DOHA: Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) and Northwestern University in Qatar (NUQ) have announced the launch of a new joint minor programme in African Studies.
The programme will provide a critical understanding of African identities and struggles both within and outside of the African continent.
According to Northwestern Qatar Dean Marwan M Kraidy, the programme, which will include interdisciplinary and cross-cultural teaching and research in the histories, cultures, economies, politics, and languages and cultural practices of Africans in Africa, will “prepare students in the program with an understanding and interdisciplinary perspective of the African experience while faculty – through their research – will contribute to the scholarship on African communities and cultures.”
GU-Q Dean Ahmad Dallal praised both universities’ collaborative spirit, saying: “The breadth and depth of this minor and related research are made possible by the collaborative efforts of professors who identified a need and creatively leveraged the Education City multiversity ecosystem to craft a programme that serves the community of learners and the nation as a whole. Everyone benefits from our combined efforts.”
The committee will be co-chaired by Northwestern Qatar professor Zachary Wright and GU-Q professor Phoebe Musandu, as well as African Studies faculty Rogaia Abusharaf (GU-Q), Akintunde Akinade (GU-Q) and James Hodapp (Northwestern Qatar).
In addition to supervising students’ completion of six African Studies courses, the committee will work with students to develop senior capstone projects such as portfolio presentations, research project, or multimedia creations.
African diasporic studies will be included in the programme, whether in an American, European, or Asian context, as a reminder that debates about African identity have frequently taken place in settings where Africans are in the minority. North Africa will be studied alongside Sub-Saharan Africa and the African diaspora.