The Africanist Podcast

This podcast investigates political, socio-economic, and cultural issues in contemporary Africa and the African Diasporas. It engages Africanist scholars, artists, activists, athletes, opinion leaders, business people, and ordinary citizens in a critical conversation about the challenges facing Africans and people of African descent.

The Lemba People of South Africa and Jewish Genetic Ancestry Studies

April 11th, 2022

In this episode, Dr. Noah Tamarkin (Anthropology, Cornell University) talks about his recent book, Genetics Afterlives: Black Jewish Indigeneity in South Africa (Duke University Press 2020).

The book chronicles the politics of race, religion and recognition among the Lemba people of South Africa who were the subject of Jewish genetic ancestry studies in the 1980s and 1990s. He delves into the notion of indigeneity as well as the intersection of oral history, genetics and ethnography.

The Muridiyya on the Move: Islam, Migration and Place Making

January 2nd, 2022

In this episode, Prof. Cheikh Anta Babou (University of Pennsylvania) discusses his latest book, Muridiyya on the Move: Islam, Migration and Place-Making (Ohio University Press 2021). He talks about how mobility and memorialization constitute integral parts of the Murid identity. He also delves into the feminization of Senegalese migration to the United States and the impact of gentrification on African communities in New York City.

”Decolonizing Diasporas”: A Conversation with Dr. Figueroa-Vásquez

November 16th, 2021

In this episode, Dr. Yomaira Figueroa-Vásquez (Associate Prof. at Michigan State University) discusses her recent book entitled Decolonizing Diasporas: Radical Mappings of Afro-Atlantic Literature (Northwestern University Press 2020). She breaks down the notions of intimacy, dispossession, and the "peripheralizing" of Hispanophone Afro-Atlantic aesthetics in the context of coloniality and dictatorship. She also discusses her experiences traveling to Equatorial Guinea, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico to conduct research for her book.

Military Coup in Guinea and the Arrest of President Alpha Condé

September 24th, 2021

In this episode, Professor Mohamed Saliou Camara, Chair of the African Studies Department at Howard University discusses the recent military coup in Guinea Conakry that ousted President Alpha Condé. He analyses the circumstances under which the event happened as well as provides an overview of the different military coups and takeover attempts in Guinea since its independence in 1958. 

Idriss Déby’s Death and the Political Transition in Chad

May 2nd, 2021

"If you were to look closely at his time in power, it is punctuated by rebellions, it is punctuated by coup attempts, it is punctuated by civil unrest, human rights abuses; there is no way to look at the domestic political situation in Chad, under Déby and walk away thinking this is a stable, prosperous regime." Daniel Eizenga

In this conversation, Dr. Daniel Eizenga, Research Fellow at the Africa Center for Strategic Studies examines the current political situation in Chad following the unexpected death of President Idriss Déby Itno who ruled the country for 30 years.

The Current Popular Uprising in Senegal

March 8th, 2021

Senegal, one of the model democracies on the African continent has been experiencing an unprecedented popular uprising following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko on disorderly conduct and call for insurrection charges. Prior to that, Ousmane Sonko has been accused of rape followed by death threats by a young masseuse named Adji Sarr. While Sonko continues to claim that the accusations are part of a conspiracy to eliminate him from the upcoming presidential race, the presidential camp maintains that the allegations brought against him has nothing to do with politics. So far, a dozen of protesters lost their lives and the matter is pending in court. In this episode, Drs. Marame Guéye (East Carolina University) and Oumar Ba (Morehouse College) discuss the causes and potential ways out of the civil unrest.

The Evolution of Hip Hop in Urban Senegal_A Conversation with Dr. Catherine Appert

February 10th, 2021

"One thing I push back against a little in the book is the sort of emphasis on resistance in scholarship on hip hop. Not because resistance isn't, or hasn't often been an important facet of hip hop cultures in various places throughout the world but because sometimes a sort of understanding of resistance as so integral to hip hop can elide the other ways in which hip hop is important to people." Dr. Catherine Appert

In this episode, Associate Professor at Cornell University, Dr. Catherine Appert, talks about her book In Hip Hop Time: Music, Memory and Social Change in Urban Senegal. She also talks about her fieldwork experience navigating culturally complex spaces where class, gender, and national origin intersect.


Graduate/Doctoral Research Amidst a Global Pandemic

January 15th, 2021


"The Pandemic started when I was finishing my dissertation. I have done a lot during this pandemic, it kind of forced me to finish."

"I was supposed to start my fieldwork over the summer, I was supposed to be gone by the end of May, I had already made my travel arrangements and then the pandemic hit."

COVID-19 has affected every aspect of life including the possibility to conduct dissertation fieldwork. In this episode, doctoral students (Astou Guèye - University of Wisconsin, Bright Gyamfi - Northwestern University, Margaret Rowley - Boston University) and recent graduate (Dr. Nicholas McLeod, Rider University) share their experiences about doing fieldwork and writing a dissertation amidst a global pandemic.


#EndSARS: Protest Against Police Brutality in Nigeria

December 6th, 2020

In this episode, Ph.D candidate and #EndSARS protest facilitator, Shamsudeen Abubakar, talks about the origin and manifestations of the #ENDSARS protest that has been taking place in many Nigerian cities/States and abroad. He also delves into his personal involvement with the organization of a peaceful protest against Nigerian police brutality in Louisville, Kentucky back in October 2020. 

African Philosophy and the “Existential” Quest

October 12th, 2020

In this episode, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy Dismas Masolo (University of Louisville) revisits historical attempts to deny the existence of African Philosophy as well as African scholars' response to these attempts. He also discusses Ubuntu philosophy and the concepts of personhood and community as understood by scholars such as Menkiti.

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