Initiatives for Regional Affiliates

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. (For more information about any of these events, click on the hyperlinked name.) KASC encourages 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 scholars and institutions in the Great Plains, a region that stretches from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Iowa to the US-Mexico border. Many of these initiatives are specifically for students and faculty at community colleges (CCs) and Federally designated Minority-Serving Institutions (MSIs). A list of these initiatives appears below.

Great Plains Virtual Affiliate Fellowship 

Each fall and spring semester, KASC will award a Great Plains Virtual Affiliate Fellowship to a faculty member at a regional institution. Besides virtual and in-person access to KU Libraries and other resources, the fellow will receive an honorarium of $250 for a virtual presentation about their work that KASC will highlight during their fellowship term and then archive in a gallery on the KASC website. The fellowship is open to teachers at any post-secondary institution, but KASC will give preference to applications from teachers at regional MSIs and CCs.

MAAAS Outreach Fellowship 

The Mid-America Alliance for African Studies (MAAAS) provides a forum for engagement with African knowledge perspectives in the mid-America region. Founded at the University of Kansas in 1995, MAAAS facilitates professional exchange between relatively small, far-flung pockets of African Studies enthusiasts. Each year KASC offers a fellowship of $250 to facilitate attendance at the annual MAAAS conference. The fellowship is open to educators at any level of the education system, but KASC will give preference to applications from teachers at regional MSIs, CCs, and K-12 institutions.

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.

Great Plains African LCTL Pipeline 

This program allows students at regional MSIs, CCs, and K-12 institutions to enroll free of charge in credit-bearing virtual KU courses in African languages. During Spring 2023, KASC will offer the program for Introductory Arabic and Introductory Wolof courses. During SALI 2023, KASC will offer the program for courses in Arabic, Kiswahili, and Wolof. 

Association of African Studies Programs (AASP) 

The AASP is an organization for people who direct or lead an African Studies program at their university. KASC and a consortium of NRCs contribute to a fund that provides travel support for CC and MSI faculty to attend the annual meeting of the AASP, which usually happens during April at Washington, DC. 

African Studies Association Teacher Workshop 

KASC and a consortium of NRCs conduct a virtual workshop for K-16 educators. Registration and virtual attendance at the workshop are free of charge. 

Global Opportunities Expo 

Each year, KASC and KU Area Studies Centers for other world regions will collaborate with regional MSIs and CCs to conduct a Global Opportunities Expo (GOE). The in-person component of the GOE will happen at the site of a regional partner, but KASC will work with the host to facilitate virtual participation of partners across the region.