African Studies Association Annual Teachers Workshop 2021
Opening Session: Plenary Room
Opening Remarks from Ousseina D. Alidou
Music By Isaac Kalumbu
Ousseina D. Alidou
Ousseina D. Alidou is Full Professor in the Department of African, Middle Eastern and South Asian Languages and Literatures and Comparative Literature at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. She is the incoming Director of Rutgers Center for Women’s Global Leadership. She is Rutgers University Academic Director of the Mandela Washington Young Fellowship/YALI-Civic Leadership (2016-present); Professor Alidou is a theoretical linguist and cultural critic whose research focuses on women’s agency in African Muslim societies in the Sahel and East Africa (Kenya); gendered discourses of citizenship and rights; gender, education, politics and leadership. She is the author of Engaging Modernity: Muslim Women and the Politics of Agency in Postcolonial Niger (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005, a runner-up Aidoo-Schneider Book Prize of Women’s Caucus of the Association of African Studies) and Muslim Women in Postcolonial Kenya: Leadership, Representation, Political and Social Change (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013); Alidou co-edited Writing through the Visual and Virtual: Inscribing Language, Literature, and Culture in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean with Renée Larrier (Kentucky: (After the Empire: The Francophone World and Postcolonial France) Lexington Book, 2015); Post-Conflict Reconstruction in Africa with Ahmed Sikainga ( (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2006) and A Thousand Flowers: Social Struggles Against Structural Adjustment in African Universities, Co-edited with Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis (Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2000);. In addition, she has published over 50 book chapters and articles which appear in Research in African Literatures, Sprache und Geschichte in Afrika (SUGIA); Comparative Literature; and Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East; and Africa Today...(learn more)
Keynote Speaker | Dr. Cheikh Thiam
African Visions for a Just World: Why Africa? Why Now?
Dr. Cheikh Thiam will interrogate the fundamental questions: What is Africa? What can the "Idea of Africa" do? His presentation will explore the ways African ontologies, epistemologies, and relations to the world can be used as reasoning tools to help rethink some of the most critical global issues of our futures, namely, diversity equity and inclusion, education and social change, identity and human resilience, climate change and environmental justice.
Dr. Cheikh Thiam
Dr. Thiam is currently the Academic Dean of the School for International Training (SIT). Previously, he was Associate Professor of African American Studies, African Studies, and French at the Ohio State University. He has served as the Associate Editor of Research in African Literatures, the premiere journal of African literary studies, and of the African Studies Review, the journal of the African Studies Association.
Dr. Thiam’s research explores the ways in which which epistemologies from the so-called Global South engage with colonial and postcolonial intellectual traditions; question anti-Black racism in philosophy, literature, cultural, and area studies; and shape Pan-African conceptions of ontology and identity.
One of the leading voices in Senghor studies and Negritude studies, Thiam has published numerous articles on these topics in leading journals of African Studies and French Studies, and edited the special issue of the Journal of African Philosophy, Negritude Reloaded in 2015. His first book, Return to the Kingdom of Childhood: Re-envisioning the legacy and philosophical relevance of Negritude, published by Ohio State University Press in 2014, is the first book-length study of Senghorian philosophy. In Return to the Kingdom of Childhood, Thiam argues that a careful re-reading of Negritude through Sereer and Dogon conceptions of time as duration allows us to better appreciate Senghor’s Africa-centered understanding epistemology and ontology and to recognize Senghorian Negritude as a postcolonial philosophy that stands on its own. A comparativist by training, Thiam’s approach is deeply transdisciplinary, using approaches from philosophy, literary analysis, and anthropology.
His second monograph, Epistemologies from the Global South: Negritude, Modernity, and the Idea of Africa (under contract with University of Kwa Zulu Natal Press) explores the ways that a decolonial understanding of Negritude clarifies and expands more or less pivotal interventions in Africana studies that have developed in contradistinction to Negritude: namely, Édouard Glissant’s “poetics of relation,” Alain Mabanckhou’s conception of a more inclusive French Republic, Paul Gilroy’s “Black Atlantic.”
Opening Session | William Kamkwamba
Inspiring A Generation of Creative Problem Solvers,
from Kasungu to the World
When I was 14 I learned how to build a windmill from a photo in a textbook. Two things I wish I’d had during that journey are good tools and attentive mentors. With Moving Windmills Project, we are removing barriers for a generation of young Malawians and encouraging a problem-solving mindset that will create ripples of change for years to come.
William’s inspiring story is told in his New York Times bestselling memoir The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, co-authored with Bryan Mealer, and in the Netflix film adaptation, directed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, which was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Prize at the 2019 Sundance Film festival. William’s autobiography has sold more than 1 million copies and been translated into nearly twenty languages worldwide.
A Dartmouth College graduate, William is an entrepreneur, TED Fellow, and has worked with the design firm IDEO.org and the WiderNet Project. An adamant believer in the power of human-centered design and experienced farmer, William has consulted on projects developing agricultural technology in Myanmar, public sanitation solutions in India, and supporting victims of gender-based violence in Kenya. William co-founded the Moving Windmills Project, which empowers Malawian youth to implement simple technologies that ease daily burdens. Currently, William is designing an Innovation Center in Kasungu where young people can find the tools and mentorship to increase crop yields and lead more secure lives.
History & Social Studies Sessions
Session 1: Youth Rise Up Part II: The Struggle Continues
Presenters: Oladosu Adenike, Irene Asuwa, and Aniya Butler
Description: Participate in a conversation with youth activists from the United States and Kenya and Nigeria to discuss crucial concerns and strategies as the struggle for global environmental justice continues. This is a follow-up conversation to last year’s panel: Youth Rise Up: An Interactive Conversation Across Two Continents (Recording)
Session Materials & Pre-Readings: Recording of Youth Rise Up Part I | Boston University Teaching Resources on Climate Change
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
Irene Asuwa is one of the Team Leads at Ecological Justice, a communities banner that seeks to connect struggles for ecological justice. Ecological Justice educates, organizes, and amplifies the individual and collective efforts of communities towards attaining food sovereignty, reclaiming green spaces, and transforming community spaces.
Aniya Butler is a 15 year old spoken word poet and organizer from Oakland, California. Aniya recognizes that the climate crisis is fueld by the same systems of oppression fueling social injustices. Through her poetry and organizing, she tries to reflect this and uplift frontline youth to fight for dismantling these systems completely and rebuilding a world youth deserve to live in.
Session 2: What Does Climate Change Hold for Agriculture and Food Security for Africa?
Presenters: Leo Zulu
Description: Africa is among the most vulnerable continents in terms of adverse impacts of climate change, especially agriculture and food security, yet the continent is also the least prepared to address the challenge in terms of resources. Projected impacts in the latest (2021) report of the In Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change include increasing frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation with associated flooding in most sub-regions, droughts, and hurricanes, reduction in mean annual precipitation and shifting and unreliable seasonal weather patterns growing season, with 1.5oC and 2.0oC temperature increases. This presentation addresses the nature, extent, and spatial patterns of current and projected future climate-change impacts on African agriculture, the policy strategies used to enhance resilience and the adaptive capacity of both agricultural and food systems and humans and their performance, challenges met, lessons learnt and prospects for successful adaptation. Initial prospects lie in the combination of community-based climate-change adaptation strategies of small-scale farmers, improved technologies including drought-resistant seed varieties, crop and value-chain diversification, increased irrigation and related technologies, cash transfer to cushion climate shocks for most vulnerable members and affordable crop insurance services, and sound policies with strong political will. There is also need for the mobilization of considerable international financial resources to address these challenges, including equity issues involving loss and damage due to climate change for a continent that has contributed the least to global warming gases.
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
Michigan State University
Dr. Leo Zulu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University. He is a broadly trained human geographer combining an educational background in the natural sciences (ecology and forestry), geospatial analysis, and nature/society interactions (PhD University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign). More than 25 years of combined research and professional practical experience in Sub-Saharan Africa on environmental governance, natural resources management, forest and biodiversity conservation and coordination, social forestry and extension, sustainable agriculture, rural livelihoods, and climate change grounds his research within an applied international development context. His primary research interest is in nature/society interactions with health geography as secondary. His broad-based research has included natural, participatory forest and resources management, wood-based biomass energy, forest landscape restoration, extractive resources management, collective water management and policy, human dimensions of land use and cover change, climate change adaptation and agriculture, and sustainable and inclusive livelihoods. Recent work also includes agroecosystems focusing on community dimensions of their management, scaling up of agroecological and climate-smart technologies, and social indicators of inclusive sustainable agriculture intensification. Dr. Zulu also has years of engagement as an expert with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat in providing technical support, consultancy services and training to Least Developed Countries in developing their National Adaptation Plans of Action and National Adaptation Plans, and facilitating regional priority setting to harness adaptation knowledge working with the UNFCCC and UNEP. He also led development of Malawi’s National Charcoal Strategy (2017-2027) and been Editor of the African Geographical Review. He recently co-edited the book Africa in the Post-2015 Development Agenda: A Geographical Perspective (Zulu & D’Allesandro 2018) that includes climate-change considerations.
Session 3: Interrogating Development for a Better Future
Presenters: Lynda Pickbourn & Elsa Wiehe
Description: Development means making a better life for everyone. While most agree on this meaning of development, there is little agreement on just what “a better life” looks like, and on how we realize this vision. This talk will trace the history of international development from the post-War period to the present, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Among other things, it will highlight the ways in which development policies and funding in the continent have been aligned with colonial legacies; the role of multilateral institutions in development; the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s and their consequences for African development in the 21st century.
Following Dr. Pickbourn’s presentation, Dr. Wiehe will lead an interactive session focused on interrogating international development marketing videos as entry points to teaching about this history and tools to engage students as critical media analysts of the larger history of the post-war international development industry.
Level: Middle & High School
University of Massachusetts, Amherst & Hampshire College
Lynda Pickbourn is Associate Professor of Economics at Hampshire College and Senior Lecturer in Economics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research interests lie at the intersection of economic development, feminist economics and political economy, with a focus on Africa. While carrying out field research on the rural-urban migration of women in Ghana, she also developed an interest in economic methodology and the use of mixed research methods in economics. She has authored or co-authored several articles and book chapters on aid effectiveness, rural-urban migration, informal employment and mixed methods research, and her work has been published in journals such as Feminist Economics, Journal of Development Studies, Journal of International Development and World Development. She is chair of the Five College African Studies Council and currently serves on the boards of the African Finance and Economics Association (AFEA), the Association for the Advancement of African Women Economists (AAAWE) and the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE). She is also the book review editor of the journal Feminist Economics. A graduate of the University of Ghana, she received a Graduate Certificate in Advanced Feminist Studies as well as an MA and PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Elsa Wiehe leads the Outreach K-16 Education program at the AFrican Studies Center at Boston University. A multilingual Mauritius citizen and licensed K–6 teacher, she has taught English and French in elementary and secondary schools and worked as an educational consultant in West and Southern African countries. Her dissertation research focused on the construction of Creole identities through teacher talk about place in Mauritius. She’s published and presented on a number of subjects. Recent publications include “Making Race: Examining the Power of Local Place in Teacher Discourse” for the International Journal of Multicultural Education (2019) and “The Struggle for Creole in Schools in Mauritius: Toward a Decolonial Interculturality in Language Policy and Practice” in Intercultural Education: Critical Perspectives, Pedagogical Challenges, and Promising Practices (2020), and “Translanguaging to Teach for Justice for Multilingual Students” in Educational Foundations: An Anthology of Critical Readings (2020).
Literature & Language Arts Sessions
Session 1: De/signing the Future: African-Futurist Visions for a Just World
Presenter: Unifier Dyer
Description: What are the signs that say Africa will be the future? What do these rest on? Where and what do we design from? What do we mean by the future? What do we mean by Africa? Of African visions, where do we locate these visions from? What can we draw on that gives us a clearer idea of what to conceive of the future as? These are some questions we will grapple with in this workshop. With the narrative of Africa shifting from static past to the new future, there is cause to pause and engage the ideas around how we de/sign the elements that constitute pedagogical approaches to 'Africa', 'future' and 'a just world.'
This workshop will present two African-centered paradigms through Afrofuturism and African Futurism(s) and engage in dialogue with teachers on their pedagogical implications. It insists that if we are to teach Africa, then we have to establish how we come to know what we know. From this position, we can enhance our capacity to learn and teach knowledge.
Level: High School & Community College
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Unifier Hazel Tshimangadzo Dyer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of African Cultural Studies and Andrew Mellon Public Humanities Fellow at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Dyer's dissertation focused on the healer and healing, reframes a reading of Anglophone Africa and Diasporic Black women’s writing as expansive in its radical/imaginative scope and articulation of the sacred. Unifier received a bachelor's degree in African Literature and International Relations in 2011 and master’s degree in African Literature in 2015 from The University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. Unifier is the co-editor of the critical anthology Ubuntu and the Everyday in Africa (2019).
Session 2: Globally-themed picture books and the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Presenters: Dr. Vesna Dimetrieska, Leana Mclain, and Elizabeth Bruder
Description: Coming Soon...
Session Material: Coming Soon...
Dr. Vesna Dimetrieska
Indiana University, School of Education
Dr. Vesna Dimetrieska is the Coordinator of Global Education Initiatives in the School of Education at Indiana University. She was formerly a research and post-doctoral fellow with the IU P-16 Center, School of Education. Her work focuses on expanding the world language programs in K-12 education across Indiana as well as internationalizing P-16 education. Dr. Dimitrieska’s research interests include language teacher cognition, language teacher identity, reflective practices of teacher educators, as well as instructional practices and professional development of language teachers in foreign/second language contexts and dual language immersion programs. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, and leads joint IU Hamilton Lugar School of International & Global Studies NRC Title VI Centers/IU School of Education teacher workshops and professional development opportunities. Dr. Dimitrieska is the 2020 national recipient of the Best Practice Award in Support of Global and International Perspectives from the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, the 2020 national award winner of the National Network for Early Language Learning Award for Outstanding Support of Early Second Language Learning, and the 2014 Paul Simon Award recipient for the Promotion of Language and International Studies (group award for the work on the Indiana University NRCs’ Title VI Project, Bridges: Children, Languages, World).
Leana Brunson McClain
Indiana University, School of Education
Leana Brunson McClain, M.S.Ed. is a Senior Lecturer Emeritus in the department of Curriculum and Instruction and the department of Literacy, Culture, and Language Education at the Indiana University School of Education teaching social studies and literacy methods courses. Her teaching career spans more than 40 years teaching elementary school in the United States and Saudi Arabia. She has provided professional development literacy support to schools in international settings including the Cook Islands, Costa Rica, and China. In 2016, she created the Global Literacy Invitation project to encourage Indiana classroom teachers to think and teach globally.
Session 3: Expanding Our Literary Imagination: Teaching Nigerian Lit at the Urban School
Presenter: Lingerr Senghor, Amanda Moore, and Courtney Rein
Description: In this workshop, we’ll recount our experiences designing and implementing a high school course on Nigerian literature, exploring what that course has offered our students. Some questions we’ll consider:
What can Nigerian literature offer to US high schoolers? What does it look like to move past Achebe and Ngozie Adichie?
How can we construct a cross-generational conversation that helps us reach towards a more just future, as well as a more balanced perspective on Nigerian literature?
What new perspectives can we learn about ourselves and the world through reading Nigerian literature?
How can we help develop global citizens through this course’s core questions and concerns?
Level: High School & Community College
The Urban School of San Francisco
Amanda Moore is a poet, educator, and editor. When not developing and implementing courses in literature and creative writing for high school students at The Urban School of San Francisco, she serves as Poetry Co-editor at Women’s Voices for Change and a reader at VIDA Review and Bull City Press. Her debut collection of poetry, Requeening, was selected for the 2020 National Poetry Series by Ocean Vuong, and her essays and poems have appeared widely in journals and anthologies.
The Urban School of San Francisco
Courtney Rein is an educator who believes in building more democratic classrooms, from high school to adult ed in prisons. She is committed to planting seeds of collective accountability, especially through collaborations that transform individuals and communities.
The Urban School of San Francisco
Lingerr Senghor teaches high school English and Journalism at The Urban School of San Francisco, and has taught at the Drew School (CA) and Phillips Academy at Andover (MA). She's an avid activist, retired Victorianist, tireless football fan, proud Gambian, and Marvel nerd.
Virtual & Performing Arts Sessions
Session 1: Imagining Blackness: a Conversation about bringing Lego Art and Play to the Classroom
Presenter: Ekow Nimako & Jeff Harry
Description: You're invited to a conversation with Ghanaian-Canadian visual artist, Ekow Nimako. Nimako uses black Lego to construct fantastical and Afrofuturistic artworks of various shapes and forms. His acclaimed series Building Black Civilizations features a 30 square foot futuristic cityscape titled Kumbi Saleh 3020 CE (named after the famed capital of the medieval empire of Ghana). His work seamlessly merges African history and art into a world that centers creation by young people.
His interviewer, Jeff Harry, works with individuals and companies to "make their work more fulfilling [and] rediscover their joyful purpose" by bringing play into workspaces. Prior to starting his own company, Harry worked at Play-Well TEKnologies, which uses Lego to teach engineering skills to young people. The conversation will explore Nimako's work, plus ways Lego and other building projects can foster imagination while being a medium for interdisciplinary learning. Participants will be invited to ask questions.
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
Building Black Civilizations
Ekow Nimako is a Ghanaian-Canadian, internationally exhibiting LEGO artist. Combining a multidisciplinary and formal arts program, Nimako explores Afrofuturism and Black narratives through an unmistakable figurative aesthetic that transcends the iconic medium. Nimako has exhibited works in Canada, Germany, Korea and the United Kingdom.
Visit Ekow Nimako's website: https://ekownimako.com/
Rediscover Your Play
Jeff Harry shows individuals and companies how to tap into their true selves, to feel their happiest and most fulfilled — all by playing. Jeff assists teams in building psychologically safe workplaces for their organization using a positive psychology play method. Jeff has worked with Google, Microsoft, Southwest Airlines, Adobe, the NFL, Amazon, and Facebook, helping their staff to infuse more play into the day-to-day.
Jeff is an international speaker who has presented at conferences such as INBOUND, SXSW, and Australia’s Pausefest, showing audiences how major issues in the workplace can be solved using play. Jeff was selected by BambooHR & Engagedly as one of the Top 100 HR Influencers for his organizational development work around dealing with toxic people in the workplace. His work has most recently been featured in the NY Times, Mashable, Upworthy, Shondaland, & Wired. He has also been featured on AJ+, SoulPancake, the SF Chronicle, and CNN.
While we spend most of our time pretending to be important, serious grownups, it's when we let go of that facade and just play, that the real magic happens. Fully embracing your own nerdy genius — whatever that is — gives you the power to make a difference and change lives. Jeff believes that we already have many of the answers we seek, and by simply unleashing our inner child, we can find our purpose and, in turn, help to create a better world.
Session 2: Mbira & Guitar Traditions & Fusions
Presenter: Clive "Mono" Mukundu & Tendai Mavengeni
Description: In this session, veteran guitarist Clive “Mono” Mukundu and rising mbira star, Tendai Mavengeni discuss the spiritual roots of the mbira as a significant part of the identity of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. The mbira, and more particularly the mbira guitar style, were used during the Zimbabwean liberation struggle to celebrate African heroes and heroines who had resisted colonialism when the Europeans first arrived, to strengthen the resolve to liberate the nation, and to reestablish African values and culture.
In the context of urban popular music that was dominated by the music of the US and of other Western countries, the struggle for an African identity was characterized by an eventual abandonment, by most local musicians, of the imitation of western rock and pop acts. Zimbabwean artists began to focus more on playing African music on the guitars, thus localizing the instrument. Guitarists found ways of replicating the sounds of the mbira, thus creating the “Mbira Guitar,” which was subsequently popularized by two of the topmost popular music artists of Zimbabwe; Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi.
In addition to the religious, socio-cultural and political significance of the mbira, the session demonstrates how mbira music aesthetics were achieved on the guitar by the innovation of playing techniques that made the guitar sound like a mbira.
Reference is made in the presentation to two albums that can help one understand more about mbira guitar music, and these are:
Singles Collection by Thomas Mapfumo, and
Tuku Music by Oliver Mtukudzi.
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
Clive "Mono" Mukundu
Zimbabwean Music Producer
Clive 'Mono' Mukundu is a Zimbabwean music producer, session musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, though largely known as a guitarist. He is also an author who has written 3 books. Mukundu joined the music industry professionally in 1988, worked with top Zimbabwean artists that include Oliver Mtukudzi & Chiwoniso Maraire with whom he toured around the world. Mono has featured on more than 1000 albums and over 200 singles from 1992 to date. He is holder of a National certificate in Music from the Zimbabwe College of Music, and he is currently studying for a Music Business, Musicology & Technology bachelor’s degree with Midlands State University in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwean Mbira Player
Tendai Mavengeni is a fast rising youthful Zimbabwean female mbira player. She started playing mbira at age 9. She has given online lectures to University of Cincinatti and the University of Finland. Tendai has been part of the Making Tracks Online Annual Festival. Her desire is for the recognition of Zimbabwean culture and music around the globe.
Session 3: Nollywood's Africa and the Inventions of the American Mind
Presenter: James Yeku
Description: Teaching African studies in the American College classroom reveals a persistent image of Africa that is based on misconceptions and misrepresentations. Despite an abundance of cultural and media texts that discursively challenge the trope of crises, students still appear to retain an archive of single stories about the continent as a perpetual site of crises. This talk tackles these questions and presents some of the ways Nollywood films may offer a redeeming image of the continent.
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
University of Kansas
James Yeku is an assistant professor of African digital humanities in the Department of African and African American Studies at the University of Kansas where he currently teaches courses on social media and its intersections with Nollywood and other forms of African popular cultures. James studies the digital expressions of the literatures and cultures of Africa and the African diaspora, focusing on the African articulations of the digital cultural record.
Science, Health, & Technology Sessions
Session 1: African Contexts in Science Inquiry Videos
Presenter: Dr. Joy Kiano
Description: Storytelling within an African context with African children protagonists hosted by African experts in situ is what N*Gen TV is all about. Our audience is invested because they connect with a presentation that feels relevant to them. They can see and hear from people who look and speak like them and engage them in learning experiences occurring right at their doorstep.
Our educational material engages young children in ways that their classroom lessons cannot. We give them a Pan African experience of ecosystems, conservation, and cultures, like theirs. For example, our Wetlands and Mountains episodes not only address ecosystems and geography, but also introduce the children to the animals, forests, and communities affected in these areas.
All our programs include African experts, and where possible women researchers and teachers. We engage our experts with children that reflect our audience and try our best to keep the audience engaged through a variety of experiences in each episode. We mention each of the different countries of Africa by name, identifying their location and emphasizing the Continent’s diversity.
Level: Elementary School
Dr. Joy Kiano
N*Gen TV Africa Global Ambassador
Dr. Joy Kiano is a Science education specialist: Educator, school leader, and teacher of science who is also deeply passionate about the education and welfare of young people. She founded and led Nova Pioneer Girls High School, in Tatu City, and also served as the Learning Initiatives Manager of the first Nova Pioneer Schools in Kenya.
She is an established scientist: Twice appointed to serve the Government of Kenya as the technical advisor on the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and subsequently appointed Chair of Technical Committee, and Member of the Board of Directors, National Biosafety Authority, Kenya.
Dr. Joy has a Master’s level Post Graduate Certificate of Education in Science, from the University of Oxford and has taught as Head of Science at Hillcrest International Schools, Nairobi and as Teacher of Science in Oxfordshire.
She has a Doctorate in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, from the University of London, a Diploma in Biotechnology, from the University of Helsinki; and a Bachelor of Science from MacMaster University, Canada.
She sees her role as global ambassador for N*Gen TV Africa as vital for ensuring that the N*Gen TV science inquiry videos are seen and heard of as much as possible because this resource is not only unique but incredibly important, bringing content that is relevant and engaging to all audiences.
Session 2: African Architecture: Building the Future | "Transforming Rural Infrastructure" & "The Anthropocene Museum: Charting a post-colonial return to nature"
Presenters: Longman Arja, Kabage Karanja, and Stella Mutegi
Transforming Rural Infrastructure (Longman Arja) | How can building practices redesign the future? Through architecture interventions and proposals, this presentation discusses how to leverage synergies among many traditional practices in rural Africa (i.e. farming, pastoralism and craft) and introduce them into circular economic models. The objective is to expand the local economy, create jobs, alleviate stress on the environment, and create food self-sufficiency for the inhabitants of rural areas.
The Anthropocene Museum: Charting a post-colonial return to nature (Kabage Karanja & Stella Mutegi) | In this presentation architects Kabage Karanja and Stella Mutegi of the Nairobi-based Cave_Bureau will share how they have curated discursive architectural events of resistance across multiple natural environments commonly within caves along the Great Rift Valley in Kenya, and more recently in Venice Italy at the 17th International Architectural Exhibition, of the Venice Biennale. Their objective is to create stages of congress with multiple communities, to confront the pressing challenges of this age and imagine the construction of new post-colonial futures of our built environments.
Level: High School & Community College
Logman Arja is a Ventulett NEXT Generation Fellow and Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgia Tech, School of Architecture. His research focuses on RURALISM and RURAL ARCHITECTURE. He is thoroughly examining responsive systems and disruptive approaches to re-valorize the rural economy. He introduces RURALISM not in opposition to URBANISM, but rather an equivalent field that he believes is worthy of consideration and that is often overlooked in our architectural discourse. Arja is also working to advance earth architecture and ceramic production via additive manufacturing technology in rural communities and contexts. Currently, he is leading efforts to adopt the technology of additive manufacturing in Sub-Saharan Africa with a long-term goal of producing sustainable housing solutions and rural micro-infrastructures.
As a passionate young architect and educator, Arja sees architecture as a powerful statement to
connect and communicate. With a conscious and deliberate intent to instrumentalize
architecture to help transform local communities, the courses he teaches confront students with
questions of how architecture, technology, and innovation can offer solutions to some of the
world’s most pressing issues, i.e., poverty, epidemics, environmental degradation, and civil
unrest. As a proponent of interdisciplinary research, teaching, and experience, He offers his
students the opportunity to work in new places, ecologies,UC Berkeley, Rondine Cittadella
della Pace Fellowship - Italy, and the Fulbright Scholarship.
Kabage Karanja is an architect and spelunker. He founded Cave_bureau in 2014 alongside Stella Mutegi. A natural environment enthusiast, he leads the bureau’s geological and anthropological investigations into architecture and nature, which includes orchestrating expeditions and surveys into caves within the Great Rift Valley. He is a serial sketcher and storyteller, driven to script and communicate cave thinking in relation to both built and natural environments. Recent exhibitions of Cave_bureau’s work include: 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2021, Awarded a Special Mention for the installation titled “Obsidian Rain”; The World Around Summit, Guggenheim Museum, 2021; Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2019-20; London Festival of Architecture, 2018. Karanja lives and works in Nairobi..
Stella Mutegi is an architect and spelunker. She founded Cave_bureau in 2014 alongside Kabage Karanja. She is known in the bureau as the problem slayer of all design issues, heading up the technical department and orchestrating the seamless coordination of ideas into built form. She partakes in all Cave_bureau expeditions and surveys into caves within the Great Rift Valley, later steering those geological and anthropological investigations towards a unique architectural product. Recent exhibitions of Cave_bureau’s work include: 17th International Architecture Exhibition, Venice 2021, Awarded a Special Mention for the installation titled “Obsidian Rain”; The World Around Summit, Guggenheim Museum, 2021; Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, 2019-20; London Festival of Architecture, 2018. Mutegi lives and works in Nairobi.
Session 3: The Ethos of Entrepreneurship
Presenter: Cecil Chikezie
Description: The presentation explores the importance of youthful entrepreneurship globally. It focuses on Eco Makaa, a Nairobi-based company that provides clean, sustainable alternatives to wood charcoal, in the form of briquettes made from agricultural waste. The company has sold 15 tonnes of briquettes, and has various clientele such as hotels in Nairobi, Kenya. The founder, Cecil Chikezie, sheds light on his experiences, and the principles behind his entrepreneurial journey.
Level: Middle School, High School, Community College
University of California, Berkeley
Cecil Chikezie is the founder of Eco Makaa, a company that provides clean, sustainable alternatives to wood charcoal, in the form of briquettes made from agricultural waste. Currently, he is pursuing a Master of Engineering in Bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley, under the Mastercard Foundation Scholarship. He is also a fellow of the Anzisha Prize, the Royal Commonwealth Society and the Advancing Leaders Fellowship Program.
Evening Session: 6pm EST
"Jerusalema" : From Hymnal to Global Sensation | Talk & Dance Tutorial
Session Description: This workshop will offer a brief history of the song Jerusalema, the South African house song that moved the world through dance in 2020. I will also take participants through the steps of the dance and we will join the world to create our own Jerusalema celebration to close off 2021.
Presenter: Mandisa Harrhoff
Level: Appropriate for All Levels
University of Cape Town
Dr. Mandisa Haarhoff is a lecturer in English and Literary Studies, University of Cape Town. She is a recipient of the National Research Fund’s Black Academic Advancement Programme for her book manuscript in progress, Kaffirland/Vaderland: Black Absenting and White Indigeneity in South African Farm Narratives. The monograph analyzes racialized representations of presence and belonging through a reading of South African farm and cartographic narratives. It examines the ways in which farm novels participate in constructions of white indigeneity and enact black absenting throughout the late-colonial and apartheid period. Haarhoff’s research interests are concentrated around postcolonial theory, black studies and critical race theory. Her teaching centers on African and diasporic literatures. Dr. Haarholf was a recipient of a Fulbright Award which enabled her to study and obtain a Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida.