The African Studies Working Group connects students, faculty, and other members of the SFU community through Africa-related research and events.


Upcoming Events

See you in 2020!


SFU African Studies News, Publications and Past Events


SFU African Studies Working Group Reads

Monday, November 25


SFU Harbour Centre, room 2260

This is a free event and all are welcome.  All students and faculty are invited to join this discussion.

We will be reading and discussing Chinua Achebe's There was a Country, pgs. 33-63.  For a pdf copy, email: bbawo@sfu.ca

Activism by Other Means: 'Informal' Settlement in Southern Africa

This talk with Anne-Maria Makhulu (Cultural Anthropology and African & African American Studies, Duke University) and David Morton (History, UBC) will draw comparisons between Cape Town and colonial Maputo to explore the intersection of informal settlement and the politics of belonging.

When: 5:30-7pm, Friday, November 22 (reception to follow)

Where: SFU Harbour Centre, Room 1600

Register for free online here.

South-South Encounters: The Politics of Interaction Among Africans and Chinese on the Ground [SFU Harbour Centre, November 19]

The 2019-2020 Social Science Colloquium on China in the World presents, "South-South Encounters: The Politics of Interaction Among Africans and Chinese on the Ground."

3:30 - 5:30pm, Tuesday, November 19, 2019 [Reception to Follow]

SFU Harbour Centre
515 West Hastings, Vancouver, Room 7000

More info here.


Book Launch: David Morton's Age of Concrete: Housing and the Shape of Aspiration in the Capital of Mozambique

When: 5:30pm November 5

Where: Liu Institute for Global Issues, UBC

UBC's Liu Institute for Global Issues will host a book launch event for Age of Concrete: Housing and the Shape of Aspiration in the Capital of Mozambique by UBC History professor David Morton.

"Age of Concrete is a history of the making of houses and homes in the subúrbios of Maputo (Lourenço Marques), Mozambique, from the late 1940s to the present. Often dismissed as undifferentiated, ahistorical 'slums,' these neighborhoods are in fact an open-air archive that reveals some of people’s highest aspirations." Read more from the description of the book from Ohio University Press.


SFU David Lam Centre's Pacific Region Forum Presents "Ethnic Diversity in Africa and its Implications for Chinese Investments"

Wednesday, November 6


SFU Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings, Vancouver

2270 Sauder Industries Policy Room

Speaker: Dr. Peng Zhang, SFU Beedie School of Business

More info here.

UBC Liu Institute's Network for Africa presents its 2019 Inaugural Symposium: "Building Connections Between and Within" [October 18-19] 

This free event will focus on education, decision-making, and the environment with dialogues, writing, research presentations, music and art.  Details here.


Fanon: Yesterday, Today [Film Screening and Panel]

When: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2019 | 6-9 p.m. 

Where: Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema, SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St.

Join the Institute for the Humanities at SFU for a screening of the documentary "Fanon: Yesterday, Today" from documentary filmmaker Hassane Mezine. Following the screening, there will be a panel moderated by the Institute's director Samir Gandesha that features panelists Glen Coulthard, Jaleh Mansoor, and Sobhi Al-Zobaidi. More info here.


SFU Sociology and Anthropology 2019 Fall Colloquium Series

Allyship in the Time of Death: Black Feminism, Black Male Aggrievement, and the Politics of Division and Liberation

Tuesday, October 15
1–2:30 PM
Ellen Gee Common Room (AQ 5067)

Speaker: Freeden Blume Oeur (Associate Professor of Sociology and Education at Tufts University).

What is the future of Black feminism? How has the emerging field of “New Black Masculinities” (NBM) become one of its critics? How does neoliberalism lie at the heart of this conflict? Join us and understand this complicated relationship and its implications on young Black men in the U.S. and Canada.



Join us on September 23 for a conversation entitled "The Political Power of Language and Literature: An Evening with Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o". Ngũgĩ is a celebrated and world-renowned writer and activist, and he will be in conversation with Vancouver-based writer and poet Juliane Okot Bitek.

All are invited to the reception at the end of the event.

Register here

This event was made possible by the support of the Afrocentrism Conference organizing committee.

This event is co-presented by SFU African Studies Working Group, SFU World Literature Program, SFU English, SFU Library, SFU Humanities, SFU International, SFU Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement.

With support from the FASS Rapid Response Fund.

Afrocentrism Conference 2019: Decolonizing Academia (Vancouver, September 21-22)

"The Afrocentrism Conference is a 2 day event that seeks to challenge our understanding of western epistemologies and offer the opportunity to explore the often misunderstood and misinterpreted shared history of people with African ancestry."  Learn more at the conference website.


SFU African Studies Working Group Reads

Decolonising the Mind, by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o*

Monday, September 16


SFU Harbour Centre, room 7210

This is a free event and all are welcome.  All students and faculty are invited to join this discussion.

In preparation, please read the chapter entitled 'The Language of African Literature'. (See link below)

Bring any discussion notes or questions.

Link to PDF copy of text: https://jmp.sh/LYOzDY3

 Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming Afrocentrism Conference, held at UBC and SFU on September 21 and 22. For more see: https://afrocentrism.org/


SFU International is pleased to announce a public lecture by the Vice-President of Ghana, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, taking place at Harbour Centre on Monday July 22, 2019, from 5:30 - 6:30pm.

Simon Fraser University is delighted to welcome Dr. Bawumia back to our campus, where he completed his PhD in Economics in 1995.

Dr. Bawumia holds a First Class Honours Degree in Economics from Buckingham University and a Master's in Economics from Lincoln College, Oxford University.

In addition to leading Ghana’s Economic Management Team, Dr. Bawumia is a sought-after speaker on the Ghanaian economy. He was also the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana from 2006 to 2008.Join us as Dr. Bawumia discusses inclusive economic development, digitization of the economy and Ghana as the economic hub of the new West African free trade zone.

The event is open to the public and free to attend. Please register on eventbrite

African Descent Music Conference 2019

The African Descent Society Music Conference seeks to highlight the growing potential of African music in BC and the diaspora. The keynote speaker will be Juno Award nominee and multi-award-winning artist will be joined by an equally impressive panel.

Register on Eventbrite

The African Descent Festival is intended to celebrate the cultural diversity of people of African Descent within Vancouver, while recognizing and promoting attitudes of oneness among all ethnic groups and communities. The event focuses on activating public spaces and bringing a diverse range of programming to connect stakeholders working avidly for the long term sustainability of this population.

This cultural event will allow Canadians, specifically Vancouverites to enjoy and learn about different cultures and countries from Africa, some of which have strong embedded grassroot initiatives and history within the city. 

This event is free and all are welcome !

Please visit African Descent website for more info


'Who Am I'  :

Is a documentary created by Adhel Arop, after receiving the coveted Telus Story Hive grant in 2018. Who Am I? tells the story of Canadian Model Adhel Arop's quest for an identity as she reconciles with her mothers past as a child soldier in South Sudan. We see how war, displacement and trauma have affected both womens lives and their relationship with eachother.

Adhel makes her first solo debut where she will be performing her new collection of poetry.Proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales will be donated to the Obakki Foundation.

Regiter on Eventbrite

Wednesday. July 10th 6:30- 9:30pm

WERKLAB 1275 Venables St #290


Let's Celebrate the Resilience of Rwanda 

For the past 25 years, the Rwandan community in Metro Vancouver has been commemorating the slaughter of 1,000,000 innocent people who were killed because they were members of the ethnic Tutsi monority, or moderate Hutus who refused to buy into the ethnic cleansing ideology. On June 6, from 5:30 - 9:30 pm, we will come together, to hear stories of change and the work of Rwandan and Canadian change agents. We will meet to celebrate the remarkable work that Rwandans have done in reconstruction and reconciliation of post-genocide Rwanda. Also, join us in a fundraising action for RR25 Project Legacy. FREE

Please register on eventbrite

What is shifting for women working on climate change and in agriculture? What opportunities exist to foster international partnerships?

Join Dr. Kamau-Rutenberg and SFU's Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue on Thursday, June 6th, from 10:00am - 12:00pm for an intimate dialogue to discuss what women need to be effective in the space of climate change
and agriculture. Here, we will explore the African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), One Planet Initiative and discuss what support women scientists working in Africa need. 

Thursday, June 6

10:00AM - 12:00PM
Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, Room 420, 580 W. Hastings St

For more information, see: https://www.sfu.ca/dialogue/news-and-events/archives/2019/women--climate-change-and-agriculture--a-dialogue-with-dr--wanji.html

SFU African Studies Reading & Discussion Group

Monday, May 27th, 12-2pm

SFU Burnaby, Blusson Hall, Room 11002

This will be the second session of the SFU African studies monthly reading group. We will be reading Chapter 1: Off Commandement from Achille Mbembe's On the Post Colony.  All SFU sudents, faculty, staff and community members are welcome to join, please find the chapter at the SFU library website.

All participants are asked to read the chapter and bring any thoughts and questions with them to help advance our collective consideration of this reading.

If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Jackie at: aswg@sfu.ca

SFU African Studies Reading & Discussion Group
Monday, April 29, 12-2pm
SFU Harbour Centre, Room 2065

This will be the first session of the SFU African Studies reading group and we will meet monthly thereafter. The first work we will read and discuss on April 29 is Achille Mbembe's chapter 'Introduction: Time on the Move ' from his book On the Postcolony. Everyone is welcome to join this reading group, but please register or ask for more information from Jackie at: aswg@sfu.ca

Work-study position with ASWG for Summer 2019

The African Studies Working Group is looking to hire a student for a work study position for Summer 2019. The position is intended to support the work of the ASWG by - among other duties – helping to curate content on our website and by researching and compiling information about Africa-focused research at SFU and about potential opportunities (e.g. organizations, funding, initiatives) to develop research capacity among scholars from Africa and scholars engaging with Africa. Work-study eligible students who are interested can find details and apply at https://workstudy.its.sfu.ca/Search.aspx.

Our Website Just Launched!

The African Studies Working Group now has a place on the internet.  We launched March 25, 2019.

Report on the October 2018 Africa Research and Engagement Day

The one-day workshop provided the opportunity for SFU faculty and graduate students to connect with others working on Africa-related research. A total of 17 faculty members and graduate students from seven disciplines delivered short presentations about their research.  Get the Report.

African Students' Association Spotlight in The Peak

The Peak recently produced a video spotlight on the African Students' Association.  They interviewed students about ASA's purpose, goals, and hopes for the future of African Studies at SFU.  Watch at The Peak's website.