Initiatives & Partnerships

As a 2022-2026 National Resource Center (NRC), KASC helps to organize virtual and hybrid events for discussion and exchange of African knowledge perspectives. These include the Ujamaa Virtual Colloquium Series, the KASC Virtual Symposium, the African Digital Humanities Symposium, the annual conference of the Mid-American Alliance for African Studies (MAAAS), and the KASC Graduate Research Workshop. KASC encourages KU faculty and students from the Great Plains region to take advantage of opportunities to attend and present at these events, which are open for attendance to all people free of charge.

In addition to these events, KASC has several initiatives to support African Studies among KU affiliates. A list of these initiatives appears below. To ensure that you receive timely information about these awards, please sign up to receive our weekly news bulletin.

Professional Schools COIL Partnership Award 

As part of its NRC mission, KASC seeks to develop sustainable connections with African partners to better incorporate Africa-centered perspectives into the KU curriculum. Toward this goal, KASC offers competitive grants (one per year) to faculty in any KU professional school for the development of Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) courses in partnership with colleagues at an African university. KASC will make one award for a COIL course offered in Spring 2023 related to the topic of Public Health and Well-being. KASC will make another award for a COIL course offered in Fall 2023 or Spring 2024 related to the topic of Disinformation and Epistemic Violence. KU awardees will receive $5000 paid as summer salary. African partners will receive $5000 as a stipend.

The Kansas African Studies Center (KASC) at the University of Kansas (KU), USA is pleased to announce our Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) Initiative. COIL courses take advantage of technological affordances to enable students at distant universities to interact with each other in the context of the same course. The initiative offers paired grants of USD $5000 to an instructor at a KU professional school (paid as summer salary) and a faculty partner at an African University (paid as a stipend) who collaborate in development and joint offering of a COIL course.  To be eligible for the award, the KU faculty partner should have their primary affiliation with a KU professional school—including Schools of Architecture & Design, Business, Education & Human Sciences, Engineering, Health Professions, Journalism & Mass Communications, Law, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, and Social Welfare—and the resulting course must carry a designation associated with that professional school. There are no constraints on the departmental affiliation of the African university faculty partner.

KASC is currently accepting proposals for a COIL course offered in the KU Spring 2023 semester (i.e., January to May) related to the theme of Public Health and Well-being. Interested applicants should submit proposals to by the deadline of November 30, 2022. Proposals should include the following components:

  1. CVs of both KU professional school and African university partners,
  2. the syllabi for the linked classes from each institution, and
  3. a description of the joint activities that constitute the COIL experience.

Please note that, although successful proposals will likely involve greater integration of activities rather than less, there is no requirement that instructors at partner institutions make identical assignments or conduct every minute of every class session as a joint meeting.

Looking ahead, KASC plans to make another award for a COIL course offered in the KU Fall 2023 Semester (i.e., August to December) or Spring 2024 semester related to the theme of Disinformation and Epistemic Violence. KASC will announce the call for proposals sometime in the KU Spring 2023 Semester. Please feel free to contact KASC ( if you have questions about the initiative.Faculty Travel Awards for Professional Development and Outreach Enhancement 

Each year KASC makes awards to support foreign and domestic travel by KU faculty affiliates for the propose of professional development, pedagogical innovation, and KASC outreach.

KASC Graduate Research Workshop Awards 

The Graduate Research Workshop (GRW) is an opportunity for graduate students in African Studies to present their work and receive feedback from an interdisciplinary audience of faculty and student colleagues. The GRW will happen each spring as a hybrid (i.e., virtual and in-person) meeting. Each year, KASC will make 4 awards of $250 (in the form of support for attendance at the annual meeting of the African Studies Association) to encourage and facilitate participation in this event.