Thursday, December 21, 2023

Postdocs in African Studies @Princeton


The Program in African Studies (PAS) at Princeton University invites applications for Postdoctoral Research Associate or more senior research positions for the 2024-2025 academic year.  Up to two appointments will be made to exceptional recent PhDs in the humanities, social sciences, interdisciplinary environmental science or engineering, with a focus on African thought, art, media, activism, conservation, economics, urban and rural communities, post-colonialism, and other research related to the African continent and its diaspora.  Appointments at the Postdoctoral Research Associate rank will be for one year with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on performance and availability of funding.  The appointments will be made through the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS). Applicants must demonstrate outstanding scholarly achievement and excellence in teaching.  These positions are open only to scholars who earned a PhD after September 30, 2018 and who do not currently hold a tenure-track or permanent academic position. 

Responsibilities include teaching (one semester-long course per year) and active collaboration in research, discussions, and scholarly events within PAS and PIIRS.  In addition, the successful candidate may have the opportunity to advise students in their area of expertise or related areas.  When teaching, the successful candidate will carry a secondary teaching rank.  Any teaching role is contingent on sufficient course enrollment and prior approval from the Office of the Dean of the Faculty. 

In addition to salary and benefits, the program will provide a research fund in the amount of $3,000 per year and office space.  Position anticipated start date is 9/1/2024.  
Applicants must apply online at  The following application items are required and should be uploaded by the applicant: 

* Cover letter
* Curriculum vitae
* Dissertation abstract
* Writing sample: one chapter of the dissertation or one published article related to the dissertation topic
* Research proposal
* Two course proposals
* Details of prior courses taught and evaluation results if available
* Document confirming your completion of all requirements for the PhD degree
* Names and email addresses for three references.  References will be contacted only for those who advance to the short list of candidates.

For fullest consideration applicants should apply by February 1, 2024 11:59 (EST.  Due to the anticipated volume of applications, only final candidates will be contacted.  Further information about The Program in African Studies can be found at: 

Questions about the application process for this position may be directed to Fiona Romaine, 

This position is subject to the University's background check policy.  The work location for this position is in-person on campus at Princeton University.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Requisition No: D-24-PII-00006

Saturday, August 26, 2023

On the Theft of British Museum Artefacts: My interview on CGTN today, Aug. 26, 2023

 In the wake of the massive theft of artifacts by staff of the British Museum, I was on CGTN live TV today for a chat on the implications for the restitution movement of this unfolding scandal that has seen the resignation of the BM Director Hartwig Fischer, and arrest of at least one staff member. 

Here's the live interview on YouTube:

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Chinua Achebe Symposium and Memorial Celebration, @Princeton, Sept. 29-30

Princeton University’s Africa World Initiative and Program in African Studies are hosting the Chinua Achebe Symposium and 10th Anniversary Memorial celebration on September 29th and 30th.

The symposium on September 29, with an international cast of senior and emerging scholars, marks the 40th anniversary of the publication of Achebe’s blistering political treatise The Trouble with Nigeria. Three panels will examine new directions in Achebe studies, the politics of canonicity, and African literatures in the age of historical reckonings, while a roundtable discussion focuses on leadership and statecraft in Nigeria and Africa.

Conference Participants:

Portia Owusu – Texas A&M University

Jeanne-Marie Jackson – Johns Hopkins University

Kwabena Opoku-Agyemang – University of Ghana

Sarah Duff – Colby College

Chielozona Eze – Carleton College

Simon Gikandi – Princeton University

Juliana Makuchi Nfah-Abbenyi – NC State University

Ranka Primorac – University of Southampton

Meg Arenberg – The Africa Institute, Sharjah

Terri Ochiagha – University of Edinburgh

Simukai Chigudu – University of Oxford

Ainehi Edoro – University of Wisconsin-Madison

Mukoma wa Ngugi – Cornell University

Maik Nwosu – University of Denver-Colorado

Hannah Essien – Princeton University

Chris Abani – Northwestern University

Obi Nwakanma – University of Central Florida

Anthonia Kalu – University of California-Riverside

Wale Lawal – Editor, The Republic, Lagos

Adeleke Adeeko – The Ohio University

* Symposium Advisory Committee: Christopher Okonkwo (Florida State University, Chair), Ato Quayson (Stanford University), Terri Ochiagha (University of Edinburgh), Grace Musila (University of the Witwatersrand)

The memorial celebration on September 30th will be graced by His Royal Majesty, Igwe Alex Onyido, the Monarch of Ogidi Kingdom in Nigeria, and will feature tributes by Toyin Falola, Simon Gikandi, Richard Joseph, Anthonia Kalu, Sonia Sanchez, and Obiora Udechukwu; readings by Patrice Nganang and Chika Unigwe, as well as a presentation by Dorobucci Dance Company, a solo mbira performance by Tanyaradzwa Tawengwa, and the Eme & Heteru Afro-roots Band.

Both events are open to the public. Registration information will follow soon.

Thursday, July 20, 2023

Call for Applications: The Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, University of Ghana

The University of Ghana, Legon, is pleased to invite applications for the position of Occupant of the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies, to begin 1st August 2024.

The Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies was established at the Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana, in honour of Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Pan-African luminary and Ghana’s first president, for his contributions to the intellectual life of the African World, and for his projection of Africa on the world stage.

We invite applications from suitably qualified candidates in any discipline relevant to the study and understanding of Africa. The successful Applicant will be a scholar or public figure who has a strong understanding of African/Africana/pan-African Studies. The applicant should have a strong research and publishing record and should have attained distinction in his or her discipline. He or she may also be a public intellectual or artist well-versed in the indigenous knowledge and cultures of Africa.


Applicants should be committed to pursuing their own research agendas, collaborating and sharing their expertise with other researchers, and developing interdisciplinary exchanges.

Additionally, applicants should be ready to demonstrate strong community engagement and linkages in their research agenda and other activities during the period.

Specifically, the Chair will be expected to:

· Deliver public lectures, including an inaugural lecture, which the University will publish;

· Conduct research and/or create and establish a social or cultural project;

· Establish an active community linkage that strengthens the intellectual and cultural relevance of Pan-Africanism.

· Produce a publishable manuscript on the research emanating from the tenure, where appropriate;

· Prepare a report detailing the results achieved at the end of the tenure period;

· Assist the University to mobilize resources to grow the endowment for the Kwame Nkrumah Chair in African Studies;

· Lead in the organization of the Biennial Kwame Nkrumah Intellectual and Cultural Festival Conference.


Appointments will typically be for one academic year (August 1 – July 31) but with the possibility of extension for a second year.

Salary will depend on the qualifications and experience of the successful applicant but will typically be at the level of Professor (disclosure upon shortlisting). The Chair will also be provided with:

· Return ticket or equivalent from his/her location to Accra.

· Airport pick up.

· Office accommodation.

· A Research Assistant and/or other support staff.

· Accommodation and medical insurance.

· A research grant

An applicant is required to submit the complete application dossier to the Registrar, University of Ghana, P. O. Box LG 25, Legon, Accra, Ghana (Hardcopy) or (Soft Copy).

The application pack should contain the following:

Completed application form for Senior Level Administrative Positions (UAB Form 1C) to be downloaded from the University’s website at

a cover letter expressing interest,

a curriculum vitae,

a proposal for the programme of work to be carried out during the period of the tenure (maximum five pages).

Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted, and they may be invited for a face-to-face interview.

Closing date: 30 September 2023


For further information contact: visit website

Tel: +233 (0)302-213820/213850 extension 2153/2051



17th July 2023

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Digital Humanities Postdoctoral Research Associate in African Language Technologies

The Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) and the African Humanities Colloquium at Princeton University invite applications for a Postdoctoral Research Associate, or more senior researcher, in African Language Technologies.  

We seek an innovative, multidisciplinary scholar to join the Princeton community and contribute to data-driven and computational humanities initiatives on campus. The scholar will spend 50% of their time on their own digital humanities research project. During the other 50% of their time, they will participate in a new multidisciplinary initiative to create data and tools for machine learning for African languages. Candidates with a background in linguistics, natural language processing, and/or computational humanities, and competence in at least one African language, are encouraged to apply. Scholars will be embedded in the CDH and will have the chance to participate in Center initiatives and activities - such as colloquia, discussion groups, and events - that align with their skills and interests.

The Postdoctoral Research Associate may have the option to teach one or two courses per year during their appointment, subject to sufficient enrollments and with the approval of the Dean of the Faculty. If teaching, they will carry the additional title of Lecturer, and their project-related responsibilities will be reduced accordingly.

A successful candidate must show expertise in their disciplinary field, have a broad knowledge of the methods, tools, and trends in digital humanities, and demonstrate a nuanced understanding of how the emergence of new technologies intersects with humanistic inquiry. Promising candidates must show commitment to teaching, and must have skill and interest in supporting students and colleagues in computational or data-intensive humanities work. They must have the ability to work collaboratively, and have excellent communication, presentation, and interpersonal skills. 

The term is anticipated to start on or about July 2023. Appointments are for one year with the possibility of renewal pending satisfactory performance and continued funding. This appointment will be processed through the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies (PIIRS).

Candidates should have or expect to have a Ph.D. by the start date. Untenured scholars with fewer than four years of postdoctoral experience are eligible to apply.

Please contact with any questions about this position.

Applicants must apply online at 

Applications submitted by May 7, 2023 will receive priority. All applications should include: (1) a cover letter; (2) the title and summary (200 words) of your proposed independent digital humanities research project; (3) a curriculum vitae; (4) a sample syllabus for an undergraduate data-driven or computational humanities course in your field; and (5) three letters of reference. This position is subject to the University's background check policy.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Requisition No: D-23-LIB-00010

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

EMOWAA Appoints Chika Okeke-Agulu and Aindrea Emelife

To strengthen the focus on Modern and Contemporary Art, the museum appoints Chika Okeke-Agulu as senior advisor and Aindrea Emelife as curator.

The EMOWAA (Edo Museum of West African Art) Trust announces the appointments of Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu, Nigerian art historian and Professor of African and African Diaspora Art at and Director of the Program of African Studies at Princeton University and Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford University, as Senior Advisor, Modern and Contemporary Art and Nigerian-British curator Aindrea Emelife as the new Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Speaking on the need to support West African contemporary art as well as cultural heritage, EMOWAA Executive Director Phillip Ihenacho said, “One of the key challenges for museums and heritage institutions in Africa is relevancy to contemporary African society. We need to build infrastructure and programming to celebrate the rich traditions of the past, but also connect to the present arts scene and invest in the skills and knowledge that enable opportunities for contemporary creatives and heritage professionals.”

The appointments of Emelife and Professor Okeke-Agulu support EMOWAA’s goal of creating a world-class museum, research, and education complex connecting West Africa’s ancient heritage to its thriving contemporary culture.

As EMOWAA’s Modern and Contemporary team, Professor Okeke-Agulu and Emelife will focus on:

advancing the field of academic research in contemporary and modern West African Arts
developing the collection strategy for EMOWAA
building the curatorial framework for the creative district EMOWAA is developing in the heart of Benin City
and generating new, multi-faceted narratives and interpretations of West African art and history.
Professor Chika Okeke-Agulu is an artist, critic and art historian who specialises in indigenous, modern, and contemporary African and African Diaspora art history and theory. Born in Umuahia, Nigeria, Professor Okeke-Agulu earned an MFA (Painting) from the University of Nigeria and a PhD (Art History) from Emory University. He has spent much of his career working at several institutions around the world and currently serves as the Robert Schirmer Professor of Art and Archaeology and African American Studies as well as the Director, Program in African Studies and Director, Africa World Initiative at Princeton University. He is also the current Slade Professor of Fine Arts at Oxford University 2022/23.

Professor Okeke-Agulu has co-organised a number of exhibitions, such as Samuel Fosso: Affirmative Acts at the Princeton University Art Museum (2022) and (with Okwui Enwezor) the travelling survey El Anatsui: Triumphant Scale at the Haus der Kunst, Munich (2019). His many other exhibitions include Who Knows Tomorrow (Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 2010); the Fifth Gwangju Biennale (2004); The Short Century: Independence and Liberation Movements in Africa, 1945–1994 (Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, 2001); Seven Stories About Modern Art in Africa (Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 1995); and the Nigerian section of the First Johannesburg Biennale (1995). He is on the curatorial team of the Sharjah Biennial (2023).

Chika Okeke-Agulu said, “A project like EMOWAA is long overdue. It has become imperative that we find a way to study, appreciate and celebrate contemporary and modern art from the African continent, on the African continent. It is exciting to join EMOWAA and play a part advising on how we can develop new institutional infrastructure to support advanced knowledge and appreciation of the role of art and artists in connecting our rich cultural histories to who and where we are today.”

Emelife, prior to joining EMOWAA, studied History of Art to post-graduate level at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London. As a curator and art historian, she has led a number of high-profile projects with a focus on modern and contemporary art, dedicating her focus to questions around colonial and decolonial histories in Africa, transnationalism and the politics of representation. Recent exhibitions include Black Venus, a survey of the legacy of the Black woman in visual culture, which opened at Fotografiska NY in 2022 and will tour to MOAD (San Francisco, USA) in early April and Somerset House (London, UK) this July. Emelife’s first book, A Brief History of Protest Art, was published by Tate in March 2022 and she is currently working on her second book with Thames & Hudson, which debuts in 2024. She has contributed essays to several publications, most recently Revisiting Modern British Art (Lund Humphries, 2022). In 2021, Emelife was appointed to the Mayor of London’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. Emelife is a Trustee of New Curators.

Aindrea Emelife said, “One of my principal goals as EMOWAA’s newly appointed Curator, Modern and Contemporary is to build on the efforts to tell our stories and the intricate connections and links that exists – starting with Nigerian Modernism and boldly reaching to the many corners of West African Modern and Contemporary Art history, yet to be developed and yet to discover. I am honoured to be part of building the legacy of Modern and Contemporary African and Diaspora Art.”

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 4: Prison Drawing: Ibrahim El Salahi in Al Nimeiry’s Sudan, 1970s

Two years after its political independence from Egypt and Britain in 1956, Sudan witnessed the first of many military coups that have been a recurring feature of the country’s postcolonial history. In this lecture, I focus on the calligraphic figuration of Ibrahim El Salahi (b. 1930), the country’s leading modernist and one-time political prisoner. I show how the sophisticated formalism of Salahi’s drawings constituted a meditative critique of General Jaafar Al Nimeiry’s dictatorship (1969-1985), which survived multiple coups d’état, by stoking religious and ethnic crises, and systematic suppression of all political opposition.

To listen, click HERE:

Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 3: "To speak in Parables: Dumile Feni in Hendrik Verwoerd’s South Africa, 1960s"

In this lecture I examine art and politics in 1960s South Africa, paying particular attention to Hendrik Verwoerd, the self-styled “Great Induna,” and architect of Apartheid, whose assassination in 1966 slowed the triumphant march of Afrikaner racist ideology. I consider how Verwoerd’s total control of the political space and violent suppression of black resistance created the environment for the emergence of Dumile Feni (1942-1991) who was called “Goya of the Townships” because of his enigmatic, disturbing, and supposedly apolitical drawings.

To listen click HERE:

Sunday, February 5, 2023

Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 2: "Gazbia Sirry and Egyptian Artists in The Nasserite State, 1950s-1960s" podcast


In this lecture, I focus on the work of Gazbia Sirry (1924-2019), to illustrate how leading modernist artists were, in the wake of the 1952 Free Officers Revolution, swayed by Gamal Abdel Nasser’s charisma, putting their art in the service of his brand of Egyptian nationalism and Pan-Arabist ideology. But how did Sirry respond to Nasser’s increasingly strongman regime and the devastating outcome of the 1967 War? We follow the formal and tonal shifts in Sirry’s work as it responded to, and was shaped by Nasser’s and post-revolutionary Egypt’s political fortunes.

Click HERE to listen to the Lecture

Slade Lectures 2023: Lecture 1: "African Artists in the Age of the Big Man" podcast


African Artists in the Age of the Big Man

In these lectures, I present five artists whose work exemplifies the difficult relationship of art and power as Africa's decolonization gave way to the emergence of undemocratic polities ruled by charismatic and repressive strongmen, in the second half of the twentieth century. I argue that these artists developed new artistic forms through which they established themselves among the most articulate critical voices of their day. Moreover, by examining the relationship of art and strong-man politics, I reflect on power and critical culture, and I juxtapose art’s imaginative ambitions with its limits and possibilities as a platform for a critique of and resistance to regimes of domination in late 20th-century Africa. In the introductory lecture, I explore the concept of the “big man” as the pervasive figure of power in Africa decades after political independence. I also trace the diverse resonances and manifestations of the big man figure in the work of contemporary African artists and writers. Finally, I consider the shift among modern African artists during this same period from articulating positive national culture to analysis and critique of emergent forms of autocracy and illiberal governance".

Click HERE to listen to the lecture