Charlotte Kukundakwe
Kansas African Studies Center

Kansas African Studies Center announces series on public health, well-being

Mon, 02/27/2023

LAWRENCE — The Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) has announced the schedule for the 2023 Ujamaa Virtual Colloquium Series, which continues the 2022-2023 academic year theme of “Public Health and Well-being in Global Africa.” It features presentations from researchers across the health professions, including biomedicine, health humanities and psychology.

“The lineup reflects our overarching goal to create sustainable connections between scholars on the African continent and in the Great Plains region of the U.S.,” said Glenn Adams, KASC director. “The goal of the presentations is not to teach people about Africa but instead to draw on Africa-based knowledge perspectives to reconsider issues of general theory and practice.”

All presentations begin at noon. The series takes place over Zoom. See the KASC website for details. 

March 29: Puleng Segalo, spring 2023 KASC African Virtual Affiliate Fellow and professor of psychology at the University of South Africa, will present “Interrogating the Everydayness of Gender-based Violence: Promoting Ethics of Care through Embroidery.” Segalo will discuss how South African women use needlework to document and process the implications of gender-based violence for families and communities more broadly.

April 19: Alhaji N’jai, fall 2022 KASC African Virtual Affiliate Fellow and senior lecturer in the departments of Microbiology and Biological Sciences, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, will present “Project 1808, Inc: Decolonizing Education and Transforming Lives Through a School-Community-University Model.” N’jai will discuss his work to create locally grounded models of higher education.

The series began with a February presentation by Daria Trentini, KASC Great Plains Virtual Affiliate Fellow and associate professor of anthropology at Drake University. Trentini discussed how Mozambique’s public health institutions have implemented WHO guidelines to regulate local healers through the creation of an Institute of Traditional Medicine.

In addition to the presentations in the series on public health and well-being, the Ujamaa Virtual Colloquium Series will feature a presentation at noon March 1 by Nathan Wood, KU associate professor of history, that previews KASC’s 2023-2024 academic year theme of “Migration and Citizenship.” In his presentation on “Vagabond Tourism and a Non-Colonial European Gaze: Kazimierz Nowak’s Bicycle Journey across Africa, 1931-1936,” Wood will consider the extent to which the unique positionality and mode of travel by a Polish tourist enabled a critical gaze on colonialism and capitalism that was not evident among other European tourists.

Now in its fourth decade, KASC is one of only 10 federally funded (U.S. Department of Education Title VI) National Resource Centers for Africa. KASC embraces the mission to create sustainable connections with affiliates based in African settings to promote the study of African languages and Africa-based knowledge in the Great Plains region of the U.S.

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