Two AFRASO Felloships have been awarded for 2017 and 2018!
The fellowship for 2017 will go to Seifudein Adem.
Seifudein Adem received his early education in Africa, Ethiopia, where he was born and raised. He holds a BA with Distinction (Political Science), MA (International Relations) and PhD (International Political Economy). He taught in Ethiopia (1988-1992), Japan (2000-2005) and the US (2006-2016). Dr. Adem's administrative experiences include serving as the Associate Director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at SUNY Binghamton from 2006 to 2016, President of the New York African Studies Association from 2010 to 2011, and member of the Executive Board of the International Studies Association's Global South Caucus from 2012 to 2016. At SUNY Binghamton Dr. Adem created and successfully taught “Theories of World Politics,” “International Institutions,” “International Relations of Africa,” “China in the Global South,” “China in Africa,” and “Africa in Global Political Economy.”
Dr. Adem is proficient in English, Japanese, Amharic, Russian, and Oromo languages.
Seifudein Adem is the intellectual biographer of the distinguished Kenyan scholar Ali A. Mazrui (1933-2014), with whom he co-authored the book "Afrasia: a tale of two continents". Seifudein Adem will use his time in Frankfurt for a comparative analysis of Asian development policies in Africa with a special focus on Japan and China. Furthermore he wants to investigate the perspectives of Africa-Asia relations in the upcoming period of an American disengagement.
Seifudein Adem will be in Frankfurt in November and December 2017.
The second fellwoship for 2018 was given to Shobana Shankar, Department of History at Stony Brook University.
Dr. Shankar examines British colonialism, cross-cultural encounters, and the making of social difference and inequality in West Africa, particularly Nigeria, a nation that has experienced considerable religious violence in recent years. Her research brings an historical lens to Christian-Muslim relations, showing that religious difference has evolved out of complicated negotiations of gender, class, racial, and ethnic dynamics in the context of British and American Christian missionary work in Muslim areas. Her other work has focused on the social and cultural politics of medicine, the link between missions and UNICEF’s early efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, and, as a side interest, gender and racial hierarchies in blues music recording in Jim Crow Mississippi. She speaks Hausa, Kiswahili, Tamil, and French, and hopes to bring these skills to her next project on a history of South Asian-African exchanges of religious culture and “traditional medicines.” In addition to her academic experience, she has worked for UNICEF and Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.
Shobana Shankar will use her time at AFRASO to pursue her project “The Politics of Expertise in African-Asian University Exchanges,” which traces the social and cultural significance of transregional knowledge-production in African and Asian countries. While African-Asian migration of students and faculty is often understood in terms of economic necessities and opportunities, such as insufficient supply of local skilled faculty or lower cost of higher education in the global South as compared to the North, her project takes an historical perspective on the value attached to Afrasian higher studies as a unique form of expertise. How did South-South knowledge production and exchange gain legitimacy and decenter the West?
Shobana Shankar will be in Frankfurt in May and June 2018.