Africa Institute in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates appoints new faculty and fellows and launches creative writing fellowship program

The Africa Institute in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates — a center for research, documentation and study of Africa and its diaspora — announced seven new faculty appointments, fellows from its fellowship program fellowship, its inaugural class of Global Africa Translation Fellows and the launch of a new Creative Writing Fellowship program.

New faculty members specialize in African history, political science, art theory and more, taking up their positions in 2021 and 2022:

  • Emery Kalema, Assistant Professor of African History – Emery Kalema is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in Historical Trauma and Transformation Studies at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa, and a Social Science Summer Program Fellow (2018- 2019) at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA.
  • Françoise Vergès, professor of political science – Françoise Vergès is a trained political scientist, academic and recognized public intellectual.
  • Amy Niang, Associate Professor of Political Science – Amy Niang’s research interests are broadly centered on the history of state formation and sovereignty, Africa’s international relations, and the history of geopolitics .
  • Binyam Sisay Mendisu, Associate Professor of African Languages ​​and Linguistics – Binyam Sisay Mendisu received his PhD in Linguistics from the University of Oslo in 2008. Between 2008 and 2016 he taught full-time at Addis University -Abeba (AUA) as assistant and later associate professor.
  • Elizabeth W. Giorgis, Associate Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism – Elizabeth W. Giorgis received her PhD in Art History and Visual Studies from Cornell University in 2010 and her Masters in New York University Museums in 2004.
  • Surafel Wondimu Abebe, Assistant Professor of Performance Studies and Theory – Abebe studied Literature (BA) and Cultural Studies (MA) at Addis Ababa University (AAU) (2010).
  • Premesh Lalu, Professor of History – Professor Premesh Lalu was one of the founding directors of the Humanities Research Center (CHR) at the University of the Western Cape. Under his leadership, the CHR received the Department of Science and Innovation Flagship Award from the National Research Foundation for Critical Thinking in the African Humanities.

The African Institute Fellowship Program provides the opportunity for junior and senior scholars in African and African Diaspora Studies to focus on a research project and participate in ongoing academic and intellectual activities during their tenure at the Institute.

The Ali A. Mazrui Senior Fellows in Global African Studies is in honor of the late Professor Ali A. Mazrui, whose contributions to the field of African Studies have left a remarkable and transformative impact on the world. This fellowship is open to senior scholars whose work emphasizes African and African diaspora studies and their intersections with the social sciences and humanities.

  • Naminata Diabate – Naminata Diabate is an Associate Professor of Comparative Literature at Cornell University. She is a member of the main faculty of Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies (FGSS) and the affiliated faculty of Romantic Studies; Africana Studies and Research Center (ASRC); lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender studies; Performing Arts and Media Arts; and visual studies.
  • Abdul Mohammed Hussein Sheriff – Abdul Sheriff was born and educated in Zanzibar, and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1966. He later earned his doctorate from the School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1971.
  • Ahmad Sikainga – Ahmad Sikainga is Professor of African History at The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, USA. His academic interests encompass the study of Africa, the African Diaspora, and the Middle East, with an emphasis on slavery, labor, urban history, and popular culture. Sikainga’s research focuses geographically on Sudan, the Nile Valley, North Africa and the Persian Gulf.

The Fatema Mernissi Postdoctoral Fellowship in Social and Cultural Studies is named in honor of the world-renowned Moroccan scholar, the late Professor Fatema Mernissi, whose critical contributions to gender, feminism, socio-political change and Islam and transformational. The fellowship is open to emerging scholars in the field of social sciences with a particular focus on gender, feminism, and cultural studies and visual cultures, as long as they intersect with African and African diaspora studies.

  • Netsanet Gebremichael – Netsanet Gebremichael graduated with a PhD in Interdisciplinary Social Studies from the Makerere Institute of Social Research, Makerere University, Uganda in 2019. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, University from Addis Ababa.

The inaugural Okwui Enwezor Postdoctoral Fellowship in Visual Culture, Performance Studies, and Critical Humanities is named in honor of the late Okwui Enwezor, the renowned scholar, curator, and art critic, whose contributions to the disciplines of the history of art, art criticism and cultural studies have left a revolutionary and dynamic impact. This fellowship is open to emerging scholars whose work focuses on visual and performance studies and intersections with discourses of art history, performance studies, and critical humanities. Eligible applicants must have completed their doctorate (PhD) within the past five years, prior to assuming the scholarship.

The Global Africa Translation Fellowship program offers grants for the translation of poetry, novels, and more from historical and contemporary Africa into English and Arabic. of the African continent and its diaspora. Selected works may be retranslations of classic texts or previously untranslated contemporary works, collections of poetry, novels, prose or critical theory.

The 2021 winners are:

  • Reem Abou-El-Fadl, for the translation and editing of Egyptian intellectual and activist Helmi Sharawy’s Arabic-language memoir, Sira Misriyya Ifriqiya (An Egyptian African Story), which was first published in 2019 by Cairo’s independent press Dar Al-Ain;
  • Adil Babikir, for translating the book Samahani by Sudanese author Abdelaziz Baraka Sakin from Arabic into English;
  • Claretta Holsey, for the translation of four scholarly essays from Tracées by René Ménil: Identity, Negritude, Aesthetics in the West Indies from French into English;
  • David Shook, for translating the Collected Poems of Francisco José Tenreiro from Portuguese to English, including his founding debut in 1942 Ilha de Nome Santo (Island of the Sacred Name).

The 2022 winners are:

  • Hussein El Hajj, for the translation of the unpublished book by author Salma Khalil Where will we go in winter? – an anthology of personal reflections by young Arabs on their experiences of the diaspora and exile since the 2011 ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings – from English to Arabic.
  • Margaux Fitoussi, to translate Waiting for Omar Gatlato, written in French by Wassyla Tamzali and published in 1979, in English. En attendant Omar Gatlato is one of the first reference books on Algerian and Tunisian experimental cinema from the end of the 1960s to the end of the 1970s. The monograph is divided into two parts – “A look at Algerian cinema” and “A Sketchy Introduction to Tunisian Cinema” – and includes film analysis, stills, set notes, production documentation and interviews with individual filmmakers.
  • Myriam Amri & Margaux Fitoussi, to complete the translation of Tunisian Yankee (2016), written by Cécile Oumahni and published by Elyzad Editions (Tunis, Tunisia) -from French to English- of the historical novel.
  • Nathalie Handal, for the translation and editing of Récitatif au pays des ombres, Récitatif au pays des ombres from French (with some Creole) into English.
  • Salma Khalil, for translating Coptic-Egyptian author Shady Lewis’ third novel, A Brief History of Genesis and East Cairo, published by Dar al-Ein in 2021, from Arabic to English.

The Creative Writing Fellowship, The Tejumola Olaniyan Creative Writers in Residence Fellowship Program pays tribute to the late Nigerian Professor Tejumola Olaniyan and his remarkable intellectual legacy in the field of African literature and critical theory. The residency program welcomes applications from novelists, short stories, playwrights, poets and screenwriters connected to Africa and the African Diaspora for a grant of up to $12,000. Applications are now open with a deadline of February 28.

As a research-based think tank and graduate institute, the Africa Institute also offers master’s and doctoral programs dedicated to nurturing a new generation of critical thinkers in Africa Studies and the African Diaspora and the evolution of a new model of academic research, teaching and training. field documentation.

For more information on the programs and how to apply, please visit or see below for staff and scholarship information below.

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