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IAAA/New World Studies Programs and Activities

Research Committees

The Institute will establish university-wide committees that constitute working research groups on specific themes. The output of these committees will be a series of Working Papers published by the Institute. The committees will also sponsor student-professor panels which will present at Oscar Ritchie Hall during the Week of Scholarship in late April-early May. Finally, the committees will be able to search for funding for on-going research work which can include student collaboration. We expect that professors in the departments of History, Geography, Sociology, Biology, Nursing, Political Science and others will participate. We also anticipate participation from professors from various programs such as the Water Management Institute and Women’s Studies.

Committees are:

  • Diaspora and Migration: Globalization and Sub-Altern Identity
  • Literature, the Arts, and the Media
  • Public Health and Public Opinion
  • Religious Communities and Race
  • Geography, Culture and Urbanization
  • Environment, Demography and Challenges to the Modern State
  • Definitional Conundrums: Idigenous, Native, Authenticity, Tradition, and Purity

The Kitabu

The Kitabu (literally, book in Swahili) is a publication formerly published by the IAAA. In the spring of 2009 the IAAA will re-launch this publication, which will serve as a forum for DPAS faculty and invited authors to present monographs relevant to the IAAA/New World Studies mission. During the fall of 2008 the Director of the Institute will invite scholars to serve on the editorial board for this journal. The anticipated length of the journal will be 50 pages, providing space for editorial comments, Institute announcements, and the monographs.

Institute Brown Bag Lectures

The Institute will initiate a program of “brown bag lectures” beginning in September, 2008. These lectures will be informal, and typically held at lunch time, at Oscar Ritchie Hall. Speakers will be DPAS faculty, other KSU faculty and administrators, invited scholars from other universities and colleges, practitioners in various pertinent fields (international development, community organizing, police and public safety, etc., and DPAS graduates who return to share their experiences in the professional world.

Invited Lecture Series

During academic year 2008-2009 the IAAA director, in collaboration with the key university resource people, will seek funding for an outside lecturer series. This series is intended to bring eminent scholars from the fields of African American Studies, African Diaspora Studies, Africana Studies, and African Studies, as well as speakers who work on related themes in the disciplines of History, Anthropology, Health, etc. to the KSU main campus and possibly regional campuses. Our goal is to offer an opportunity for students and faculty to attend lectures of well known and established senior scholars on various topics of interest. Each scholar will be invited to a lecture and discussion session that would average approximately one hour, as well as be a DPAS guest for lunch, visit the University, and meet with students in a separate session. We envision three lectures per semester.

Arts Program

The Arts Program will be initiated locally with the goal of attaining outside funding for invited performances. It might also collaborate with other KSU departments, and programs, such as Fine Arts for special exhibitions, in conjunction with the Oscar Ritchie new Umbaaji gallery. The purpose is to bring musicians, mixed media, visual artists and writers from the Diaspora and the African continent for the enjoyment of the general University community. The performances will be open to the public and we are hopeful to secure sufficient funding that fees will not be prohibitive. Concerts will be in Oscar Ritchie Hall, though on occasion may be on the KSU Main Campus plaza outside of the Student Center. We expect to co-sponsor with other departments and campus organizations.

IAAA/New World Studies Book Fairs

The Institute will seek to establish a calendar of Book Fairs for authors publishing in the field or on related themes. Our goal is to put KSU on the map for author itineraries so that we can host book parties that will provide exposure to authors and stimulation to the KSU community.

IAA/New World Studies Website and Newsletter

During the summer of 2008 the Institute Director will invite DPAS 2008 Moulton Scholars Kbir Idris Syed and Amoaba Goodenas well as cineast Tracey Williams, to assist in the development of a new website that will also have a link to the DPAS website and an Institute Newsletter. The Newsletter will be published on a quarterly basis. If funds later permit, a paper version of the newsletter will also be produced for local dissemination.

Student Exchange and African University Interface Project

This project objective is to establish an annual study abroad activity to Ghana and Senegal for students and faculty to interface with West African counterparts. It will also work to bring counterparts to Kent for a summer or semester visit.