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The Establishment of African Studies in Leeds


[Published in Leeds African Studies Bulletin, 1 (October 1964), pp. 1-2]


An African Studies Group was established informally in January 1963, to bring together the various interests of members of staff in African subjects. It includes 36 members from 23 departments of the University who wish to keep in touch with developments in African Studies within the University and elsewhere.
In November 1963 the Group adopted a Report, the starting point of which was the fact that wide interests in diverse fields of study related to Africa had already been developed in Leeds. Work in such fields was already in progress in 7 departments drawn from 4 faculties; 8 departments would like to embark upon further African work if finance could be obtained.
The Report concluded that African Studies in Leeds should be encouraged and facilitated as part of the normal work of departments, and that future development would call for (i) funds to finance departmental research (ii) a central liaison and documentation unit (iii) collaboration with African universities and other educational or research institutions.
Until such time as developments in departments warrant more substantial provision, it was recommended that the University be asked to provide a secretary (with a room and the necessary stationery) so that information on work and documentary resources might be centralised, an internal information bulletin prepared, and information exchanged with workers elsewhere.
In December 1963, after considering these recommendations, Senate decided to appoint a Standing Committee on African Studies to coordinate activities in this University which relate to African Studies and to allocate any funds provided for this purpose. Approval was given for the appointment of a secretary and provision made for the initial facilities which had been recommended. In addition, £1,000 a year has been put at the disposal of the Standing Committee for allocation among members of staff and postgraduate students wishing to travel to Africa in connection with their researches.
The Standing Committee on African Studies was appointed in January 1964- with the following membership:-

The Vice-Chancellor
Professor A.J. Brown
Professor P.J. Fitzgerald
Professor B.A. Fletcher
Dr J.E. Goldthorpe
Professor F.C. Happold
Mr F.A. Leeming
Mr W.T. Newlyn
Professor R.M. Shackleton
Mr J.W. Spencer and Professor A.G. Ward

At its first meeting in March 1964, the Committee asked Mr W.T.Newlyn to act as Executive Officer of the African Studies Unit, and in June 1964 Mrs M.R.Kettle was appointed part-time Secretary to the Unit. The following departments have notified the Executive Officer of their wish to be regarded as participating departments - that is, departments in which some form of teaching or research relating particularly to Africa is in progress or planned:-

Dept. of Semitic Languages and Literatures- Dr B.S.J. Isserlin
School of English - Mr J.W. Spencer
Dept. of French Language and Literature - Mr G.W. Ireland
Dept. of Geography - Mr P.A. Leeming
Dept. of Phonetics - Mr W.R.B. Annan
Dept. of Economics and Commerce - Mr W.T.  Newlyn
Dept. of Social Studies - Professor A.H. Hanson
Faculty of Law - Professor P.J. Fitzgerald
Dept, of Inorganic and Structural Chemistry - Dr J.H. Robertson
Dept. of Zoology - Professor J.M. Dodd
Dept. of Geology - Professor R.M. Shackleton
Dept. of Civil Engineering - Professor R.H. Evans
Dept. of Textile Industries - Dr Marca Burns
Procter Dept. of Food and Leather Science - Professor A.G. Ward
Dept. of Agriculture - Mr R. Holliday
Dept. of Bacteriology - Dr J.W. Czekalowski
Institute of Education - Dr D.G. Burns
Dept. of Adult Education and Extra-Mural Studies - Mr J.T. Gleave

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