CAS News Bulletin: Week of November 21st, 2016
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Kintampo Falls, Ghana. Photo provided by Jennifer Boylan.
November 21st, 2016

Talks This Week

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In this issue:

In this issue cont'd:









Awards and Publications

Please send citations for your recently published articles, book chapters, book reviews, or op-ed pieces to for their inclusion within the news bulletin.

Rose Lugano awarded Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship

Dr. Rose Lugano (Dept. of Languages, Literatures, & Cultures) was awarded a fellowship by the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship program to travel to Kenya to work with Technical University of Mombasa and Dr. Susan M. Bosire on curriculum co-development for Swahili language for foreigners.

The focus is to develop an immersion course aimed at utilizing the existing Swahili speaking community of the area. This project will help enhance the courses that are to be offered at the new language center which is soon to be established at the university, whose objective will be teaching the local languages of the coast. Congratulations Dr. Lugano!

Several Students Win Research Abroad for Graduate Students (RAGS) award

  1. Jennifer Moore - Doctoral Candidate in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Proposed research project and location: Mammalian biodiversity monitoring and conservation in Nyungwe National Park, Rwanda
  2. Cody Howard - Doctoral Candidate in Biology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Proposed research project and location: Arid Climate Pioneers: The historical evolution of the wood hyacinths in Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia
  3. Fezile Mtsetfwa - Doctoral Candidat in Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and the School of Natural Resources and Environment, College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Proposed research project and location: Determining savanna landscapes of conservation importance in the face of climate change and land use change, Swaziland

Call for Papers- 25th Annual Boston U. Graduate Student Conference in African Studies

Theme: Whose Lives Matter? Xenophobia, Disenfranchisement, and Exclusion in Africa. The 2017 conference will be held at Boston University, April 7-8th.

Submit a 250 word abstract to by January 15,2017. Please include your name, address, telephone number, email address, and institutional affiliation in the email. For more information, go to

Moscow Conference of Africanists

On October 17th-20th, 2017, the Research Council for the Problems of African Countries and the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences hold the 14th African Studies Conference titled "Africa and Africans in National, Regional and Global Dimensions." The deadline for panel proposals is December 1, 2016. Contact Mrs. Natalia Bondar,, or Dr. Natalia Zherlitsyna,, for more information.

Wake Forest University- TT Assistant Professor position in African Politics and African/International Studies

Session Times
Thurs. Dec. 1:
Session I- 8:30-10:15am
Session II- 10:30-12:15pm
Session III- 2:00-3:45pm
Session IV- 4:00-5:45pm

Fri. Dec 2:
Session V- 8:30-10:15am
Session VI- 10:30am-12:15pm
Session VII- 2:00-3:45pm
Session VIII- 4:00-5:45pm

Sat. Dec 3:
Session IX- 8:30-10:15am
Session X- 10:30-12:15pm
Session XI- 2:00-3:45pm
Session XII- 4:00-5:45pm

Current students & faculty
Ba, Oumar VI-N-1. Kenya and the ICC: The Limits of State Compliance
Burgen, Benjamin I-Q-1. Concrete Commitments: The Migrant-Funded Housing Boom in the Rural Senegal River Valley
Bwenge, Charles VI-Q-1. Roundtable: African Languages & African Studies Programs in the US: the making of the 21st century Africanists
Carey, Netty II-H-4. Land Reform in Ghana: Discursive Formations and Their Gendered Consequences
Edgell, Amanda I-H-2. Super-Districts, Constituency Magnitude, and Women's Electoral Performance – the Case of Uganda
Eizenga, Dan XII-H-2. Surviving Democratization: Dominant Party Strategies in the Multi-Party Systems of Burkina Faso and Chad
Elischer, Sebastian XI-H-2. Informal Institutions and Religious Steering in Francophone and Anglophone Africa
Good, Ryan III-L-3. Landscapes of Violence in the Virtual Diasporas of Africa-Set Video Games
Hames, John I-H-5. Language Activism's 'Profit of Distinction': Pulaar Militancy as a Path to Prestige and the Means of Survival
Hunt, Nancy V-F-1, X-G-6. Roundtables
Kane, Abdoulaye X-B-1. Adapting to Uncertainty in the Sahel: The Role of Migrants and Remittances
Lake, Eric IV-N-4. Peacekeepers as Agents of Stability and Instability: The Role of Peacekeeping on Coups and Competitive Elections
Leedy, Todd XI-G-5, XII-Q-1. Racing for Gold: Bicycles and the Mining Industry in South Africa, 1930-60
McKune, Sarah X-B-1. Food Security and Nutrition Among Livestock Holders
McOmber, Chesney I-I-1. The Gendered Politics of Demographic Change: Exploring Male Absence and Political Engagement in Morocco and Kenya
Ostebo, Marit IV-E-2. Scrutinizing Development Models in Ethiopia
Ostebo, Terje IX-J-1. Panel chair
Pukuma, Emily VII-H-1. Democratic Breakdown and Survival: A Tale of Two Transitions in Ghana
Ravary, Riley II-C-1, VII-C-1. Community-Based Conservation in Colonial Kenya: Implications of the Galana Game Management Scheme
Seago, Jessie-Leigh IV-I-2. Constituting Whiteness in Post-Apartheid South Africa
Serra, Renata X-B-1. Panel chair
Soares, Benjamin XII-G-5. Roundtable
Sow, Alioune III-K-1. The Hero in Massa Makan Diabaté's Plays
Yahya Ibrahim, Ibrahim V-G-4, VII-H-3. Jihadism in the North, Islamism in the South: The New Dynamics of Islam and Politics in Mali
Adeeko, Adeleke V-K-1. Conviviality and Loss in Contemporary Fiction of African Immigration
Fridy, Kevin II-H-4, X-H-4. Personality and Political Participation in Ghana
Gennaro, Michael XI-G-5. "The Father of Boxing": Douglas J. Collister, the United Africa Company, and Boxing in Colonial Nigeria
Hanson, Holly IX-G-1. Discussant
Hoon, Parakh VI-E-3. Roundtable
Kirkwood, Meghan II-A-3. Landscape in Mining Images: An Examination of Works by Ilan Godfrey, Thabiso Sekgala, and Jerry Obakeng Gaegane
LeBas, Adrienne IV-E-1, VIII-H-1. Why Persistent Violence? Elite Strategy and the Organizational Roots of Electoral Violence in Africa
Leinweber, Ashley IX-H-1. Maniema's Muslim Borderland: Interaction and Isolation within and Beyond Eastern Congo
M'Cormack-Hale, Fredline II-E-2. Ebola Interventions: Repeating the Mistakes of the Past in Sierra Leone
Marcus, Richard IV-N-4, XII-N-1. Ungoverned Microspaces and the Art of Violence
Marr, Stephen VIII-M-1. Urban Space and Climate Citizenship in Lagos and Kinshasa: Sustainability, Inequality and the New Contours of Exclusion in Urban Africa
Meier, Prita III-O-2. Panel chair
Moyd, Michelle III-Q-2, VI-H-1. Roundtables
Odera, Levy I-E-2. Social Innovation in Kenya: An Examination of Policy Environments and Incentive Structures that Support the Social Innovation Space
Schwartzott, Amy IV-A-1. Estamos Juntos: Associação Núcleo De Arte/We are Together: Association of the Center of Art
Stewart, Kearsley VIII-F-1. Towards an Ethics of the Global Health Image: Images of Hiv/Aids in Africa
Von Doepp, Peter V-H-2, VIII-L-1. Media Collective Action and the Protection of Media Freedoms in Africa

Dr. Leonardo Villalon introduces (left to right):
Dr. Sue O'Brien, Dr. Terje Ostebo, and Ibrahim Y. Ibrahim.

Last Week’s Recap

On Monday November 14th, Dr. Terje Ostebo (Religion), Ibrahim Yahaya Ibrahim (Political Science), and Dr. Sue O’Brien (History) participated in a roundtable titled, “Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) as a Dilemma for African Muslims”. The roundtable was moderated by Dr. Leonardo Villalon (Dean, Center for International Studies). Dr. Ostebo’s presentation covered CVE from a cross-national point of view, while Ibrahim and Dr. O’Brien discussed on-the-ground CVE practices and obstacles in Niger and Nigeria, respectively.
According to Dr. Ostebo, the term CVE gained traction after it was used at a White House Summit in September 2015. Somewhat replacing the US term ‘war on terror’, now the term refers to a wide variety of global programmatic strategies. While U.S. foreign policy implements CVE plans in expansive programs both domestically and in other countries (often via USAID), European countries use the term CVE to primarily refer to domestic programs. General CVE program spheres include those which address good governance, corruption, economic development, youth programs, etc. Not only are CVE programs vague about how they will specifically counter efforts for violent extremist recruitment, leaders in Africa are now trying to use CVE program mechanisms to strengthen their own power. Very few African leaders come from an Islamic background, and increasingly moves are made to use CVE programs to shrink the political space for any kind of antigovernment political movement.
Ibrahim next discussed USAID approaches to CVE on-the-ground in Niger. He points out that while the general goal of CVE is to de-legitimatize terrorists, CVE in West Africa is just beginning and there is very little understanding of the specific factors which make recruitment into a jihadist movement more likely. Further, while USAID intends to effectively implement programs to combat CVE, there are limits on what can be done with U.S. government money including stipulations that programs cannot promote religion. Ibrahim argues that religious programs would be helpful, as evidenced by Mauritania’s success at using religious activities to de-radicalize its population. The mechanism through which this was achieved was holding publicly televised debates between local Imams and Jihadists which effectively demonstrated holes in jihadist religious ideologies.
Finally, Dr. O’Brien discussed the complexities of the Nigerian context which make CVE programs difficult to implement. The most overwhelming factor which works against combatting violent extremism in Nigeria is the military, which routinely carries out war crimes in targeting Boko Haram and the non-violent Islamic Movement. O’Brien argues that the methods used by the Nigerian military to target both of these groups directly contributes to the jihadist recruitment, though the Islamic Movement remains non-violent despite extreme provocations. The latest provocation includes the detainment of the leader of the Islamic Movement, Ibrahim Yaqoub Zakzaky and his wife, in a raid which resulted in the massacre of hundreds of Shiites and Zakzaky’s followers. Between 2014 and 2015, 6 of Zakzaky’s sons have also been killed. Another aspect which complicates the potential for effective CVE programs in Nigeria is that the torture and execution of jihadist individuals without investigation into their adherence to jihadism. Still, the US military continues to train Nigerian military though a questioning of the US-Saudia Arabia alliance, which impacts US involvements in Nigeria, is coming into question.
Amanda B. Edgell (center)

On Friday November 18th, Amanda B. Edgell gave a presentation for the Social Change & Development in Africa Working Group titled, “Vying for a Man Seat: Constituency Magnitude and Mainstream Female Candidature in Uganda and Kenya.” The talk assessed the effects of gender quotas on female representation in the legislatures in Uganda and Kenya, finding that these quotas ultimately limit the expansion of female representation.
Uganda and Kenya have unique institutional rules surrounding their gender quotas and Edgell is using these two cases for theory development and the testing of cases for the broader effects of institutional set-ups on gender quotas and gendered outcomes of elections. The data used in this paper comes from interviews with elites and civil society organizational members and data from the 2006, 2011 and 2016 Ugandan elections and the 2013 Kenyan election. The seats elected to both of these legislatures consist of mainstream constituencies, where one MP is elected to each constituency, and super-districts occupying the territory of one or more of these mainstream constituencies and which are reserved exclusively for women.
Edgell finds that the more mainstream constituencies within each super-district, the more likely women are to run and win in mainstream constituencies. This happens, she explains, because the smaller relative size of multiple mainstream constituencies within one super-district makes them more attractive for female aspirants and there is increased demand for candidates who represent a broader cross-section of the population, including women. The research also suggests that gender quotas essentially impose ceiling effects, particularly if the quotas do not promote changes in how parties and potential aspirants view female candidature. This is in part due to the fact that women holding reserved seats are less likely to break out of that role and vie for mainstream constituencies and that, since super-districts are inherently larger than most constituencies, women have a harder time engaging in meaningful and comprehensive development projects that will tie them as candidates to particular constituents.   
Dr. Joshua Grace
On Friday November 18th, Dr. Joshua Grace gave a Baraza presentation titled “African Motors: Garages, Oil, and Austerity in Tanzania.” Dr. Grace is Assistant Professor of History at the University of South Carolina. The talk, derived from a near-complete book manuscript, focused on the history of the auto repair industry in pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial Tanzania using archival research, ethnographic methods, and over 60 interviews with mechanics to connect history to the present era.
Grace’s presentation provided an at times romanticized and at times structural narrative of car culture and the limits and possibilities of invention, production and technological power in Tanzania. At the individual level, car repairs and maintenance, as Grace explains, are creative processes. At a broader understanding, car repair and mechanical maintenance is also political maintenance.
A reoccurring theme from the colonial era is the juxtaposition between those who believe car repair has to be learned through formal channels versus those who know that comprehensive expertise is not possible and experiential expertise is of greater value. The common trope is using your mind to innovate a solution, which gives car repair mechanics who succeed in this way a level of ‘street credibility’ for their ingenuity.
In the 1910’s and 1920’s, car repair occupied a temporary space and repair garages were makeshift centers, in part because colonial Tanganyika preferred investing in railway transport. In the 1920’s and 1930’s, the growing number of cars on the market meant the colonial government put a limit on which would be imported into the colony. By the 1960’s and 1970’s, the socialist state began to look upon car garages with suspicion and considered them to be anti-socialist. While the state saw these garages as a graveyard for cars, young men saw them as a source of wealth and security.
Finally, in the final portion of Grace’s presentation, he connects the auto repair industry to the oil industry in Tanzania. The connection is strongest in the sense that moving oil is the greatest obstacle to harnessing its political power. Moving oil and fuel within the country became a problem for car transport, which resulted in famines in different areas.

Graduate Student Spotlight

Emily Pukuma is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science. She is currently writing her dissertation concerning British colonial legacies and democracy. It is a multi-method study of why democratic institutions survive in some contexts and temporal periods but break down in others. Her research design includes an original conceptual typology of former British colonies, comparative historical analysis of a representative case of each colonial type and statistical analysis of a comprehensive dataset of former British colonies.

Her findings suggest that variations in self-government and administrative development prior to independence continue to strongly influence democratic stability and combinations of these legacies generate different challenges for democratization. Her research aims to contribute to the study of democracy by disaggregating the historical period of colonialism into more manageable and comparable concepts, by contributing historical data collection, and by bridging two largely separate literatures on democracy and colonialism disconnected by methodological techniques.
During 2014-2015, Emily completed 15 months of archival and interview data collection in Ghana, Mauritius and Malaysia. This fieldwork centrally informs her comparative historical case studies. She also completed two months of historical data collection at the UK National Archives for the statistical analysis of the full set of former British colonies. This research was funded by several grants including a Boren Fellowship, World Politics and Statecraft Fellowship, Graduate School Doctoral Research Travel Grant as well as pre-dissertation travel awards from the Center for African Studies and Department of Political Science.

Emily is a former Managing Editor and Book Review Editor of the African Studies Quarterly. She is also a former FLAS Fellow in Hausa. 
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