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  • Global South Languages Fellowships

    Global South Languages Fellowship
    The Center for African Studies, the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, through support from the Provost Office, are proud to announce a call for applications for the Global South Languages Fellowship. The goal of this fellowship program is to provide support for graduate students interested in the study of Less Commonly Taught Languages of the Global South, including Arabic, Hindi, Quechua, Persian, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof, and Zulu. These fellowships will offer academic year support (AY 2019-2020) to graduate students at the MA or PhD level. Successful applicants will receive a $15,000 stipend and a waiver of tuition and some fees. As cultural and language training go hand in hand, fellows will be required to take one language course and one relevant area studies course each semester that they hold a fellowship. Additional requirements may be listed in awards letters. Academic advisors at each center will assist fellows in selecting the appropriate language and area studies courses.
    Eligible Languages by Center
    Center for African Studies
    • Arabic
    • Swahili
    • Wolof
    • Zulu
    Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
    • Quechua
    • Portuguese
    Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
    • Arabic
    • Hindi
    • Persian
    • Turkish
    Applicant Eligibility
    • This fellowship supports study of eligible languages (see list above) at all levels, from elementary to advanced.
    • Applicants must be degree-seeking students in good academic standing enrolled in graduate programs at the University of Illinois.
    • Incoming graduate students are eligible to receive a fellowship if they are accepted for enrollment and matriculate for the 2020-2021 academic year or are already enrolled full-time at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
    Application Materials
    All applicants must submit to the relevant center the following:
    • A cover page
    • A two-page and double spaced personal statement explaining your rationale for studying a particular language, experience with the language (if any) and/or any other foreign languages, how the proposed language study fits in with your field of study and relates to the specific area studies you are apply to, as well as how the study of the language will advance your academic/professional goals.
    • Unofficial transcripts
    • Two letters of recommendation (one must be from your current advisor)
    Applications are due by Friday, January 31, 2020. All materials, with the exceptions of letters of reference, should be bundled into a single PDF and uploaded at
    Files should be named using the following convention LastName_Language_Center_AY1920 (i.e. Szremski_Quechua_CLACS_AY1920. Recommenders should also upload their letters at the same website.
    Center for African Studies: Dr. Maimouna Barro []
    Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies: Dr. Kasia Szremski []
    Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies: Dr. Angela Williams []

  • Symposium on Teaching Transitional Justice: W.E.B. DuBois Lecture with Dr.Allan Boesak

    Click here to view the W.E.B. DuBois Lecture with Dr.Allan Boesak, part of the 2018 Symposium on Teaching Transitional Justice.

  • CAS Support for GEO

    TO:      Chancellor Jones,

    Provost Cangellaris,

    LAS Dean Hu,

    LAS Associate Dean Tewksbury,

    Graduate College Dean Chodzko-Zajko

    RE:   Center for African Studies’ Support For Graduate Employees Organization

    The Center for African Studies writes to express our support for the Graduate Employees’ Organization in their bargaining efforts towards a fair contract with the University of Illinois. The strike is now in its third day and there has been significant disruption to the teaching mission of the university.

    We urge Provost Cangellaris and the University bargaining team to work with the GEO to find a solution to provide a fair contract, especially considering that our graduate student employees have been without a contract since the beginning of the academic year. We support an agreement that maintains their tuition waivers, pays them a living wage that follows the University’s own published cost of living, and provides them with adequate healthcare.

    We acknowledge the vital role that graduate students play as Teaching Assistants at our university, especially at the undergraduate level, helping us fulfill the mission of the university with regards to teaching, research, and service.

    CAS joins other units in expressing our support for a fair contact for our graduate students.


    Teresa Barnes (Director, CAS)
    Maimouna Barro (Associate Director, CAS)

    CAS Executive Committee

    Ken Salo
    Allyson Purpura
    Atoma Batoma
    Mauro Nobili

    Teresa Barnes

    Director, Center for African Studies
    Associate Professor, History Department and Gender & Women's Studies Department
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Urbana, IL 61801
    Ph: 217-333-6335 or 217-333-1155

  • Summer 2018 opportunities on campus: SILMW program

    About SILMW's summer program 2018

  • Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited with Author Mhoze Chikowero: "Sounds of African Liberation"

    In partnership with the Center for African Studies, through support from the US Department of Education's Title VI Program, Krannert Center welcomes Thomas Mapfumo & The Blacks Unlimited for a performance at Stage 5 in the central Lobby. The performance will be accompanied by commentary from Mhoze Chikowero based on his award-winning book, African Music, Power, and Being in Colonial Zimbabwe.

    Thomas Mapfumo is known as "The Lion of Zimbabwe" for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He both created and made popular Chimurenga music, a Zimbabwean music genre that blends traditional Shona mbira music with modern electric instruments and lyrics characterized by social and political commentary. The word chimurenga itself is the word for liberation in the Shona language. Mapfumo's slow-moving style and distinctive voice is instantly recognizable to Zimbabweans.

    Mhoze Chikowero, Professor of African History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, just won the J.H. Kwabena Nketia book prize for 2014-16. His book presents a historical account of the articulation of colonialism and self-liberation in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa through music and related performative cultures. The Blacks Unlimited, and particularly its leader Thomas Mapfumo, feature prominently in the book.

    Together, the talk and performance advance an African multimodal approach to self-authorship that brings together scholarship and performance in the same space to present a powerful experience of music and intellectual discourse.

  • What Does "The Ban" Mean for Africa: Conversations about Immigration, Foreign-ness, and Resistance

    The Center for African Studies and The Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies invite you to a panel to discuss the recent signing of “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States,” an Executive Order targeting immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim nations, including Libya, Somalia, and Sudan. The event is co-sponsored by the University YMCA and will take place Tuesday, February 7, from 1:00-3:00 in Latzer Hall, University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St., C. Please join us. Click here for more information.


  • "Dr. Mauro Nobili on Arabic, Timbuktu, and West Africa," an Interview with Dr. Mauro Nobili, Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign by Katrina Spencer, Graduate student in Library and Information Science and CAS FLAS student

    Dr. Mauro Nobili is a history professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Here he discusses his research as it relates to the fabled city of Timbuktu and the linguistic challenges posed to those addressing similar areas of interest. Click here for details.

  • “Thinking about Our Shared Common Ancestry–Pausing to Reflect Back on My Career as an Africanist,” an Interview with Dr. Alma Gottlieb, Professor of Anthropology, University of Illinois by Dallas Tatman, Graduate Student in Religious Studies.

    An Interview by Dallas Tatman, Graduate student in Religious Studies, as part of the Center for African Studies' Graduate core course, AFST 522: “Development of African Studies,” Spring 2016.

    Click here for details.

  • “Memories and Images of the East African Coast,” an Interview with Dr. Prita Meier, Assistant Professor of Art History, University of Illinois by Beth A. Williams, Doctoral Student in History

    “Memories and Images of the East African Coast,” Dr. Prita Meier, Assistant Professor of Art History. Interview by Beth A. Williams, Doctoral student in History, as part of the Center for African Studies' Graduate core course, AFST 522: “Development of African Studies,” Spring 2016.
    Click here for details.

  • "Three Decades, and Africa," an Interview with Professor Teresa Barnes, Professor of African History, University of Illinois by Katrina Spencer, Graduate student in Library and Information Science and CAS FLAS student

    Click here to listen to an interview of Professor Teresa Barnes by CAS FLAS student Katrina Spencer.

  • Renowned African liberation supporter Prexy Nesbitt will speak to CAS sessions on "History of African Liberation Movements and Lessons for US today" March 10-11

    CAS will host a two-day seminar which will bring together Africanist academics from the U of I and colleges across the state. The content will focus on the links between African Studies and contemporary racial justice struggles in the US as well as examine the potential for expanding Africana Studies in Illinois community colleges. The event is jointly organized by CAS, Department of African American Studies, and the Program of African Studies at Northwestern University as part of a Title VI grant. Co-sponsors include: Center for South Asian and the Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES), Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS), Initiative in Holocaust, Genocide and Memory Studies, and LAS Global Studies Program.

    Click here for details. 

  • Article titled, "The Evolution of Shea Butter's 'Paradox of paradoxa' and the Potential Opportunity for Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to Improve Quality, Market Access and Women's Livelihoods across Rural Africa" by Dr. Bello-Bravo Published in SUSTAINABILITY, Vol.7, Iss. 5, 2015

    Click here to read more.

  • We are proud to note that CAS and its faculty affiliates are prominently featured in the current issue ( No. 20; SPRING/SUMMER 2015 ) of ILLINOIS INTERNATIONAL REVIEW

    Welcome by Dr. Reitumetse Obakeng Mabokela, Vice Provost for International Affairs and Global Strategies

    2014 International Achievement Award Recipients-Gregory Damhorst

    Wamkilekile-Welcome to South Africa-Introduction by Jan Brooks

    Illinois Mobilizes to Educate on Ebola





  • Breakthrough Research, Global Impact - Cell Phone Animations and Global Development

    Read the full article, click here.

  • Underrepresented doctoral students in STEM receive grant

    Read the full article, click here

  • CAS introduces new blog on "Ebola Response and Resources"

    The Center for African Studies at the University of Illinois recently introduced a new blog that aims to raise awareness and collate resources surrounding the recent Ebola outbreak in W. Africa. To view the blog, click here.

    The "Ebola Response and Resources" website contains latest developments on the Ebola outbreak in the media, educational materials, way to contribute, as well as information about the Scientific Animation Without Borders (SWABO) Ebola animation project.

  • International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) announces new website and invites affiliates

    ACES at the University of Illinois has announced the release of a new website for the International Food Security at Illinois (IFSI) program. IFSI aims to "works to secure abundant food for everyone through food systems research and innovation". To view the website, click here.

    To apply to be an affiliate, please fill out the following form by October 31st:

  • Undergraduate Internship - Soybean Innovation Lab

  • CAS Community to present at African Studies Association Annual Conference in Indiana

    To view the list of presentations, click here.


  • Otaak Band Performance

    The Otaak band will be performing at the Krannert Center on Saturday, October 19, 2014 at 9:30pm. The performance will feature a fusion of Eastern Sudanese, contemporary pop rock and jazz music.

    To view the flyer for the event, click here.

  • Global Africa Community Forum: What Does Black Masculinity Look Like?

    In conjunction with the Krannert Art Museum, the Center for African Studies is co-sponsoring the second Global Africa Community Forum. The event is titled, "What Does Black Masculinity Look Like? Blackness, Gender and Contemporary African Dance." Structured as a participatory public forum, the event will engage with issues such as gender, blackness and coming of age. The event will be held this Thursday, October 9, 2014, at 5:30 pm, at the Krannert Art Museum on Peabody and Sixth Street.

  • CAS awarded Title VI Federal Grant, 2014-2018

    The Center for African Studies has been awarded the Department of Education Title VI grant for both the NRC (National Resource Center) and FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies Program). This is the first major grant bestowed on our newly formed consortium between CAS and the Program in African Studies (PAS) at Northwestern University.

    We are excited about working together with our partner institutions on many of the fabulous programs detailed in the proposal.

    As most of you know, the completion of this grant was a collective effort on the part of many individuals, both at PAS and CAS--including staff, faculty, and students. We are grateful to all of them.

    To view the University of Illinois' press release on all Title VI awards to centers on campus, please click here.

  • Africa 2015 MDG Conference

    A call for papers has been announced for the “Health in Africa and the Post-2015 Millennium Development Goals” Conference in May, 2015. Authors should submit an abstract of no more than 300 words by November 7, 2014 to the following email address: The deadline for full-length papers is February 15, 2015 and the symposium at which the papers will be presented will take place on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on May 20-22, 2015.

    To view the conference website and call for papers, please click here.

  • iSEE Congress 2014

    The Institute for Sustainability, Energy and Environment (iSEE) Congress 2014 will be held from Sept. 30th through Oct. 2. This year's conference is titled, "Feeding Nine Billion: A Path to Sustainable Agriculture". To view the full program, please click here.

  • Indian Ocean Conference and Workshop

    The Center for African Studies is co-sponsoring a series of events on the Indian Ocean. To register, please click here.

    A two-day conference titled "The Indian Ocean: History, Networks, and Spaces of the Imagination" will be held at the Illini Union on Oct. 16-17, 2014, in Rooms 406 and 407.To view the full conference program, please click here.

    A workshop for K-14 Educators, titled "Integrating the Indian Ocean into World History", will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 8:30am - 5:00pm. For a complete program of the workshop, please click here.

  • Position Available: Swahili Instructor

    Swahili instructor job at UI

    The Department of Linguistics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invites applications for a one-year, part time (67%) Lecturer/ Instructor. The appointee will teach at least two courses per semester for the academic year 2014-2015. The percent time of the appointment may increase based on departmental need and candidate’s area of expertise.  The appointee will teach Swahili language classes at Elementary (for beginners) and/or Intermediate (second year learners) level. The target start date of the appointment is August 16, 2014. Salary is commensurate with experience.

    For complete information, click on

  • “Power Africa: Promises, Potentials, Pitfalls and Possible Alternatives"

    “Power Africa: Promises, Potentials, Pitfalls and Possible Alternatives” will be the first US conference to bring together a global community of scholars and practitioners to examine President Obama’s Power African Initiative (PAI). The President launched the PAI in the summer of 2013 with an injection of $6.5 billion dedicated to growing energy delivery capacity across the continent. Since that time, major corporations in the energy sector have joined the PAI, adding more the $9 billion to the investment flow. With Africa holding more than half of the world’s 1.2 billion people without access to electricity, Power Africa represents an opportunity to greatly enhance the quality of millions of people’s lives. Our conference will probe these possibilities. At the same time, with this potential also come questions of enormous significance such as “who will control and ultimately benefit from expanded energy capacity?” Conference participants from the US, Canada and the African continent will examine past large-scale energy development projects in African countries in order to ascertain what lessons can be learned and how Power Africa might be shaped to ensure participation of and optimum results for the rural and urban poor. More information to follow.