University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Center for African Studies. | University of Illinois Archives

Name: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Center for African Studies.

Historical Note:

In 1969, the Board of Trustees established a Center for African Studies. The Center reported to the Office of International Programs and Studies and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and was administered by a director and assistant director with the assistance of an advisory board.

Responsibilities of the Center consisted of promoting undergraduate and graduate education with an African focus, to assist in the acquisition of suitable library materials, to establish a framework for interdisciplinary instruction - communication - collaboration, to promote student and faculty research, to cooperate with the University's Afro-American studies program, to promote fellowships and scholarships for graduate study, to establish inter-institutional links with African universities, to assist departments in the recruitment of Africanists, to participate in overseas projects, to establish liaisons with outside agencies and University affiliated organizations, to maintain publicity for the African activities of the students and faculty and to provide orientation activities for new and returning African students.1

Courses offered in this program consist of elementary, intermediate and advanced Swahili. The language courses are taught by native Swahili tutors. There are also courses in modern African literature, history and culture of modern Africa and seminars on selected topics. Additional opportunities include financial support to graduate students through the NDEL Fellowships and field access to Africa.2

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 55th Report, May 20, 1970, pp. 914-15.

2. Courses Catalog, 1976-78, pp. 18-19; Courses Catalog, 1978-80, pp. 19-20; Undergraduate Programs, 1977-79, p. 315.

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