A message from the faculty advisory board

The Center for African Studies (CAS) is excited and proud to announce that we are entering into a new phase in pursuit of our core academic mission of research and teaching linked to the African continent and its diaspora. Since its founding in 1969, CAS’s mandate has been to focus on faculty, graduate, and undergraduate research and education. CAS is situated within Stanford Global Studies, an entity comprised of 14 regional and transnational research centers, including CAS. The core mission of these centers is research and teaching, in alignment with the School of Humanities and Sciences. 

In keeping with our institutional mission of research and teaching, the Faculty Advisory Board of CAS has collectively decided that we will build upon and expand CAS’s historic mandate as a premier academic institution focused on African Studies by augmenting African language instruction, building up our Africa-focused library holdings, initiating K-12 support for teaching about Africa, and forging collaborations with higher education and research institutions on the African continent. 

In particular, the much-anticipated establishment of the new Department of African and African American Studies (DAAAS) in January 2024 is a new opportunity for CAS to support the African Studies-focused research of faculty and students. We envision close collaboration between the Department and our Center, with CAS providing the research-intensive “think-tank” space within which DAAAS faculty and student members experiment with innovative research ideas, are engaged in regular seminars and workshops, host major national and international research grants, and build up an international community of prominent African Studies scholars visiting from other institutions. CAS and DAAAS will work closely along the Language Center to expand our instruction of African languages, something that we consider to lie at the very heart of African Studies. 

Students - both undergraduate and graduate - play a vital role in this intellectual vision. We envision a future CAS in which students engaged in African Studies find life-changing research exposure, access high-quality African language learning, are mentored by leading scholars within African Studies, conduct research on the African continent. One example of this initiative is our recent launching of the Faculty-Undergraduate research partnership. Under the auspices of this scheme, undergraduates will work closely with faculty on an Africa-focused research project, receiving mentoring and research development training. A further example is CAS’s recent hosting and support of a major international research project led by collaborators in the USA and Senegal titled “Senegal Liberation Project”. This aims to create a digital database of enslaved West Africans seeking their liberation and provides opportunities for undergraduates as research interns.

Joel Cabrita (Faculty Director of the Center for African Studies)

CAS Faculty Advisory Board:

Rachel Jean-Baptiste

Desiree LaBeaud

Grant Parker

Ato Quayson

Krish Seetah