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Land law scholar appointed Vice President of African Studies Association

28 September 2016

Branwen Gruffydd Jones, John Harrington, Ambreena Manji and Sara Dezaley
Branwen Gruffydd Jones, John Harrington, Ambreena Manji and Sara Dezaley.

Professor of Land Law and Development, Ambreena Manji was recently appointed Vice President of the African Studies Association UK (ASAUK) during its biennial conference in Cambridge.

ASAUK was founded in 1963 and is the national subject association for Africanists scholars. It seeks to advance African scholarship in a variety of ways. As well as hosting a biennial conference – attended this year by over 600 participants - it organises teaching fellowships in African universities and has pioneered writing workshops which bring together authors and journal editors and have recently been held in Pretoria, Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

Professor Manji joined the Council of the ASAUK in 2014 when she returned from Kenya where she had been seconded for four years to the Directorship of the British Institute in Eastern Africa (BIEA) in Nairobi. She will work closely with the current ASAUK President, Dr Insa Nolte of the University of Birmingham, who she will succeed as President in 2018. She will represent the ASAUK on the Arts and Humanities Alliance and maintain close ties with the BIEA as a member of its Research Committee.

Speaking of her appointment Professor Manji said, “It is an honour to become Vice President of the ASAUK and to follow in the footsteps of scholars whom I admire enormously such as Tunde Zack-Williams, Megan Vaughan, John Lonsdale, Karin Barber and William Beinhart. I am especially pleased that the ASAUK conference will be hosted by Cardiff in 2020 and I look forward to the School of Law and Politics, its Law and Global Justice research group and the Centre for Law and Society, welcoming scholars from all over the world to Wales.”

The School of Law and Politics was very well represented at this year’s conference in Cambridge. Its Law and Global Justice research group organised a panel on Law, Legal Professionalism and Political Change in Africa: History, Practice, Agency. The panel showcased the excellent collaborative and multi-disciplinary work being done across the School of Law and Politics. Branwen Gruffydd Jones and Sara Dezaley represented Politics and John Harrington and Ambreena Manji represented Law. The panel addressed the contribution of lawyers to state-building in independent Africa and the role played by concepts of legality and legal professionalism in articulating the purposes and aspirations of political movements and governments.

The Law and Global Justice research group will organise a series of events this year. On 21 November 2016, the 5th Annual Lecture of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs will be delivered by Prof James Gathii (Faculty of Law, Loyola) on the topic of ‘World Trade Law and African Deindustrialization’. The group will also host Dr Doris Buss (Department of Law, Carleton University) as a Centre for Law and Society Visiting Fellow and Dr Grace Musila (Department of Literature, University of Stellenbosch) as a Cardiff University Visiting Scholar.

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