lunda-Ndembu Myth, and the Making of Contemporary Consciousness in Northwestern Zambia." Given on April 17th 2014, at Rutgers University. Watch Now.

Replacing Boko Haram with an "Attractive" Revolution

This article was first published in Kujenga Amani, on May 5 2014. It is being re-published here with the permission of the editor.


The name of Boko Haram—the Islamic extremist organization responsible for thousands of deaths in Nigeria in recent years—loosely means “education is bad.” Hopefully, a major government offensive against the group, launched in May 2013, will eventually succeed, despite recent setbacks.

Boko Haram and the necessary state of emergency for transforming the intractable conflict in Nigeria

by Toyin Ajao

Toyin Ajao is a Peace and Conflict doctoral fellow and an assistant lecturer at the University of Pretoria. She is also an alumnus of the Africa Leadership Centre, King’s College London and Obafemi Awolowo University. Her research focus includes: human security, conflict transformation, citizen journalism and gender and sexual rights.

South Africa: 2014 Elections

This article was first published on Kujenga Amani, on May 5 2014. It is being re-published here with the permission of the editor.


The African Peacebuilding Network asked several scholars and practitioners to explore what they consider to be the most significant issue(s) in the coming elections and the likely implications for post-2014 South Africa.

1st CODESRIA/CASB Summer School in African Studies and Area Studies in Africa

Interdisciplinarity and Methodological Challenges in African Studies and Area Studies 

Dakar, 1st to 6th September, 2014

The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and The Centre for African Studies Basel (CASB) call for applications for the 1st CODESRIA/CASB Summer School in African Studies and Area Studies in Africa.

Announcement: Edgar Graham Book Prize 2014

The Department of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies invites submissions for the Edgar Graham Book Prize 2014. 

This academic prize was established in 1984 to commemorate Edgar Graham who at the time of his death in 1983 had been Governor of the School for seven years. Edgar Graham's own book, The Modern Plantation in the Third World, was published posthumously by Croom Helm (1984). The prize of £1000 is awarded for a work of original scholarship on development in Asia and Africa. 

History in Africa Journal Archives now Available on CJO site

The History in Africa (HIA) journal archives are now available on Cambridge Journals online. Volumes 1 (1974) through 31 (2004) can be accessed as digitized archives, with a subscription.

Click here to browse Table of Contents from the archives, and back and current issues of HIA.

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