Every year Wesleyan hosts exciting talks, concerts, and other events related to the study of Africa and its diasporas.

Check back for more upcoming events!

Akwaaba Wes!

African Studies Welcomes the Wesleyan Community Back to Campus with West African Music and Dance.

Please join us for live student performances and a welcome message from the African Students' Association. Featuring solos by Professor Iddi Saaka and Professor John Dankwa.

Akwaaba Wes! 

Friday, September 25th @ 4pm 

Rugby Practice Field (Intersection of Long Lane and Wadsworth Street near the solar array

This event is limited to the Wesleyan campus community. Please wear your mask and respect physical distancing protocols   

Max event capacity is 50  

Want to join virtually? Video of Akwaaba Wes will be posted on the African Studies@Wes Facebook Page  

African Studies thanks the Provost, the Fries Center for Global Studies, the Freeman Athletic Center, and Facilities staff members for their support in organizing this event.   

Akwaaba Wes!




The refugee experience

Marius Kothor

Wednesday, October 30. 12.15-1.15, PAC 002. Pizza lunch will be provided

Marius Kothor will highlight her experiences growing up as a refugee in West Africa. She will examine the intricacies of the refugee resettlement process and demonstrate how the Trump administration's efforts to reduce the number of refugees resettled in the US will leave thousands of families in a state of peril.  

Marius Kothor is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History at Yale, where she is researching women's political and economic contributions to Togo’s independence movement, and how Togo's anti-colonial struggle informed African American discourses on African decolonization movements. 

Marius's family fled political violence in Togo in the early 1990s. They lived as refugees in Benin for seven years before being resettled in upstate New York. Through her research Marius is examining how the legacies of colonialism have shaped her life and the lives of many African people today. On October 2 she published an oped in the New York Times; “Trump is trying to kill the program that saved my life.”








Women, Rice and War: WW II and Anti-colonial Politics in Abeokuta, Nigeria

Judith Byfield
Associate Professor of History at Cornell University

Judith Byfield is an Associate Professor of History at Cornell University and a former President of the African Studies Association. Recently she co-edited Africa and World War II (Cambridge, 2015) and is also the author of The Bluest Hands: A Social and Economic History of Women Indigo Dyers in Western Nigeria (2002).  This event is sponsored by African Studies, the History Department, and Academic Affairs.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Venue: PAC 002

Women at protest rally in Abeokuta, Nigeria


African Studies Open House!

Friday, April 1, 2016
Venue: PAC 422

Christopher Brodigan Award Info Session

Monday, April 4, 2016
4:30 P.M.
Venue: PAC 422

Creative Africa: An African Studies Workshop (4/28-4/29)

Join us to celebrate student work and the new African Studies minor!

Thursday, April 28

Opening Lecture

4:15 pm in PAC 002

“Coming to America: The History and Explosion of a West African Film Industry”

A talk by Dr. Kaia Shivers on Nollywood and the American Diaspora

Dr. Shivers is a scholar of diversity in digital medias and film with special emphasis on Nollywood (the Nigerian Film Industry) and Diaspora audiences.  She holds a Ph.D. from the School of Communication and Information from Rutgers University.


Friday, April 29 (all events in PAC 002)

Student Presentations

Panel 1                      

3:00                 “Edom: Negotiating Gender through Musical Play in Southern Ghana,” Adwoa Arhine

                         (Ph.D. Candidate, Ethnomusicology)

3:30                 “Mau Mau Remembered: How Narratives Transform and Reflect Power and Identity in

                         Kenya,” Teresa Paterson (History and African Studies Minor)


Panel 2

4:15                 “Stigma and Its Consequences: Syphilis, Prostitution, and Perceptions of Health in

                         Colonial Algeria,” Valere Demuynck (History and French Studies)    


4:30                 “Echoes of Caliban’s Curse: An Exploration of the Legacy of Negritude,” Chando Mapoma

                         (CSS, French)

Prof. Twagira with Teresa Paterson, Valere Demuynck, Chando Mapoma, and Adwoa Arhine

Film Screening

6:00 pm                      

October 1

A thriller set in 1960s Nigeria.  A police detective is dispatched to investigate a string of murders of women in a small community.  Written by Tunde Babalola and Directed Kunle Afolayan


Adzenyah Retirement Ceremony

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 4:00pm
Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall (former Rehearsal Hall)

After 46 years of teaching at Wesleyan, master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, Adjunct Professor of Music, Retired, is being honored with the naming of the Abraham Adzenyah Rehearsal Hall. This is the first time that a major United States university is naming a building after a traditional African musician.

Click here for a full description


Traditional West African Drumming, Singing, and Dancing

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 4:30pm
CFA Courtyard

Master drummer Abraham Adzenyah, Adjunct Professor of Music, Retired, returns for a farewell concert and reunion featuring past and present students. Wesleyan University's West African Drumming and Dance Ensemble, Tufts University's Kiniwe Ensemble with the Agbekor Drum and Dance Society, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Kekeli African Music and Dance Ensemble, Berklee College of Music's West African Drum and Dance Ensemble, Montclair State University's West African Drumming and Dance Ensemble with the Rhythm Monsters, and Ayanda Clarke '99 and the Fadara Group, featuring Asase Yaa will perform a free concert in the CFA Courtyard.

Click here for a full description

Fall 2015


Refugee or Migrant? The European Crisis in Historical Perspective

Sponsored by the Department of History

Panelists: Bruce Masters (History); Marguerite Nguyen (English); Peter Rutland (Government); Laura Ann Twagira (History)

Thursday 9/17 @ noon in PAC 002

Chartwell Dutiro in Concert "Zimbabwean Mbira Music on an International Stage"

Sponsored by the Department of Music

Wednesday, 9/23 @ 8pm in World Music Hall



Timbuktu film screening sponsored by the Common Ground Middletown International Film Festival

Prof. Laura Ann Twagira will introduce the film and lead and discussion following the screening

Tuesday 10/27 @ 7pm off campus at Middlesex Community Collge in Chapman Hall




46 Years of Adzenyah at Wesleyan: West African Drumming and its Role in Liberal Arts Education

Saturday, 11/7 @ 3pm in CFA Hall


Chibok's Girls and the Challenge of Feminist Activisms in Nigeria

Prof. Abosede George (Barnard College)

Wednesday, 11/11 @ 6pm in the Vanguard Lounge, CAAS

Sponsored by African Studies, the Department of History, FGSS, and Academic Affairs


West African Drumming and Dance Concert

Featuring students in the courses West African Music and Culture & West African Dance (all levels)

Friday 12/4 @ 8:00pm in Crowell Concert Hall