Fall 2023 Events

Dr. Monroe Flyer

KINGS, QUEENS, COMMONERS, AND CAPTIVES: What Can Archaeology Tell Us about Dahomean Society in the Era of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade? with Dr. J. Cameron Monroe, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Register here!

The Kingdom of Dahomey, in the modern Republic of Benin, stands as one of the most comprehensively researched kingdoms in precolonial West Africa. Decades of historical, anthropological, and art historical research have cast important light on the origins of the precolonial polity, and its rise, expansion, and transformation through its participation into the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Since the year 2000, Professor J. Cameron Monroe has led archaeological surveys and excavations at palace sites, urban centers, and rural villages across the Abomey Plateau, the political heartland of the kingdom. In this presentation, he will discuss how archaeological research is reshaping our understanding of the nature and extent of Dahomey political power in the Atlantic era, and its impact on local communities across the region.

Professor J. Cameron Monroe is Director of the Archaeological Research Center and a faculty member in the Anthropology Department at University of California, Santa Cruz. Specializing in the archaeology of West Africa and the African Diaspora, he brings expertise in historical anthropology, social complexity, state evolution, and urbanism. His methodologies encompass spatial analysis and GIS, as well as studies in landscape, monumentality, and cultural transformations.



70th Anniversary Poster
Book cover

70th Anniversary Events

This year the Department of African Studies is celebrating its 70th anniversary. The events below are part of a series of palavers that highlight the research, advocacy, and policy work of our alumni.

Sallah Flyer

On April 13, 2023, Ms. Evelyn Sallah led a vibrant discussion on her 16+ years as an international development expert. Ms. Sallah's work focuses on gender and women's health and has recently added to her scope the social impact of intersectional identities particularly for women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and people with disabilities. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, Ms. Sallah has provided technical assistance in monitoring & evaluations, research, and improving the quality of care of programs working in various sectors, including women and adolescent girls' health, HIV/AIDS, sexual reproductive health and rights, and Gender-Based Violence. She has worked with UNICEF, The World Bank, PSI, and Catholic Relief Services, as well as provided technical oversight of various USG funded development initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa. During her tenure as a graduate student in the Department of African Studies, Ms. Sallah conducted extensive research in harmful social and cultural norms and has since become an intersectional feminist thought leader on issues affecting African and Diaspora women. In her presentation to current undergraduate and graduate students she provided important insights into her work as well as practical career advice for those wanting to work in development. 


Cara Moyer Duncan Flyer

On April 4, 2023, Dr. Cara Moyer-Duncan gave a talk on her recent book Projecting Nation: South African Cinemas after 1994 (Michigan State University Press, 2020)  to students and faculty. The text examines the ways in which national and transnational forces have shaped the representation of race and nation in feature-length narrative fiction films. Offering a systematic analysis of cinematic texts in the context of the South African film industry, Moyer-Duncan analyzes both well-known works like District 9 (2009) and neglected or understudied films like My Shit Father and My Lotto Ticket (2008) to show how the ways filmmakers produce cinema and the ways diverse audiences experience it—whether they watch major releases in theaters in predominantly white suburban enclaves or straight-to-DVD productions in their own homes—are informed by South Africans’ multiple experiences of nation in a globalizing world.

Cara Moyer-Duncan is an associate professor of Africana Studies and assistant director for the Emerson Prison Initiative at Emerson College. She holds a Ph.D. in African Studies from Howard University, an MPS in Africana Studies from Cornell University, and a BA in Black Studies and Sociology from UC Santa Barbara. Moyer-Duncan has published in academic journals such as the Journal of African Cinemas and Critical Interventions, edited collections such as Art and Trauma in Africa (I.B. Tauris, 2013) and Education Behind the Wall (Brandeis UP, 2022), and the popular outlet Africa is a Country.

Feb 6 Kadiri Palaver Revised

On February 6, 2023, we were honored to host alumni, Dr. Juone Kadiri, Vice President for Institutional Equity, Inclusion and Transformation at Salt Lake Community College for the first of 70th Anniversary Palaver Series event. In her presentation, Dr. Kadiri discussed ongoing projects that she is working on at SLCC and how she transitioned from a researcher and educatot to a college administrator. The audience of graduate students gained important insights into how graduate skills are transferable in multiple fields within academia.