Sixth Annual African Languages in the Disciplines Conference


Thursday, April 23, 2015 (All day) to Friday, April 24, 2015 (All day)


Thompson Room, Barker Center

On behalf of Professor John Mugane, Director of the Harvard African Language Program, we are very pleased to announce the Sixth Annual African Languages in the Disciplines Conference, which will take place on April 23, 2015, at Harvard University.

We hope that you will consider joining us as we continue to engage scholars and African heritage communities in serious discussion about the contributions of African languages to the disciplines.


Reception and Buffet Dinner to Follow

9 – 9:15 am Opening Remarks

John Mugane, Professor of African and African American Studies and Director of Harvard’s African Language Program, and Caroline Elkins, Professor of History and African and African American Studies and Director of the Harvard Center for African Studies

9:15 – 10:30 am What’s in A Word?: Oral Arts and the Art of Translation, Moderated by Lowell Brower, Harvard University

“Race and Translation: Uses and Responses to Vernacular Afrikaans in South African Rap”Warrick Moses, Harvard University

“A World in Words: Insights in Yoruba Cosmology and Sacred Time in an Ifa Proverb”Ayodeji Ogunnaike, Harvard University“Once Upon a Time in the Land of Never Again: An Ethnographic Translation of Kinyarwanda Folktale Openings”Lowell Brower, Harvard University10:30 – 10:45 am Coffee Break

10:45 am – 12:30 pm African Languages in/after Crisis, Moderated by Erin Mosely, Harvard University

“Communicating the Ebola Crisis in Africa”Richard Wamai, Northeastern University“Miscommunication during the Ebola Epidemic in Guinea and the Role of Local Languages in the Fight against the Disease”Oumar Barry“Between Collapse and Order: Somali and Somaliness in Post-1991 Ethiopia”Safia Aidid, Harvard University“The ‘Burden’ of Language: Collecting and Curating Voices in South African Post-Apartheid Museums”Sipokazi Sambumbu, University of Western Cape“The Vocabulary of Atrocity: Searching for a Kinyarwanda-based Approach to Genocide Documentation in Rwanda”Erin Mosely, Harvard University

12:30 – 1:30 pm Lunch Break and Discussion of the Harvard African Languages in the Disciplines Journal with John Mugane, Editor-in-Chief

1:30 – 2:30 pm The Language of Literary Networks

“The Language of African Digital Fiction”Stephanie Bosch Santana, Harvard University“Provincializing the Hejaz: the Case for a Transregional 'Ajami Comparatism”Annette Damayanti Lienau, University of Massachusetts, Amherst2:45 – 4 pm New Research in Pulaar

“Impact of Islamization on the Fulani Language and Vocabulary”Mamadou Oury Barry

“Adlam, Fighting Illiteracy and the Rise of New Scholars”Mamadou Malal Jalloh“Etymology of some Fulani Words and their Relation with Natural Phenomenon”Djinde Niasse4 – 4:15 pm Coffee Break4:15 – 5:30 pm New Research in Nko“Nko and its computerization”Souleymane Cisse“African languages in mass media: the case of Nko”Lancine Kakoro“Food words and expression in Nko”Gnoumagbe Diawara

5:30 - 7:30 pm Reception and Buffet Dinner