Faculty expect graduate students to dedicate the majority of their time to coursework – reading, writing, honing their skills in doing research and becoming better scholars. Faculty also expect graduate students to attend departmental sponsored events (which are supplemental educational opportunities), such as colloquia, job talks, and faculty lectures. Graduate Students in African Studies (GSAS), Working Groups, ASP Outreach, Africa Today internships, and other activities can also be of great benefit to both our community and to a student’s professional development. Students should discuss with advisors their own particular balance of coursework and extracurricular activities with regard to their individual career trajectory and professional development. That said, we want you to be addressing all your needs to be healthy and feel fulfilled as an individual during your time at IU. Make sure you allow time for exercise, hobbies, social activities, and addressing your mental health. There are many opportunities in the larger Bloomington community and beyond. Please see resources, and feel free to reach out to fellow grad students or ASP’s director or associate director for recommendations. For African Studies focused extra curriculars:
Graduate Students in African Studies (GSAS)
Graduate Students in African Studies (GSAS) exists as a forum that brings together graduate students from across a variety of disciplines in order to discuss their common interests in the study of Africa. The main objectives of this organization are to promote the study and research of African societies and cultural productions, to foster fellowship between students and faculty, and to address the needs of African Studies students within the program. Each spring, the organization hosts a graduate student symposium that brings students from across the country to Bloomington to share their cutting-edge research and engage in important inter-disciplinary theoretical discussions facing the field of African studies today. In recent years, Graduate Students in African Studies have also hosted film series and guest speakers on campus.
GSAS also has a role in representing graduate student concerns at the governance level of African Studies. Each fall, GSAS members elect a graduate student representative to serve on the ASP’s Executive Committee.
IU Congo Working Group
The IU Congo Working Group is an interdisciplinary working group connecting IU to colleagues and affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A collaboration between IU’s African Studies Program and the Center for Constitutional Democracy, the group tackles important issues from both local and international perspectives and offers events to the wider campus community. Possible topics of focus may include elections and electoral laws, political alliances, natural resources, education, environment, and responsible government.
Contact: IU Congo Working Group on Facebook
IU Global Visual Cultures
The IU Global Visual Cultures Working Group & Initiative is an interdisciplinary working group connecting IU to colleagues and affiliates across IU who a
Contact: Dr. Barbaro Martinez-Ruiz, Art History/African Studies
O’Meara Southern Africa Working Group
Contact: Dr. Alex Lichtenstein, History
Outreach: Volunteer and Paid Opportunities
The IU ASP is a Title VI National Resource Center (NRC). As such, we have a mandate to conduct outreach, especially to the K-12 community. Opportunities are available for graduate students to volunteer or be paid for their expertise. Maintaining a relationship with ASP Administration, making sure we know your research focus and skill areas is the best way to be offered a paid outreach presentation when we receive a request for a guest lecture. Community outreach and social justice outreach opportunities are also available, and students have found such experiences personally and professionally rewarding. If interested in outreach, please contact the Associate Director of the ASP.
IU African Students Association
The African Students Association may be of interest to you if you are an international student from a country in Africa. They are a highly engaged group of graduate and undergraduate students at IU who focus on community, social justice issues, and social events for their members. The group is independent from ASP, but we do collaborate on some events and seek out expertise from among IU ASA members.