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UB to host NYS African studies meeting

The 42nd annual meeting of the New York African Studies Association takes place 50 years after the establishment of NYASA’s parent organization, the SUNY African Studies Faculty Association, and 40 years after its last meeting at UB. 

By SUE WUETCHER

Published March 27, 2017

More than 200 specialists in African studies are expected to visit UB March 31 and April 1 for “Emerging Africas: Versions and Visions,” the 42nd annual meeting of the New York African Studies Association (NYASA).

The meeting takes place 50 years after the establishment of NYASA’s parent organization, the SUNY African Studies Faculty Association, and 40 years after its last meeting at UB. UB faculty member Philips Stevens Jr., associate professor of anthropology, was program chair of the 1977 meeting at UB and president of NYASA in 1978. He serves as program coordinator for the 2017 meeting.

The conference will cover such topics as “Restorative Justice and Reconciliation in Africa,” “Race and Political Representations in African Films and Hip Hop,” “Separate and Unequal: ‘Black’ Education in North America” and “New Visions of Pan-Africanism.”

Claude Welch, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Political Science at UB who is considered one of the founders of the field of human rights in Africa, will deliver the conference’s keynote address. Welch, who retired from UB at the end of the 2015-16 academic year after 52 years at the university, will receive the 2017 NYASA Distinguished Service Award at the meeting.

The conference’s plenary session, “Immigration, Diversity and America’s Shifting Priorities,” will address the impact of Trump administration policies on refugees, immigrants and international students in Buffalo.

Panelists include Myron Glick, director, Jericho Road Community Health Center; Anna Ireland, chief program officer, Jericho Road Community Health Center​; Fidele Nlemvo Menavanza, staff paralegal, Center for Elder Law & Justice; and Ellen Dussourd, assistant vice provost and director, International Student & Scholar Services​ at UB.

Deborah Reed-Danahay, UB professor of anthropology, will moderate the discussion.

A nonprofit, membership association, NYASA is dedicated to advancing the discipline of Africana Studies, Philips explains. Membership includes Africanists who are faculty members at high schools, colleges and universities, as well as researchers, professionals and students.

Stevens says NYASA promotes the visibility and advancement of the discipline in New York State and surrounding areas, and offers opportunities for the scholarly and professional development of educators, as well as enhanced education for community members, leaders and activists.

In addition to Stevens, UB faculty members involved in planning the 2017 meeting are program committee chairs Ndubueze Mbah and Jason Young, both from the Department of History, and local organizing committee members Cindi Tysick, Libraries, local arrangements chair; Mara Huber, Undergraduate Research and Experiential Learning, high schools liaison; and planning committee members Fred Klaits, Anthropology; Jeff Good, Linguistics; Shaun Irlam, Comparative Literatures; and Keith Griffler, Transnational Studies.