Africana Studies


Contact Us

For more information about Africana Studies at Bard College or questions about this site:

Drew Thompson
Director of Africana Studies
Tel: 845-758-6822 x4600
Office: Hopson 303
Bard College
PO Box 5000
New York 12504-5000

Upcoming Events

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Past Events



Monday, October 22, 2012
"The African Components of the Columbian Exchange: African Plant and Animal Species in the 18th-Century Atlantic World"
Reem-Kayden Center Laszlo Z. Bito '60 Auditorium  Judith Carney Professor of Geography, UCLA This talk highlights the role of the transatlantic slave trade for the circulation of African plants, animals, and natural knowledge in the Atlantic World. Emphasis is on the significance of slave ships for their circulation and the New World sites where the species were established. Slave ships carried African foodstaples and food animals along with enslaved peoples familiar with their cultivation and husbandry. The discussion illuminates the ways that African introductions and knowledge systems shaped the foodways and environmental history of tropical America.
Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Environmental and Urban Studies Program; Historical Studies Program
Contact: Myra Armstead  845-758-7235
Friday, April 20, 2012
Care, Recovery, and the Politics of Transition in South Africa
by Jesse Bucher (History, The College of New Jersey)
RKC 103 
My presentation examines the history of South Africa's political transition by focusing on the ways in which both the apartheid and post-apartheid states 'took care' of their populations. A study of ‘care taking,’ I argue, provides critical insight into the operation and exercise of power in South African history.  My discussion focuses both on the use of political violence by the apartheid state and the attempts made by South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to explain this violence in the mid-1990s.  This analysis allows us to question how the TRC grappled with the problem of power in the aftermath of apartheid in ways that will potentially expand our understanding of South Africa’s political history.

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program
Contact: Yuka Suzuki  845-758-7219
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The Jewish and Black Diasporas
in the Early Modern Iberian Americas
Weis Cinema  ___________________________Jonathan Schorsch
Columbia University 
The involuntary Diasporas of Jews and Blacks comprised two of the most prominent consequences of European colonialism.  Each minority developed multifaceted responses to its oppression, which included taking on elements of the dominant culture.  One sign of this "mestizo mind" appears in the complicated ways Judeoconversos and Afroiberians perceived one another and interacted, often through the lens of White Christian perspectives. By discussing episodes from places such as Mexico City and Cartagena de las Indias we will open up illuminating avenues for more global considerations.

Jonathan Schorsch is Associate Professor of Religion at Columbia Univeristy. His first book. Jews and Blacks in the Early Modern World (2004), won the Salo Wittmayer Baron Book Prize from the American Academy for Jewish Research. He is also the author of Swimming the Christian Atlantic: Judeoconversos, Afroiberians and Amerindians in the Seventeenth-Century (2009). His articles include “Jewish Ghosts in Germany” and “Disappearing Origins: Sephardic Autobiography Today.”

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Jewish Studies Program
Contact: Cecile E. Kuznitz  845-758-7543
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
The African Ratio in Western Science
Confessions of European Travel-Writers Molested by Tsetse Fly, 1830s-80s
Olin 102 
by Chakanetsa Mavhunga, Assistant Professor of History and STS at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Chakanetsa Mavhunga is an STS scholar of Africa interested in historicizing and theorizing the role mobility plays in everyday life. He researches and teaches on African Mobilities and Mobility in Africa; Science, Technology and African Societies; Energy, Environment, and African Society; and (African) Indigenous Knowledge Production and Practice. Mavhunga is finishing his first book, The Mobile Workshop, which traces the role of mobility in human-nature-technology interactions in Zimbabwean history. He is also co-editor of the Inside Mobility: A Kaleidoscopic Overview volume for MIT Press. Mavhunga has also published over a dozen articles and book chapters, including: “A Plundering Tiger with its Deadly Cubs?: The USSR and China as Weapons in the Engineering of a ‘Zimbabwean Nation,’ 1945-2009,” in Gabrielle Hecht (ed.),Entangled Geographies: Empire and Technopolitics in the Global Cold War, editor (MIT Press, 2011) and “Vermin Beings: On Pestiferous Animals and Human Game,” Social Text 106 (Spring 2011), an article that anticipates his second book project.

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program; Historical Studies Program; Science, Technology, and Society Program
Contact: Yuka Suzuki  845-758-7219
Monday, March 19, 2012
Documentaries & Featured Films Series
Hegeman 308  ___________________________

The Price of Survival (1994) A journey to the warzone of Southern Sudan during the 1983--‐2005 civil war. Documentary by John Ryle and Bapiny Tim Chol
Showing introduced by John Ryle

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program
Contact: John Ryle  845-233-0023
Monday, March 12, 2012
Documentaries & Featured Films Series
Hegeman 308  ___________________________

Moolaadé (Protection) (2004)
A woman sheltering a group of girls from undergoing circumcision starts a conflict that tears her village apart. Feature by Senegalese novelist and filmmaker Sembene Ousmane

A Day I Will Never Forget (2002) Documentary on Female Genital Cutting in Kenya

Razor’s Edge: The Controversy of Female Genital Mutilation (2008)

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program
Contact: John Ryle  845-233-0023
Monday, March 5, 2012
Documentaries & Featured Films Series
Preston Theater (Preston 110)  ___________________________

Sand and Sorrow (2008)
The background to genocide in Darfur and the plight of the Darfuri people Presented by George Clooney (93 minutes)

All About Darfur (2006)
documentary by Sudanese film-maker Taghreed Elsanhouri

Sponsored by: Africana Studies Program
Contact: John Ryle   845-233-0023