In January 2016, Greive Chelwa joined the Harvard University Center for African Studies as an African Studies Postdoctoral Fellow. An economist by trade, Chelwa explores the importance of putting people at the heart of his work in the piece below:
It’s common for economists to describe their work as falling into one type of economics. There are "industrial economists”, “labor economists”, “macroeconomists”, “behavioral economists”, “trade economists”, “development economists”, “growth economists”, “health economists" and so on. Whereas demarcating terrain in this way is understandable — for instance in stressing different types of methodological approaches — it can and has caused economists to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
Sitting at the intersection of African, Islamic, and Middle Eastern Studies, Islam in Africa has long suffered from a crisis of disciplinary identity. Neither strictly area nor religious studies, Islam in Africa has only recently received attention within the academy. The shift is long overdue; Africa has influenced scholarship throughout the Islamic World for more than a millennium. With the spread of Arabic literacy, African scholars developed a rich tradition of debate over orthodoxy and meaning in Islam.
Delia Wendel, Lecturer in Landscape Architecture at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, combines spatial and social research strategies in her work in post-genocide Rwanda. Wendel’s contribution critically analyzes Rwanda’s villagization policy as part of its peacebuilding efforts after a devastating civil war. Below, Wendel discusses her work, in a blog that originally appeared as a post on Items, The Social Science Research Council blog: