Today I had the great privilege of meeting and speaking with Winnie Mandela, widow of Nelson Mandela and a crucial leader of the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa in her own right.
Several of us were in Johannesburg for the opening of the Harvard Center for African Studies (CAS) office here – the first CAS outpost on the continent. I’m the HBS representative to the CAS Executive Committee. We also have an office here – the brand new HBS Africa Research Center under the direction of Pippa Armerding – and I’m the Faculty Chair.
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. Read more about Placing People at the Heart of African Economics
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. The rise of such a tradition was hardly disconnected from centers of Islamic Read more about Texts, Knowledge, Practice: The Meaning of Scholarship in Muslim Africa