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


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.

Finding Africa seminar series 2016-17 CfP: African Feminisms

Finding Africa 2016/17 (UK) – African Feminisms

African feminisms have, from the beginning, been grounded in an inclusive and intersectional discourse which seeks to challenge and unravel patriarchal, political, existential, and philosophical imbalances in society. As such they have been instrumental in bringing into question some of the ‘blind spots’ and prejudices embedded in Western feminisms. In light of current debates on decolonisation and the continued interest in intersectional politics in the global sphere, Finding Africa invites researchers to propose papers which centre on the theme of African feminisms in any field of the humanities.

Accepted submissions from the UK will comprise the lineup of the next round of seminars co-hosted with the University of Leeds’ Centre for African Studies (LUCAS) in 2017. A second call for submissions from South Africa will be made shortly.

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

Intersectionality and African Feminisms

Womanism in Contemporary African Feminism

The Future of African Feminisms

Human Rights and African Feminism

African Feminisms and Curricula

Contemporary African Feminisms

African Feminisms in the West

Philosophy and African Feminisms

African Feminist Manifestos

The Psychology of African Feminisms

African Feminist Literature

African Feminisms and Disability

Guide for authors:

All submissions should be 250 word abstracts in Word format emailed to findingpocoafrica@gmail.com by 20 November 2016.

This entry was posted in Finding Africas, LUCAS, Research, Seminars.

US Slavery and Yorkshire Anti-Slavery – forgotten narratives from the Leeds Archive

Leeds Being Human Festival 2016, Journeys of Hope and Fear – “US Slavery and Yorkshire Anti-Slavery: forgotten Narratives from the Leeds Archive”.

A country wide event in conjunction with University of Leeds and Joe Williams of Heritage Corner.  17th – 25th November 2016

If you were living in Leeds in the 1840s and 1850s you would undoubtedly have heard of the anti-slavery speeches made to huge local audiences by African American activists and their supporters. We start with a guided walk in which you will visit sites associated with the entwined histories of African self-emancipation and anti-slavery activism in nineteenth-century Leeds. After this, there will be a public discussion at the University of Leeds on the significance of the archives of anti-slavery activism. Finally, there will be a chance to visit the Leeds Library, founded in 1768. There you can see an exhibition from the Leeds Library’s collections on activist, onetime library member and Quaker businessman Wilson Armistead (1819-1868), and other Leeds abolitionists. Enjoy a play tracing the extraordinary escape, from enslavement in Georgia, of Ellen and William Craft. The couple were each listed in the 1851 census as a ‘fugitive slave’ when they were hosted by Armistead in his home in Leeds. They went on to publish an acclaimed book, Running a Thousand Miles for Freedom (1860).

The guided walk, public lecture and play “Meet the Crafts” will all take place on 23rd November:

The guided walk is from 1.15-3.15 setting off from the steps of the Parkinson building, University of Leeds, Woodhouse Lane, LS2 9JT.

The public lecture will be at the University of Leeds, from 4.00-5.30pm.

“Meet the Crafts” will be performed at the Leeds Library, 18 Commercial Street, Leeds, LS1 6AL. The performance will start at 7.00pm and last for approximately one hour.

All the events are free and open to the public, but booking is essential. To book a place please contact counter@theleedslibrary.org.uk or telephone 0113 2453071.


This entry was posted in History, Lecture, Research, Theatre.

Jörg Wiegratz and David Whyte on how neoliberalism’s moral order feeds fraud and corruption

Crossposted from here

In a recent article on The Conversation, and  argue that corporate fraud is not just present, but is widespread in many neoliberalised economies of both income-rich and income-poor countries. They highlight Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal as perhaps the most recent and most startling example, but say that the automobile industry is only one of many sectors, including banking and the arms industry, where scandals have become commonplace. Certain practices and norms that many people in the global North considered shocking only a while ago have become routine in public life.

David Whyte and Jörg Wiegratz are editors of Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy of Fraud, published by Routledge this month. Contributors are from a range of disciplines including sociology, anthropology and political science, social policy and economics. There are three Africa specific chapters: ‘Entrepreneurialism, Corruption and Moral Order in the Criminal Justice System of the Democratic Republic of Congo’, by Maritza Felices-Luna (Ottawa); ‘Murder for gain: Commercial insurance and moralities in South Africa’, by Erik Bähre (Leiden), and ‘Seeking God’s Blessings: Pentecostal Religious Discourses, Pyramidal Schemes and Money Scams in the Southeast of Benin Republic’, by Sitna Quiroz (Durham). Other chapters have country case studies from Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe and Central Asia.  For interested readers: the introduction of the book ‘Neoliberalism, Moral economy and Fraud’ is available for free on the book website (see Look Inside function). Routledge has offered a 20% discount up to the end of the year (code: FLR40) for individuals purchasing print copies via the publisher’s website.

LUCAS and POLIS provided financial support to the international workshop in Leeds which led to the production of this book.

Read The Conversation article here.

This entry was posted in LUCAS, Research, Workshop.

Leeds Migration Research Network (LMRN) launch

Leeds Migration Research Network: Launch Event

Thursday 9 Jun at 4pm, University of Leeds

The University of Leeds Migration Research Network would like to invite you to our launch event, involving a public lecture and drinks reception. Please note you need to book a place should you wish to attend (free of charge) so please click on the eventbrite link below. All welcome.

Public lecture: Parasites and Beasts of Burden: Rethinking the Politics of Migration

Professor Bridget Anderson

Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford

Thursday June 9 2016

16:00-17:30 (followed by drinks reception)

Leeds University Business School, Maurice Keyworth Building, Lecture Theatre G.02  –  LS6 1AN

Please book your place (FREE) at: leedsmigrationlaunchevent.eventbrite.co.uk

At this launch event for the Leeds Migration Research Network (LMRN), Professor Bridget Anderson from the Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) at the University of Oxford will present the following lecture: ‘Parasites and Beasts of Burden: Rethinking the Politics of Migration’. The talk will be followed by a drinks reception.

Building on inter-disciplinary expertise and interest in migration across the University of Leeds, LMRN is responding to the widespread interest in migration in the region and beyond, including government, business, and civil society groups. LMRN develops and promotes research around migration, and also deepens links with external organisations by acting as a contact point and source of expertise, and through the development of bottom-up collaborative engagement.

This entry was posted in Lecture, Research.

Leeds African Studies Bulletin 77 – list of contents

Leeds African Studies Bulletin
Number 77 Winter 2015-16

Notes on Contributors
LUCAS News, Reports and People
The LUCAS Book Distribution Scheme
LUCAS Seminars
The LUCAS Schools Project
Yorkshire African Studies Network

Departmental Reports
School of Earth and Environment
School of English/Workshop Theatre
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies
School of History
School of Languages, Cultures and Societies
School of Media and Communication
Nuffield Centre for International Health and Development
School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science
School of Politics and International Studies


Professor Vic Allen (by Alex Beresford)


Narcissus and Other Pall-Bearers: Morbidity as Ideology
Wole Soyinka

Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialism: Neoliberalism, government 
and civil society in South Africa
Emma Camp

Private Military and Security Companies (PMSCs) in Somalia 
since the End of the Cold War: Historical and Theoretical Implications
Jethro Norman

Remembering the Fifth Pan-African Congress 
Christian Høgsbjerg

Book Reviews

Building a Peaceful Nation: Julius Nyerere and the establishment of
sovereignty in Tanzania, 1960-1964. Paul Bjerk.
(Reviewed by Jane Plastow)

Achebe and Friends at Umuahia: The Making of a Literary Elite.
Terri Ochiagha,
(Reviewed by Jane Plastow)

Mandela: My prisoner, My friend. Christo Brand with Barbara Jones.
(Reviewed by Ruth Daly)

Zimbabwe: challenging the stereotypes. Robert Mshengu Kavanagh.
(Reviewed by Jack Mapanje)

Blood on the Tides: The Ozidi Saga and Oral Epic Narratology.
Isidore Okpewho.
(Reviewed by Rachel Bower)

[This issue of the Bulletin is now uploaded online – see here – for more info or to propose contributions for future volumes please email african-studies@leeds.ac.uk]

This entry was posted in Journal, LUCAS, Research, YASN.

LUCAS special offer – VL Allen – The History of Black Mineworkers in South Africa

Thanks to Kate Carey, LUCAS are able to offer a special discount for copies of the late Professor Vic Allen’s classic work The History of Black Mineworkers in South Africa:

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Copies of this 3-volume study are available at greatly reduced prices (UK p&p free)

Vol I: Mining in South Africa and the Genesis of Apartheid, 1871-1948     £10

Vol II: Apartheid Repression and Dissent in the Mines, 1948-1982            £10

Vol III: Organise or Die, 1982-1994                                                         £10

Set of 3 volumes     £25

To order / for payment details, please email LUCAS: african-studies@leeds.ac.uk

This entry was posted in History, LUCAS, Research.

Hugo Radice – Global Capitalism

Hugo Radice  –  Global Capitalism  


7.30 – 9.30 pm, Tuesday 5 April 2016


Seven Arts, Harrogate Road, Chapel Allerton, Leeds LS7 3PD


In this talk Hugo Radice will outline the causes and consequences of the ‘globalisation’ of capitalism. He will argue that globalisation, when considered together with the revival of liberal economic thinking, has transformed relations between business, organised labour and the state. It has also reshaped the relation of citizens to the state, contributing to the decay of democratic politics in general, and the politics of the left in particular. We need a root-and-branch renewal based on collective action and moral purpose, directed towards social and environmental needs.


Hugo Radice taught at the University of Leeds from 1978-2008. He is a political economist, working mainly on global capitalism, and on the theory and practice of socialism. He rejoined the Labour Party in 2013 and is currently Secretary of the Dales Labour Party in Richmondshire, North Yorkshire. He has contributed essays to Socialist Register as well as many academic journals and books.


Food and drink are available at Seven Arts.

Copies of Hugo’s recent collection of essays, Global Capitalism (Routledge 2014) will be available for purchase.

There will be an admission charge of £4 per person, to cover the cost of hiring the venue and speakers’ expenses.


This entry was posted in Book Launch, Research.

Symposium on British and American foreign policy in the Middle East

British and American policy in the Middle East: causes and consequences for the region and beyond
Leeds University Symposium: Saturday, April 23 2016
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Room: Parkinson Seminar Room  1.08
Confirmed speakers
1. Afzal Amin                                        Formerly chairman of the Armed Forces Muslim Association, and visiting researcher and lecturer for the UK Defence Academy‘s Research and Assessment Branch
2. Dr. Chris Davidson                      Reader in Middle East Politics, University of Durham:
3. Ann Feltham                                   Campaign against Arms Trade:               
4. Prof. Rosemary Hollis                  Professor of International Politics, City University; formerly Director of Research at Chatham House (Royal Institute of International Affairs) https://www.city.ac.uk/people/academics/rosemary-hollis                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosemary_Hollis
5. Sir John Jenkins                              Executive Director of the International Institute for Strategic Studies – Middle East; formerly British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia: https://www.iiss.org/en/persons/john-s-jenkins                https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Jenkins_(diplomat)
6. Dr. Bobby Sayyid                           Reader in Sociology, University of Leeds: http://www.sociology.leeds.ac.uk/people/staff/sayyid             
All are welcome to attend this symposium which seeks to explore British and American policy in the Middle East, the factors that have driven this policy, and the consequences – both for the Middle East and for people in the West.
The Middle East is one of the least democratic and most militarised areas of the world. As the centre of world oil production, it is also of global strategic importance. For decades Western policy in the region has arguably been dominated by a number of factors: alliance with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states (as the world’s biggest oil producers), unswerving support for Israel, and concomitant Western hostility towards Iran.
The 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq led to profound changes: the sectarianisation of Iraqi politics, a Shiite-led Iraqi government with close links to Iran, the emergence of a semi-independent Kurdish region in the north, and a subsequent civil war, with Iran supporting the Iraqi government and Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states supporting Sunni rebels.
In 2011, the Arab Spring led to further massive changes. Following pro-democracy uprisings across the Middle East, dictatorial regimes were overthrown in Tunisia and, for a while, Egypt. In Syria, what began as a popular uprising against the Assad regime quickly turned into a sectarian civil war, with the West, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states supporting Sunni rebels, and Iran, its Lebanese ally Hizbollah and latterly Russia supporting the Assad regime. As in Iraq, a semi-independent Kurdish region has emerged in northern Syria – considered by the Turkish government a threat to the Turkish state itself, as the country’s own very large Kurdish minority increasingly seeks autonomy.
In Yemen, as in Syria, what was originally a popular uprising has given way to civil war, with Saudi Arabia leading an international force against rebels which it regards as allied to Iran. And in Israel/Palestine the conflict, which the United States had proposed for decades would be ended by a two-state solution, now looks increasingly unresolvable with massive Israeli colonisation of Palestinian lands.
Across the Arab world, the economic situation world remains precarious, with oil revenues in Saudi Arabia, for example, constituting 90% of GDP. The collapse of oil prices since 1915, though caused by increased Saudi oil production, now threatens the country itself with economic crisis, and possible further instability across the Arabian Peninsula.
While the 2015 Iran nuclear deal eased US-Iranian tensions, it has exacerbated those between Saudi Arabia and Iran. US-Russian tensions, originally focused on Ukraine, are also being played out in the Middle East, as possibly decisive Russian intervention since 2015 on behalf of a de facto alliance between the Assad regime and Kurdish rebels in Syria leads to the re-emergence of Russia as a regional actor.
In Europe, a secondary consequence of conflict in the Middle East has been a vast influx of refugees, straining the political consensus which has been built up since the Second World War, and even threatening the future of the European Union. The Middle East conflicts have also exacerbated religious and racial tensions between non-Muslims and Muslims in Western Europe.
This seminar will address these issues which are vital importance to us all today. We do hope you can attend.
Organising Committee
Dr. Fozia Bora                                       University of Leeds
Prof. James Dickins                              University of Leeds
Mr. Chris Foren                                    Leeds Crown Prosecutor (retired)
Dr. Tajul Islam                                       University of Leeds
Dr. Hendrik Kraetzschmar                  University of Leeds
Dr. Mustapha Sheikh                           University of Leeds


This entry was posted in Conferences, Research, Symposium.

CfP: A Room of Her Own: Writing Women’s Independence around the Globe

CFP: A Room of Her Own: Writing Women’s Independence around the Globe

The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of that emancipation itself.
Virginia Woolf, Room of One’s Own

Day: Friday 20th May 2016

Venue: University of Leeds (Blenheim Terrace House, 11-14, Room G.02), between 10.00 am until 5/6.00 pm
Abstracts submission deadline: Monday 4th April 2016 (see information below)
Keynote speaker: Professor Jane Plastow (University of Leeds)
Subject Fields: Literature, Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Fine Arts, Media Studies, History and Philosophy

The Women’s Paths Research Group is pleased to invite PhD students and early career researchers to its final symposium A Room of Her Own: Writing Women’s Independence around the Globe, which will be held in Leeds on 20th May 2016. The symposium will provide a space to continue the conversation initiated at our LHRI (Leeds Humanities Research Institute) sponsored seminars and reading group sessions organized at the University of Leeds.
Inspired by Woolf’s quotation, we aim to investigate the ways in which visual culture, media studies and literary creation can interrogate both meanings and representations of modern/contemporary social movements for women’s independence in a global context. Furthermore, the symposium intends to develop a critical perspective regarding gender issues and the value of space and money as qualifiers of such independence.

Papers are invited on any aspect of this debate. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

– Challenging Eurocentric perspectives on global movements for women’s independence
– Postcolonial and Third World Feminisms
– The Arab Spring: outcomes and representations
– The role of media and nationalism in reading third world lived experiences
– Social media/literary creation and their role in the context of war (e.g. blogs writings, personal websites)
– Issues, perspectives, representations in defining a ‘feminine’ perspective
– Queer and Transgender Studies and redefining given gendered categories
– Critical approaches to the ‘androgynous mind’ and creativity
– Money and space as qualifiers of individual independence (e.g. material aspects of such independence and identity)
– Space as personal and social category (e.g. the ‘role play’ inside the family unit and workplace)
– Financial independence/legal aspects in terms of inheritance laws, sexism in workplace
– Ethnic/Class stakes of feminist protest movements

Each presentation will last 15 minutes. PhD students and early career researchers interested in taking part in the workshop are invited to send their abstracts (300 words maximum) by Wednesday 20 April, together with a short biography (50 words) specifying name, email address and affiliation to womenspathsleeds@gmail.com

For further information, do not hesitate to contact the organizers at the aforementioned email address.

The organizing committee

Arunima Bhattacharya
Alexandra Gruian
Lourdes Parra
Clara Stella

About the keynote speaker:
Jane Plastow is Professor of African Theatre at the University of Leeds and was for 10 years till 2015 director of the Leeds University Centre for African Studies. She makes theatre predominantly with disadvantaged communities in the UK, Africa and India, and has special interests in issues of the empowerment of women and young people. She is currently working with poor communities in Jinja, Uganda and will be working in China in May. She has written extensively on community-based theatre and African theatre and is currently writing a history of East African theatre

This entry was posted in Conferences, Research.

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