Centre for African Studies (LUCAS)

General enquiries

Leeds University Centre for African Studies
c/o POLIS, Social Sciences Building, University of Leeds
Leeds LS2 9JT

Tel: 0113 343 5069

LUCAS Schools Project coordinator

Richard Borowski

Dr Tara Deubel on Conserving Sahrawi Culture – 5 December

School of Languages, Cultures and Societies Seminar – 5 December

Conserving Sahrawi Culture: Language, Arts, and Identity Amidst Political Uncertainty in the Western Sahara

Dr Tara Deubel, University of South Florida, will be discussing how Saharawi communities preserve identity and community through the arts in the face of uncertainty and change.

Date: 05-12-2016
Time: 17:30 – 19:00

In the context of the protracted conflict over the Western Sahara following Spain’s decolonisation of the territory in 1975, Sahrawis have witnessed numerous political and social ruptures in recent decades. What processes have affected the cultural identity of Sahrawis affected by the politics of Moroccan integration in Western Sahara and the vulnerability of refugee status in Algeria under the Saharan Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) government-in-exile? How do populations in persistent states of occupation, exile, and political instability accomplish the work of cultural conservation? Based on ethnographic research with Sahrawi communities on both sides of the divide, this talk focuses on several aspects of contemporary conservation efforts, including the maintenance of Hassaniya language, preference for traditional dress styles, and the performance of Sahrawi music and oral poetry in Hassaniya and Spanish. I argue that cultural conservation efforts serve as a central strategy in promoting larger Sahrawi political projects of resistance and autonomy.

Location: Parkinson SR B.10 – free


This entry was posted in Seminars.

CfP: RiDNet conference 2017 at the University of Leeds

The Researchers in Development Network at the University of Leeds is excited to announce the 5th Annual RiDNet conference

“I, Researcher: exploring the research experience – context, self and interdisciplinary practice”

The conference will take place on the 27th of January, 2017 at the School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds. Please see attached poster for further details.

This year, we’re aiming to explore the experience of conducting research. The conference will focus on three themes (explained below) and we encourage researchers to submit invite PhD and Early Career researchers to submit abstracts reflecting on their experiences of conducting research within and related to (1) different contexts; (2) other disciplines; and (3) self

Conference Themes:

  1.   Context: This theme examines how different, often challenging contexts can impact upon your research, and how you may take this into consideration.

Topics may include: researcher positionality, ethics, reflexivity, avoiding an extractive relationship with the research context and managing participants expectations.

  1.   Self: This theme examines the less frequently discussed aspect of emotional well-being whilst conducting research.

Topics may include: emotional wellbeing during a  PhD, staying safe, balancing being a good researcher with staying healthy, handling isolation, loneliness, and culture shock.

  1.   Interdisciplinary practice: This theme examines how research may cross different disciplines, and how this may impact research design, methods, and communicating results.

Topics may include: research in practice, combining/working across disciplines, overcoming challenges, and successes!

Format of presentations:  

  • Context and interdisciplinary practice: Up to 12 minutes to present and 3 minutes for questions.
  • Self: Short, informal talks (around 5 minutes in length) to focus on personal experiences of research. Designed to enable discussion of issues related to emotions and wellbeing. We encourage presenters to deviate from a typical academic presentation for this theme, therefore use of slides is optional.

Please send a 300 word (maximum) abstract to ridnet@leeds.ac.uk by the 2nd of December, 2016.


The Researchers in Development Network, or RiDNet, is a student led network of PhD students and early career researchers working in international development and/or conducting social research in developing countries.  Our annual conference aims to give students and early career researchers a chance to share experiences, ideas and methods.

Call for Abstracts – 5th Annual RiDNet conference

This entry was posted in Conferences, Leeds, Research.

Phd student masterclass at the University of Manchester

Masterclass with Prof Nic van de Walle, Cornell – 17 November, 15:30-17:00
The masterclass with Prof van de Walle will take place on Thursday, 17 November 2016, from 15:30-17:00 at the University of Manchester, in the Arthur Lewis Building (Oxford Road) Ground Floor, G.030/031.

Prof Nicolas van de Walle is the Maxwell M. Upson Professor of Government and the Chair of the Department of Government at Cornell University. His primary field is comparative politics. His teaching and research focuses on the political economy of development, with a special focus on Africa, on democratization, and on the politics of economic reform.

His current main project looks into the impact of colonialism on contemporary African development, which is also the topic of the masterclass. The masterclass will embed this question into a general discussion of how to think about history for contemporary international development, itself a way to discuss prominent work by authors such as Acemoglu/Robinson, Mahoney, and Iyer. Based on the readings circulated ahead of the session, participants will have ample opportunity to discuss Nic’s work with him.

Applications to participate
Applications to participate in the masterclass should be sent to judith.krauss@manchester.ac.uk.
Applicants MUST include:
– the School and discipline area in which you work
– year of PhD study,
– a brief paragraph stating how your research is relevant to, or will benefit from, the masterclass.

Places are limited, so please apply promptly and by Thursday, 10 November, at the latest.

This entry was posted in Research.

Migration Research Network seminar

The second event of the Leeds Migration Research Network/Sadler Series Seminar 2016-17 ‘Who/What is a ‘Good’/’Bad’ Migrant?’

Wednesday, 2 November between 12 and 1.30pm

Venue: LHRI – Seminar Room 1

This seminar will feature state-of-the-art short presentations on key methodological concerns in various disciplines regarding studying the question of how “migrants” are conceptualised, classified, categorised and evaluated as differential objects of policy and public discourse, followed by discussion.

CHRIS PATERSON : Media / Communications; GABRIELLA ALBERTI (with CHRIS FORDE) : Policy / Law; ROXANA BARBULESCU : Politics/Sociology; ADRIAN FAVELL: Chair / Introduction.

The event will be followed by a Network Business Meeting, 2-3pm in LHRI seminar room 2.

This entry was posted in Seminars.

Getting published in African Studies workshop

Getting Published in African Studies Workshop

28 November 2016

University of Central Lancashire, Preston

This workshop is part of a series sponsored by the African Studies Association in the UK (ASAUK) and funded by the British Academy. It  brings together journal editors and early career African scholars and postgraduate students involved in or interested in African studies (various fields/disciplines) to work with journal editors with the aim of supporting authors to produce papers that will be ready, or near-ready, for publication. African scholars in the humanities and social sciences often express their frustration at the difficulties they experience in getting their work into publication in internationally recognized journals. Meanwhile, editors of Africanist journals in the UK (and beyond) have struggled to increase the representation of African authors in their publications. Though some journals are assiduous in providing detailed feedback on rejected submissions, this is not universally the case, and a vicious circle develops of high rates of rejection leading to fewer submissions. The workshops are designed to break this circle, to encourage collaborative approaches to getting published as well as making researchers aware of the processes involved in getting an author’s work published particularly in African studies. To register for the workshop, please email the convener Dr. George Ogola (GOOgola@uclan.ac.uk) with an abstract of no more than 500 words of a piece of research in progress. We will cover your accommodation, food and fare.


This entry was posted in Workshop.

YASN Conference – ‘Transitions’ from what to what? Justice and Reconciliation in Africa

Yorkshire African Studies Network

Conference at the University of Bradford supported by JEFCAS

‘Transitions’ from what to what? Justice and Reconciliation in Africa

Friday 18th November 2016


10.15 Registration


10.50 Introduction


11.00 Session 1: Post-conflict Justice and Reconciliation


Peter Nias, Former Honorary Visiting Research Fellow, University of Bradford

From Apartheid to Democracy – without a Truth & Reconciliation Commission: has the experience of Namibia worked?

Adikalie Kamara, University of Bradford

The Special Court for Sierra Leone: a Peacebuilding Mechanism?

Chris Davey, University of Bradford

Post-genocide Memory as the Aegis of Atrocity


12.30 Lunch break


1.15 Session 2: Justice Systems


Vera Riffler, University of York

Justice in security matters – mapping non-state actors and security demands in Khayelitsha, South Africa

Dr Nicki Kindersley, University of Durham

Rule of whose law? Justice systems under ‘transitional government’ collapse in Juba, South Sudan

Dr Chris Paterson, University of Leeds

To fear or embrace the ‘global policeman’: the representation of the US military ‘African Pivot’


3.00 Session 3: Guest Speaker


Dr Phil Clark, SOAS, University of London


4.20 Closing remarks

To register for the conference please go here or see this link
For more information about the conference in general please contact Dr David Harris – D.Harris7@bradford.ac.uk

This entry was posted in Conferences, YASN.

The Legacy of Tony Blair

Dept. of Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

University of Leeds presents:

The Killings of Tony Blair                                                                           

Film showing followed by audience discussion

Tues. Nov. 1, 6.00-9.00 pm.                                                                     

Rupert Beckett Lecture Theatre, Michael Sadler Building                        

with George Galloway, Peter Oborne, Stephen Fry, Will Self, Clare Short, David Davis, Noam Chomsky, Craig Murray, Seamus Milne, Matthew Norman, Ken Livingstone.

“A meticulous documentation of […] the catastrophic and illegal invasion of Iraq, the deaths of perhaps a million people and the region being plunged into sectarian chaos” (The Spectator)

“Presented with such avarice and duplicity, the stomach churns and the mind recoils” (Culture Whisper)

“Sanctimonious documentary” (The Guardian)

“If you need a nauseating reminder of why so many Brits feel alienated from the political centre, here it is” (Time Out)



Tony Blair: Avarice, Aggression, Aftermath

Panel presentations followed by audience questions

Wed. Nov. 2, 6.00-9.00 pm.

Business School, Western Lecture Theatre, G.01


•   Blair and the Middle East: the Aftermath

     Dr. Jack Holland, POLIS

•   Blair, Neoliberalism and the Rise of Corbyn

     Prof. Salman Sayyid, School of Sociology

•   Blair, Sleaze and the Revolving Business-Politics Door

     Hasan Hafidh, Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

•  Blair, the Israel Lobby and Israel/Palestine

    Dr. Sarah Marusek, Department of Religion Studies, University of Johannesburg

For further information, contact

Prof. James Dickins: J.Dickins@leeds.ac.uk

Arabic, Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies

University of Leeds


All welcome


These events are intended to promote civic debate of the issues raised. The views expressed are those of the filmmakers and speakers, and do not necessarily reflect the position of the University of Leeds.

This entry was posted in Film, Symposium.

Dr Alex Vines OBE (Chatham House) on ‘Narratives about Africa’s Future’

Video of Dr Alex Vines OBE

LUCAS and the Centre for Global Development were delighted to host Dr Alex Vines OBE (Head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House), who spoke at the University of Leeds on ‘Narratives about Africa’s Future: what role for academics and analysts?’ on Tuesday 18th October – you can watch the video of his talk at this link here

This entry was posted in LUCAS, Seminars.

Steven Pierce on State Formation & Political Cultures in Nigeria

Postcolonial Cultures of Corruption Seminar, Leeds Humanities Research Institute Seminar Room 2, 4-6pm, Tuesday 25 October

For our inaugural seminar we are delighted to be able to invite Dr Steven Pierce from the University of Manchester for a discussion of his recent ground-breaking book on the history of corruption in Nigeria, Moral Economies of Corruption: State Formation & Political Cultures in Nigeria (Duke University Press, 2016). Using ethnographic and historical methods the book offers an innovative approach to studying corruption, so often an elusive object to study.

The book is open access and can be accessed here: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/ku01.r2_106

All welcome!

Jonathan Saha


William Gould


This entry was posted in Seminars.

The Land Beneath Our Feet – Film showing 11 November / workshop 12 November

Friday/Saturday 11/12 November

This coming month, the ENHANCE ITN Environmental Humanities Training Network will be curating several films at the Leeds International Film Festival. One of these films is The Land Beneath Our Feet, a new documentary about governmental and corporate land grabs set in Liberia. The film’s world premiere will take place at 5pm on Friday, 11 November in the University’s Taylor Cinema. After the film, co-directors Gregg Mitman and Sarita Siegel will be lead a Q&A session.

This powerful documentary weaves together rare archival footage from a 1926 Harvard expedition to Liberia with a young man’s quest to understand why 25% of his country’s land has been granted to multinational corporations for agricultural, mining and logging concessions. An explosive investigation of how large-scale land grabs transform livelihoods across the world. Followed by Directors Q&A and linked to a one-day environmental filmmaking workshop. The Phil Taylor Cinema is located in Clothworkers North Building just behind the Parkinson Building on the University of Leeds campus. Sponsored by the ENHANCE ITN.

The following day (Saturday), Gregg and Sarita will be holding a small workshop focusing on environmental filmmaking. Together, they will be speaking about a number of the practical, financial and commercial challenges in making films linked to academic research projects on the environment. The workshop will also consist of a pitching session, where anyone with a film project (however nascent) in mind will be able to present their ideas and receive feedback and constructive criticism from the workshop leaders. This event will be held in the Alumni Room in the School of English from 10am – 4pm.

Both events are being offered free of charge, but we ask that interested participants please sign up online to reserve a space ahead of time at:

http://www.leedsfilm.com/films/the-land-beneath-our-feet-at-the-university-of-leeds (film screening)
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/workshop-in-environmental-filmmaking-tickets-28815572152 (filmmaking workshop)


With kind regards,

This entry was posted in Film.

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