Studying Africa in Australia – Report and Public Lecture

Adjame Market, Abidjan, Eva Blue via Unsplash

The results of research into the current situation of African studies in the Australian Capital Territory, are available online. A lengthy report, contextualizing the past and present situation of African studies in Canberra, with reference to international developments, and a shorter article recently published in the Australasian Review of African Studies, focusing on changes in Australian universities and academic life, reveal the importance of research methodologies rather than regional specialization.

A reminder that this research project will also be the focus on the Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Annual Lecture, delivered online via Zoom at 5pm on Wednesday 25 May (Africa Day).

Studying Africa in Australia: The Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Annual Lecture

On Africa Day, May 25, Dr Ibrahim Abraham (Humanities Research Centre, ANU) presents the annual Future of the Humanities and Social Sciences Lecture, a critical overview of the study of Africa in Australia in the past and present, with an eye to the future.

In a time of increasing disciplinary fragmentation in the humanities and social sciences, and strengthening methodological and moral scrutiny around the study of a misrepresented continent of many cultures, this lecture suggests paths toward strengthening and promoting multidisciplinary research on Africa in Australia.

Register here.

About the presenter: Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences in the Humanities Research Centre at the ANU. His most recent book is Race, Class and Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities (Routledge, 2021).

This event is part of the Humanities Research Centre’s 2022 Distinguished Lecture Series.

ASPI Podcast on Unrest in South Africa

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute‘s podcast “Policy, Guns and Money” recently interviewed the Humanities Research Centre’s Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences, Dr Ibrahim Abraham, on the unrest in South Africa following the jailing of former South African President Jacob Zuma.

Dr Abraham’s book Race, Class & Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities will be launched online on 30 August 2021.

Click here to listen to the podcast, which also features Dr Cassandra Steer from the ANU Institute of Space and the ANU College of Law discussing space tourism. The podcast is also available on Soundcloud, Apple podcasts, and Spotify.

ANU Humanities Research Centre Visiting Fellowships Program – “Mobilities”

Applications for the 2022 Humanities Research Centre Visiting Fellowship Program – on the theme of ‘Mobilities’ – are now open.

The Humanities Research Centre (HRC) was established in 1972 as a national and international centre for excellence in the humanities and as a catalyst for innovative humanities scholarship and research within the Australian National University. The HRC interprets the ‘humanities’ generously, recognising that new methods of theoretical enquiry have done much to break down the traditional distinction between the humanities, the creative arts, and the social sciences.

Our theme for 2022 is Mobilities.

Migration, asylum, tourism, transport, urban mobility, career mobility, social mobility, emotion and affect – our theme for 2022 registers the growing use of ‘mobility’ and ‘mobilities’ as key descriptive and theoretical terms in the humanities and social sciences, and offers an invitation to scholars to think about the concept in creative and interdisciplinary ways. In line with the suggestive multivalence of the word itself, proposals might consider ‘mobility’ socio-politically, physically, or mentally, as a local or global phenomenon, in different cultures and different historical periods – or they might want to investigate the extent to which the COVID-19 pandemic has affected our social, physical, and psychological mobility, and the way we are likely to act and think about mobility and immobility in the future.

The Humanities Research Centre looks forward to welcoming scholars from across the world and across the disciplines as we explore a topic that will not stand still.

Full details of the application process are available on the HRC website here.

(Please note this fellowship is not open to ANU faculty or independent researchers, and as travel is strictly regulated during the pandemic, we cannot guarantee international visiting fellowships will be possible. The current application deadline of 31 July is likely to be extended, check the website for updates.)

ASPI Africa Day podcast

The Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a Canberra-based think tank, produced a special Africa Day edition of their podcast last month, including interviews with Australia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Gita Kamath, Kenya’s permanent representative of Kenya to the United Nations Martin Kimani, and HRW’s Laetitia Bader.

Virtual Book Launch – Race, Class and Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities

Monday, 30 August 2021, 5pm-6pm AEST

Free and online: register here via Eventbrite

This zoom webinar will launch the new book Race, Class and Christianity in South Africa: Middle-Class Moralities by Ibrahim Abraham. Exploring the relationship between race and class among middle-class Christians in South Africa, this book will be of interest to researchers of South African culture and society, as well as religion, anthropology, and sociology. The presentation will draw from the book’s concluding chapter “Covid-19 in Cape Town” reflecting on the ongoing crisis in South Africa in light of the book’s focus on the spiritual and material insecurities of the South African middle class, and the diversity of theological and political approaches among multiracial middle-class churches.

About the author: Ibrahim Abraham is the Hans Mol Research Fellow in Religion and the Social Sciences in the Humanities Research Centre of the Australian National University. A graduate of Monash University and the University of Bristol, he was previously a research fellow at the University of Helsinki. Ibrahim is the author of Evangelical Youth Culture: Alternative Music and Extreme Sports Subcultures (Bloomsbury, 2017), editor of Christian Punk: Identity and Performance (Bloomsbury, 2020), and co-editor of the Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, the publication of the Australian Association for the Study of Religion.

Tomorrow (20 May): Senegambian Rhythmic Traditions, Embodied Knowledge, and Adaptation

Senegambian Rhythmic Traditions, Embodied Knowledge, and Adaptation

Lamine Sonko and King Marong

Date & time: Thursday 20 May 2021, 3.30–5pm

Location: Kingsland Room, Level 6, ANU School of Music

In this research seminar, Lamine Sonko and King Marong will reflect on their longterm engagement with embodied knowledge of ancient rhythmic traditions in West Africa, as well as current research exploring the adaptation of traditional music, dance, and theatre in contemporary Australia. The seminar will include a discussion and live music demonstration.

Lamine Sonko is a composer, director and multi-instrumentalist, originally from Senegal and living in Australia since 2004. In his artistic practice he draws on traditional wisdom to create inter-disciplinary & multi-sensory arts experiences inspired by his cultural background as a Gewel (hereditary cultural role). His role as a Gewel is to be a keeper and communicator of history, customs, rituals and sacred knowledge through music, dance and oral storytelling. Through his work he has defined new ways to present and re-imagine the traditional African, contemporary and classical synthesis of music and theatre. As a composer he has arranged and recorded award-winning music including two compositions for Grammy Award-winning album ‘Winds of Samsara’ (2015). He has composed and directed large scale works including the Boite Millennium Chorus ‘One Africa’ (Arts Centre Melbourne) and has presented and performed throughout Australia and internationally.

Born in The Gambia, King Marong has been performing professionally since the age of 12. King developed his skills in the coastal fishing village where he grew up surrounded by the griots (hereditary musicians) and international musicians who were his mentors for Senegambian drumming and cultural priorities. In his late teens he formed his band Kunta Kinteh and consequently toured The Gambia, Senegal, UK and Europe. King has since built an international reputation as a master of many African drumming styles on instruments such as the Djembe, Boucarabou, Doundoun and Sabar, performing and teaching percussion to students from around the world.

 

Performance in the Studio – West African Percussion

ANU School of Music
Wed 19 May, 6–7.30pm

Join Gambian master percussionist, King Marong, Senegalese multi-instrumentalist, Lamine Sonko, music technology convenor Professor Samantha Bennett, and musicology convenor Dr Bonnie McConnell in ANU’s world class recording studio for a special performance/recording exploring Gambian and Senegalese culture.

Please note places are strictly limited to 25.

Click for details and registration.

God, Development, and Technology Transfer: Mediated Ethics between Chinese and Ethiopians

Dr. Liang Chen
Australian Centre on China in the World
Thursday, 22 April 2021, 4.00pm5.30pm

Online and in person, China in the World seminar rooms (Building 188), Fellows Lane, ANU

Details and link to registration here.

Abstract The rolling out of China’s Belt and Road Initiative and overseas projects provides a window to examine the intercultural dynamics between Chinese expats and local communities. Ethiopia, an East African country, has become a strategic partner of China and hosts a growing population of Chinese developers, business people and workers. In this contact zone, assumptions and misassumptions, tentative adjustments, and reevaluation of Chinese and local communities’ relations are abundant to the extent that any culturalist explanation is insufficient to grapple with the Chinese’s evolving ethical experience. This study shows how the Chinese and Ethiopians relate to one another ethically in different contexts and why the boundary between them becomes explicit or less so.

Bio Dr Liang Chen’s research interests involve migration, urbanisation, and intercultural encounters in China and Africa. He has been studying the trans-continental business network of African expatriates in China, the Chinese working in Ethiopia, and Afar pastoralists’ urbanisation in Ethiopia and Djibouti since 2016. He is currently visiting the School of Culture, History, and Language of ANU.