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College of Arts and Sciences


African Studies

African Studies

The South Carolina African Studies Program is a vibrant and growing center of research, teaching, and community outreach.

With an outstanding faculty and a recognized commitment to interdisciplinary inquiry, the Program is dedicated to fostering scholarship and engagement that sheds light on and contributes to African politics, history, and culture. We invite you to join our efforts.

Indaba - The African Studies Colloquium Series

For faculty and students, the African Studies hosts a colloquium series – Indaba – that features talks and lectures by visiting scholars and USC faculty and students. Click here for more information.

The Mining of Africa – The 2012-13 African Studies Reading Group

This year’s African Studies Reading Group will look beyond the issue of blood diamonds and take up the literal and figurative questions involved in the mining of Africa – past, present, and future. Readings may include Wilmot James, Our Precious Metal, Bonnie Campbell’s Mining in Africa, and Bassey’s To Cook a Continent.

Africa’s continent’s mineral resources are an indispensable element of the global economy. From cell phones to nuclear weapons, the continent’s mines are an engine of the world’s economy and a crucial factor in international relations and security politics. Despite this influence, the countries of Africa often have little say over the extraction and distribution of the continent’s riches. Driven by colonial, post-colonial, and multinational forces, the mining of Africa has left deep scar on the continent’s landscape and come at a substantial human cost.

The extraction of wealth also occurs above ground. Thus, we will consider the ways in which Africa is often less engaged than mined by scholars, journalists, activists, tourists, and cultural entrepreneurs. What are the ethical obligations of undertaking research and study in African countries? How do parachute academics operate and what cost? What is Africa’s place in the political economy of tourism and sport? How does the “allure” of the Africa continue to serve as a pretense for strip mining the continent’s intellectual and cultural resources?

The reading group will have its initial meeting in early September. All students and faculty are welcome to participate. If you are interested in the reading group and wish to receive the schedule of meetings, please send us an email

2012-13 Fellowship Competition

The Program sponsors an annual grant competition for faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students. Details of the 2012-13 competition will be announced at the end of the fall semester. Last year, the program awarded fellowships to Professor Jeanne Garane (French and Comparative Literature) and Bernard Oniwe (PhD student, Comparative Literature).

Consider a Minor In African Studies

For undergraduates, the African Studies Program offers a rich and important minor, an opportunity for study in which students can choose from courses in Anthropology, English, Geography, History, Language and Literature, Political Science, and Religion, as well as offerings in Swahili and Arabic. Many of the courses in the minor offer excellent preparation for students interested in human rights, non-governmental advocacy, development, and transitional justice. For more information, contact the Director of the program, Prof. Erik Doxtader

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African Studies College of Arts and Sciences

University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208
Phone: 803-777-6199 Fax: 803-777-9308

Visit the African Studies Program website.