Virtual Symposium: Celebrating 50 Years of Ufahamu

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We invite former and current members of the Ufahamu editorial team, authors, contributors, readers, and supporters to join virtually for live online discussions about the Ufahamu's founding, history, and significance.

Friday, October 30, 2020
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

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Virtual Symposium

Friday, October 30, 2020

8:30 am – 2:30 pm PST

via Zoom

Link will be distributed in advance


Since its establishment in 1970, Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies has been dedicated to providing a space for sharing, promoting, and advancing knowledge emanating from and about the African continent. In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Ufahamu is pleased to host its first-ever virtual symposium exploring questions of the journal’s past and present, and possibilities for its future. 

We invite former and current members of the Ufahamu editorial team, authors, contributors, readers, and supporters to join virtually for live online discussions about the journal's founding, history, and significance. In the midst of this current pandemic and global crisis, it is as important as ever to come together to reflect on the benefits and challenges faced by a community of scholars and artists such as ours.

The symposium will address histories and narratives that investigate the following questions: how might we examine the creation and growth of scholarly spaces and intellectual communities devoted to the study of Africa and African Diasporas? To what extent can knowledge sharing platforms bridge academic divides and geographic distances? We encourage interested speakers from across academic disciplines and creative fields to participate in our discussions to expand on these questions and probe others as we enter into a new decade of the journal’s future.

Attending the Symposium:

To receive the Zoom link for the event, please register here

If you have any questions, please feel free to write to


Ufahamu: A Journal of African Studies in collaboration with UCLA’s African Studies Center is pleased to present the preliminary program for Celebrating 50 Years of Ufahamu: A Virtual Symposium


Friday, October 30, 2020 via Zoom (link to be distributed in advance upon registration)


8:30 am PST Coffee and Informal Introductions

8:50 am Introductory Remarks / Talia Lieber and Rebecca Wolff, Co-Editors-in-Chief

8:55 am Welcome / Dr. Andrew Apter, Interim Director, James S. Coleman African Studies Center

9:00 am Introduce Keynote Speaker / Lucas Avidan, Book Reviews Co-Editor

9:05 am Keynote / Dr. Mahmood Mamdani, "What Can We Learn from South Africa's 1994 Transition?"

 Dr. Mamdani is the Herbert Lehman Professor of Government, Professor of Anthropology,

and Professor of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies (MESAAS) at Columbia

University and Director of Makerere Institute of Social Research in Kampala, Uganda. He is

the author of several foundational texts, including Citizen and Subject, When Victims

Become Killers, and Good Muslim, Bad Muslim. Dr. Mamdani, who is among the journal’s

notable contributors, will give a forty-minute lecture discussing his history with Ufahamu

and present-day work, including his forthcoming book Neither Settler nor Native: The Making

and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities to be published in November with Harvard University

Press. More information about the book can be found here.

9:45 am Q & A with Keynote Speaker

10:10 am Fifty-minute break with option to watch pre-recorded panel presentations via YouTube (see links below)

11 am PST Panel Discussion/ Degenhart Brown and Amira Hassnaoui (Editors)

Temitope Fagunwa, Osun State University, Osun State, Nigeria

Reflections on a Common Purpose in Expanding the Frontiers of Global African Scholarship


Dr. Kevin Tervala, The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD

A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art 


Turner Adornetto, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Experimentation and Ufahamu in Solar Possibilities

11:30 am Q & A with Panel

12:00 pm One-hour break

1:00 pm PST Roundtable: Ufahamu at 50 /  organized by Ava Hess (Arts Editor) and moderated by Talia Lieber and Rebecca Wolff with Dr. Sondra Hale (Professor Emerita and Founding Editor), Dr. Nana Osei-Opare (Assistant Professor, Fordham University and Former Editor-In-Chief), Ruby A. Bell-Gam (Librarian for African Studies and International Development Studies), Dr. Neo Lekgotla laga Ramoupi (Senior Lecturer: History, SES Division, Wits School of Education), Dr. Zachariah Mampilly (Marxe Endowed Chair of International Affairs at the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, CUNY), Dr. Lahra Smith (Associate Professor, Georgetown University), Dr. Kim Foulds (Senior Director, International Research & Evaluation, Sesame Workshop)

1:45 pm Q & A with Roundtable

2:30 pm Closing Remarks / Talia Lieber and Rebecca Wolff

For more information, please contact the symposium organizers at

This event is generously co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of Art History.


Download file: CFP_Ufahamu-Virtual-Symposium-ka-140.pdf

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Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Art History