Director. Center for African and African American Research. July 1, 2009


Univ Services ; Director of the Duke University-wide Center for African and African American Research, which sponsors the John Hope Franklin Young Scholars Program, a monthly lecture series on African and African American research, scholarly conferences, the Distinguished Visiting Scholar Program, the Center newsletter and website, a Program in Scholarly Film Production, and a Museum Exhibition Program. All of these programs remained active and lively in 2013. The activities of the CAAAR are exemplary in their international breadth, scholarly excellence, and outreach--across campus and beyond. The fall 2013 CAAAR scholarly conference, "Global Affirmative Action in a Neoliberal Age," compared the circumstances, results and likely results of affirmative action in the US with its counterparts all over the globe. This event was a 50-50 collaboration between CAAAR and the University of Malaya. The 2013 film we made based upon this conference is available for viewing on the CAAAR website. In order to preserve the new insights generated by CAAAR-sponsored research, lectures, and conferences for the benefit of future research and of the broadest possible audience, we make films and publish a substantial newsletter. See CAAAR Annual Report submitted to Dean O'Rand and Dean Patton in October 2013, as well as Sancocho, the Center newsletter, of spring 2013. Please also take a look at our films, which appear on the CAAAR website. These activities require an enormous amount of thought, coordination, planning, and follow-through on my part. They are an important element of my paid duties to Duke and must not, contrary to the expressed opinion of my chair, be disregarded in my performance evaluation. The spring 2013 lecture series, "Crisis and Caring: Africa/Caribbean/US," addressed the arts, anthropology and economics. The fall 2013 lecture series, chaired by Zoila Airall, has concerned "Race, Culture and Education," featuring an international array of scholars who have addressed an equally international and cross-ethnic issues in secondary and tertiary education. This year's Visiting Scholars are anthropologist Kamela Heyward-Rotimi and historian of religions and of African thought Felix Asiedu. During spring 2012, we hosted a lecture series on "Race (Theory) and the Disciplines," co-chaired by Center Associate Director Charlie Piot, and by Bayo Holsey. We hosted Distinguished Visiting Scholar Karen E. Fields, who also taught courses in AAAS, Sociology and Religion. We produced two films--"Can We Talk? Bridging the Social Science and the Humanities" and "Human Traffic: Past and Present," both of which can be viewed on the CAAAR website. A gustatory and educational event called "Black Culinary Concepts: A Salon with Chef Mechal Thompson" capped off the spring semester. In fall 2012, we mounted an exhibition of hand-made African luxury textiles at Lilly Library. We also hosted a reception for the new Dean of the Chapel, Reverend Luke Powery. We also hosted a major international conference on "Global Affirmative Action in a Neoliberal Age" and anticipate completion of a film about this topic in December 2012. During 2011, the Center hosted two major scholarly conferences ("Youthful Futures" 29-30 April), about the youth bulge in African demographics, and "Human Traffic: Past and Present" (13-15 October), about the complexities of contemporary human trafficking and the lessons of its debatable comparison to the pre-20th-century Atlantic slave trade. We also hosted two lecture series--"Breaching Boundaries: Re-Narrating the Black Atlantic" (spring) and "Black Gods and Kings: Priests and Practices of the Afro-Atlantic Religions" (fall).

Service Performed By


  • Director


  • July 1, 2009

Service or Event Name

  • Center for African and African American Research

Location or Venue

  • Duke University