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Fostering African studies around the world

4 September 2018


A Cardiff University academic has become president of the African Studies Association in the United Kingdom (ASAUK).

Professor Ambreena Manji, of the School of Law and Politics, takes up her post this month. Founded in 1963, the organisation’s mission is to support world-leading Africa-related research. Its annual programme of activities includes teaching fellowships in African universities and writing workshops.

An important part of the work of the ASAUK is to work in partnership with African universities, learned associations and publishers. It has strong links with African Studies associations in America and in Europe. Working closely with the Royal African Society, the ASAUK promotes major African literature and film events held in the UK.

A co-founder of the Law and Global Justice Centre, Professor Manji specialises in land law and development and has focused her research around these issues in Africa.

The Centre supports a lively research programme, including an international cohort of doctoral students. It is home to a ground-breaking pro-bono law clinic, whereby students get the opportunity to work on legal cases in Tanzania and Kenya, as well as the chance to carry out fully funded law placements with litigators and the judiciary in Nairobi and Delhi.

With a focus on the global south and informed by post and anti-colonial perspectives, the Centre fosters high quality research in law, justice and globalization. It is committed to engagement with southern scholars across the disciplines, bringing their work to prominence in academic and policy circles in the UK and Europe.

Commenting on her presidency, Professor Manji said: “I am honoured to follow a line of distinguished Africanists – historians, political scientists, anthropologists - in becoming President of the African Studies Association UK. This is a very important time for African studies in the UK. Our careful and deeply engaged scholarship should be a beacon. Our values and practices of building relationships of trust, of critical self-reflection and a commitment to addressing longstanding patterns of inequitable knowledge production and dissemination have never been more important.”

The Law and Global Justice Centre at the School of Law and Politics will host the biennial conference of the ASAUK in September 2020. The conference will bring over 700 delegates from 92 countries to Cardiff University.