Director's Message

A message from our director

Mbote … Habari … Mwiriwe … Greetings!

As the Director of the Indiana University African Studies Program, it is my pleasure to welcome you to our dynamic and active intellectual community. We have a rich and distinguished history of commitment to advancing the understanding and appreciation of the diverse cultures, histories, and societies that comprise the African continent. Our program serves as a hub for interdisciplinary research, language education, and outreach, fostering a deeper engagement with Africa and its global significance.

The African Studies Program at Indiana University is dedicated to promoting research and scholarship on Africa. We support faculty and student research endeavors, providing funding opportunities, access to resources, and a collaborative environment for intellectual exploration. Our program also organizes conferences, seminars, and workshops that bring together scholars, policymakers, and practitioners from around the world. We offer a wide range of courses that explore African cultures, history, politics, economics, literature, and more. We offer several African languages, including Kiswahili, Akan/Twi, Bamana, Zulu, Igbo, and Yoruba. Our expert, interdisciplinary faculty and faculty affiliates bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their classrooms. We develop graduates who possess critical thinking skills, intercultural competence, and a deep appreciation for Africa's contributions to the world.

The African Studies Program is also committed to community outreach and engagement. We are proud to host an array of events and activities celebrating the richness and diversity of African cultures. From African Languages Festivals to Tea Times, from the African Colloquium series to film screenings, lectures, and performances, we engage the wider community and promote intercultural dialogue. We also engage in outreach to K-12 teachers in Indiana and beyond who want to integrate knowledge about Africa into their teaching, collaborating with local schools, community organizations, and cultural institutions to bring African perspectives and experiences to young people. Our outreach initiatives aim to challenge stereotypes, foster mutual understanding, and promote global citizenship. We also provide opportunities for students to engage in study abroad in Tanzania, Ghana, Rwanda, and South Africa, enabling them to develop a deeper appreciation for the continent and its people.

Come join us and learn how we are more than an academic center. Our reach is wide, and we foster a community that connects people in North America, Africa and beyond. We look forward to welcoming you to our community and embarking on a transformative educational experience together. Stop by and say hello!

Beth Lewis Samuelson
Director, African Studies Program
Indiana University