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Upcoming Activities:

Is China Opening Up or Self-Isolating?

Prof. Zhang Zhenjiang

Monday, 4th June 2018, 5pm

Seminarraum 3, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien


Since the Communist Party of China (CPC)’s 18th Party Congress in 2012 and 12th China’s National People’s Congress in 2013, the new leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the Chinese government have reiterated that China is not only continuing, but also deepening the policy of “Reform and Opening-Up” which was proposed from 1978. However, some foreign observers seem to have a very different understanding and interpretation, among whom some believe that China is “self-isolating” from the international community. This talk will start with presenting various strands of evidence - government and society, politics and economy, discourse and implementation - to illustrate that China is indeed continuing and deepening the opening-up policy, at least from China’s perspective. Meanwhile, some explanations of “self-isolation” will be also provided. From a comparative perspective, the seminar will try to understand and explain the huge discrepancy between the existence of the “Opening-up” policy from China’s perspective and the “self-Isolating” policy from other people’s perspectives.


Dr. ZHANG Zhenjiang is currently a full Professor of International Relations and the Dean of the School of International Studies/Academy of Overseas Chinese Studies, Jinan University, Guangzhou, China. He is also the Vice Chairman for China Southeast Asian Studies Association, the Vice Chairman of China Association for the Overseas Chinese History Studies, Vice Chairman of the Guangzhou Association for Political Science Studies, the Board Member of Chinese in Africa/Africans in China Research Network (CA/AC), and the Expert Advisor to the Office of Overseas Chinese Affairs, the State Council of PRC. His research interests cover the history and theory of international relations, American foreign policy, international relations in Asia-Pacific, transnational migration, Southeast Asian regionalism, Chinese diaspora and foreigners in China.



Africa Day Event

Date & time: Friday, May 25th 2018, 5pm

Venue: University of Vienna, Department of African Studies, Seminar Room 1 (Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien)

1. Prof. Adams Bodomo: Afro-optimism and Afro-futurism in the 21st Century

The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ushered in the 21st Century a decade earlier. New realignments, new nations, and new global power relations emerged all around the globe. It was, for instance, thought that the end of the Cold War marked by the fall of the Wall would usher in a period of marginalization of Africa since global powers would no longer be interested in wooing different actors in Africa as was the case during the East – West ideological wars of the 20th Century. However, towering above this Afro-pessimist subtext, Afro-optimist headlines launched Africa into the 21st Century. Socio-politically, more countries were becoming democracies; socio-economically, African countries began to feature among the top-10 fastest growing economies; and socioculturally, Nollywood and African fashion began to take the world by storm. As specific instances, the election of Barack Obama happened in 2008 – eventually thrusting a man of African descent into the White House. In 2010, South Africa pulled off an excellently organized football world cup. Shakira, the Colombian singer, capped this optimism with her song “Waka Waka – This Time for Africa”. In this Afro-optimistic constellation, a new or renewed form of film genre, afro-futurism, is with us. Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, featuring an almost all-Black cast, tells a wonderful story about a powerful African country that has developed powerful technology based on a wonder mineral called vibranium that is involved in internal and external power struggles. It raises issues about how Africa might position itself in global power relations should it become a world power.


2. Grand Poetry Slam

If you would like to participate, kindly send the three poems you would like to present to: anissa.strommer@univie.ac.at





Date & time: May 24th 2018, 5pm

Venue: University of Vienna, Department of African Studies, Seminar Room 1 (Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien)

Chair: Prof Dr Adams Bodomo


Find a copy of the speech here!


Brief summary of the presentation

Fifty years after independence Africa still remains in the periphery – great prospect notwithstanding the claim by some that the 21st century is here for the taking. Africa has many challenges and her success requires patience, persistence and perseverance. I am confident that Africa will one day take her pride of place at the dinner table of human development for three reasons: first, the encouraging signs of growth and democracy in Africa itself; second, the constructive role of business investment in expanding Africa’s economy; and third the emergence of public- private partnership in African business and social investing.


Prof. PLO Lumumba is an Associate Professor of Public Law, Founding Dean, Kabarak University School of Law and an Advocate of the High Courts of Kenya and Tanzania. He is a former Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya School of Law. He is the Founding Trustee of the African Institute for Leaders and Leadership (AILL) and founding Chairman of the Association of the Citizens Against Corruption (ACAC). He is a former lecturer at the University of Nairobi, the United States International University (Africa), Widener University USA (Nairobi Summer School). He is also a former Secretary of the Constitution of Kenya Review Commission and former Director of the defunct Kenya AntiCorruption Commission (KACC). He holds Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws degrees from the University of Nairobi and a LL.D (Doctor of Laws) on the Law of the Sea from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is also a holder of the Degree of Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa) from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. Fellow of the Institute of Certified Public Secretaries of Kenya FCPS (K), a Member of the Kenya Institute of Management (MKIM) and a Certified Mediator. Currently, Prof PLO Lumumba is actively involved in running his Foundation, Law Firm and Pan Africa activities.




Past Activities:

  • 5 May 2018 (10am-5pm): Workshop Remittance & Beyond: The Future of African Diaspora Contributions to African Development
  • 20 March 2018 (5-7pm): What could Europeans learn from the culture of Sub-Saharan Africa? Ubuntu compared to W.E.I.R.D., Wilfried Echterhoff (Universität Wuppertal)
  • 19 March 2018 (5-7pm): Rooted and uprooted identities: How generations of Nigerian migrants imagine and experience life/belonging in the diaspora, Olayinka Makinwa (Oxford University)
  • 22 January 2018 (5-7pm): Diaspora Perspectives on the Joint Africa EU Strategic Partnership, Dr. Awil Mohamoud (African Diaspora Policy Centre, Den Haag)
  • 15 January 2018 (7-8pm): The Globalization of Foreign Investment in Africa: The Role of Europe, China, and India, Adams Bodomo (University of Vienna)
  • 15 January 2018 (8-9pm): Literature of Migration, Prof Mike Okyerefo (University of Ghana)
  • 21-22 December 2017: Preparatory meeting of the Organizing Committee of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR)
  • 31 October-2 November 2017: Workshop on Mabia Languages and Literatures Part 2 (University of Vienna)
  • 2 Oct 2017 (7pm): Questions and Answers on the Global African Community, Dr. Runoko Rashidi
  • 31 July-5 August 2017: Workshop on Mabia Languages and Literatures Part 1 (Winneba, part of the 30th West African Linguistics Conference WALC 2017)

Talking Ubuntu: Towards a Relational Model of Public Discourse

Dr Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian


Tuesday, 27th June 2017


Seminarraum 3, Institut für Afrikawissenschaften

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien


In her presentation, Dr. Tavernaro-Haidarian makes a case for exploring models of public discourse based on ‘harmonious and cohesive’ understandings of power, which stand in contrast to many existing models of communication. Such a concept facilitates participatory discourse and exhibits what the author terms ‘deliberation culture’ rather than ‘argument culture’, building on the existing literature of ubuntu-based ethics. As such, ‘deliberation culture’ challenges the prevailing approach of current democratic discourses, which pan out as contests of power between inherently conflicting interests.

Dr Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian is an international media professional who has branched into academia, winning awards for her PhD research in ubuntu and public discourse. She has produced and presented for a variety of media outlets including Warner Brothers, the Austrian and South African Broadcasting Corporation and StarSat. Her latest project, a collaboration with the Africa Channel USA, is a television design show featuring local talent in the township of Soweto, South Africa. Leyla is a published author, co-founder of a leading educational enterprise and regularly lectures and speaks at universities and international fora such as TEDxVienna. She values mutualistic approaches to communication and public discourse, which she implements in her teaching work.

James Omolo: Strangers at the Gate: Africans in Poland

1 June, 7pm

Seminarraum 1, Department of African Studies

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien


The insight to the reality of People of African Descent(PAD) conveys a divergence in cross cutting areas. The drama that surrounds their co-existence with Polish community is worth a discourse: the process of transformation that PAD undergoes during their quest for integration while adapting to their new society; the agony that People of African Descent experience in the hands of a specific group is unquestionable. What kind of institutions do they build to promote their integration and inclusion in the society? What is the state of social integration between Africans and Poles? What are the current social impasse in the context of attitude of Poles towards Africans and the broad patterns of racism? How is the impact of Polish media and its social ramification? This talk aims to open new vistas about the realities, and set a discourse around People of African Descent in Poland with a focus on their everyday experiences in different spheres of their life.

James Omolo is a Kenyan living in Poland. He is the founder of Africa Connect Foundation, a radio host at imiradio and an activist on Human Rights related issues affecting People of African Descent. He also lectured at the University of Social Asciences and Humanities (SWPS), Centre for Postgraduate Studies and Training on ‘Africa Business and Beyond’. His past publications include; CHINESE FOREIGN POLICY IN SUDAN and, POLAND AND AFRICA: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. 


Paul Okojie: Pan Africanism: Nkrumah’s legacy in Africa and Beyond: an appraisal

24 May 2017

Time: 6pm

Location: AfriPoint (Hofmühlgasse 2, 1060 Wien)

Dr Kwame Nkrumah remains the most significant political figure in  post-independence era in Africa. The essence of the presentation is to offer a critical appraisal of Nkrumah’s relevance in the modern age.

The presentation will provide a detailed exposition of Nkrumah’s ideas as a leader of social and political thought in Africa and beyond; it will also introduce the audience to the origins of Nkrumah’s  Pan Africanism and its influence and impact in the evolution of his ideas and praxis.

The second part of the presentation which Okojie calls his Praxis  will focus on Nkrumah’s attempt to shape Africa’s post-colonial geography, sovereignty and economic policy – sometimes, all at once!

Would the promise offered by this mercurial figure have altered Africa’s future?

The talk will conclude by examining his enduring legacies on African politics and internationally.


Dr. Paul Okojie, previously a Senior Lecturer in International Law at Manchester Metropolitan University and ex-Chair of the Editorial Board of the Journal of African Marxists. Previously a Visiting Professor at the CERIS, Brussels. He is currently the Director of Africa International, Manchester; Chair of the Board of Trustees,  Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Archives, Manchester University. His writing covers a wide range of issues,  Africa, Poverty, Human and civil rights,  Immigration, Corruption and development,  and atrocity crimes.


Ato Quayson: Cosmopolitanism, Diaspora, and Ethnicity in Today's Accra

22 May, 5pm

Seminarraum 1, Department of African Studies

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien

In this lecture he will explore the relationship between cosmopolitanism, diaspora and ethnicity in today’s Accra in terms of the historical dynamics of space-making, taking account especially of how stranger groups and their processes of migration and settlement help us raise questions about the character of cosmopolitanism within multi-ethnic urban  African societies.  While there are several stranger groups that are directly pertinent to the discussion here, such as the Afro-Danish community of Osu that dates from the mid-eighteenth century, the Afro-Brazilians that arrived in the country from the mid-19th century, and the Syro-Lebanese that began arriving in the country toward the end of the Ottoman Empire and have made a distinctive mark on Ghana’s economic history, the group that I will be focusing on mainly are the Northern labor migrants that have settled in different parts of the city from the 1870s onwards.  The incorporation of northern migrants into Accra’s urban sphere followed a completely different trajectory from that of the other groups I have just mentioned. Comparing the two different sets of stranger groups to Accra's culture and economy allows us to see the in stark form the e contradictory processes of ethnicization, that is to say, the creation and maintenance of an ethnic identity within a highly multi-ethnic environment that is predominantly tinctured by the Ga claim to autochtony and thus to privilege and priority within the multicultural mix. My ultimate objective is to illustrate how ethnicity in Accra and other African cities like it force us to redefine what we understand by multi-ethnic polities and their relationship to diasporas and stranger groups.

Ato Quayson is a Ghanaian academic and literary critic, who is University Professor, Professor of English and inaugural Director of the Centre for Diaspora Studies at the University of Toronto. His writings on African literature, postcolonial studies, disability studies, urban studies and in literary theory have been widely published. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006) and the Royal Society of Canada (2013). He is founding editor of the Cambridge Journal of Postcolonial Literary Inquiry, and is on the editorial boards of Research in African Literatures, the University of Toronto Quarterly, and New Literary History. He was Chief Examiner in English of the International Baccalaureate (2005–07) and has been a member of the Diaspora and Migrations Project Committee of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) of the UK, and the European Research Council award grants panel on culture and cultural production.



Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o in Vienna (2 - 4 May 2017)

Workshop on Strategies for the Promotion of African Language Literature
May 2 – 4, 2017

Organisation: Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) Research Platform and Department of African Studies

This workshop focuses on how Africans and other scholars, both in Africa and in the global African Diasporas, can promote African language literature. Following a major debate about the subject-matter of African literature between Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (e.g. Ngugi 1986) and others, on the one hand, and Chinua Achebe (e.g. Achebe 1989) and others, on the other hand, the question what African literature is still remains largely unanswered. We are instead treated to paradigms by Europhone Africans like Anglophone African Literature, Francophone African Literature, Lusophone African literature, and, presumably in the near future, Sinophone African literature but hardly do we hear enough of the essential paradigm: Afriphone African Literature!

In this workshop, international scholars, writers and publishers will not only critically examine definitions and conceptualizations of African literature; they will also propose various strategies for the development and promotion of African language literature.  Key questions which will be addressed in this workshop are: What is African literature? Can African language literature live side by side with literature about Africa written in other languages? What is the impact of digital and social media on writing in African languages? What is the role of the diaspora in the development of African languages and how do exchanges between the diaspora and the continent affect it? How can scholars, both in Africa and worldwide, promote African language literature?


Tuesday, May 2

17:00 – 19:00
Department of African Studies, Seminarraum 1
Universitätscampus AAKH, Spitalgasse 2/Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien

Melanie Malzahn ― Dean Faculty of Philological and Cultural Studies
Adams Bodomo ― Head of Department and Head of the Global Africa Diaspora Research Platform (GADS)

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (University of Irvine, California):
Translation and the Language of African Literature
Chair: Adams Bodomo

Presentation of the Exhibition “The Upright Revolution”
Moses Kilolo (Managing Editor of Jalada, Nairobi)
Martina Kopf  (University of Vienna)

There will be a reception after the event

Wednesday, May 3

Department of African Studies, Seminarraum 4
Universitätscampus AAKH, Spitalgasse 2/Hof 5.1, 1090 Wien

10:00 – 13:00 Panel 1
Adams Bodomo (University of Vienna)
Parallel text: a theoretical and methodological strategy for promoting African language literature in the twenty-first century

Moses Kilolo (Managing Editor of Jalada, Nairobi)
Jalada's practical vision in promoting African language literatures

Anja Oed (University of Mainz)
Enhancing the international visibility of creative writing in African languages: experiences and suggestions based on the history and practice of the Jahn Library for African Literatures

Oluwole Coker (University of Ile-Ife, Nigeria):
Rethinking genres and modes in postcolonial literature: an African language literature example

13:00 – 14:30
Lunch Break

14:30 – 17:00 Panel 2
Anke Graness (University of Vienna)
Decolonizing the mind: political dimensions of translation in Africa

Chibo Onyeji (VAW-Vienna African Writers Club):
Promoting African language literature: a matter of choice and responsibility

Akin Bello (Publisher and Writer, Nigeria):
A Practitioner’s Perspective (video talk with skype discussion)

Kgothatso Maditse (South Africa):
FOMO: The alchemy of experience

Diner at Heuriger Herrgott aus Sta (Invited guests only)
Speckbachergasse 14
1160 Wien


Thursday, May 4

Large Reading Room (Großer Lesesaal)
Hauptbibliothek, Universitätsring 1, 1010 Wien

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o reads from his latest book The Birth of a Dreamweaver (2016)

Maria Seissl (Head Librarian, Vienna University Library)
Michael A. O. Oyugi (Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya)
Adams Bodomo (Head of the Department of African Studies and Head of the Global African Diaspora Research Platform GADS)
Irene Hochauer-Kpoda (Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation VIDC)

Introduction: Martina Kopf (Senior Lecturer in African Literatures, Department of African Studies)

Reading Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o

Moderation: Martina Kopf

Workshop Organizing Committee (Department of African Studies)
Dr Martina Kopf – Coordinator
Hasiyatu Abubakari – Logistics
Caroline Pajancic – Correspondence
Prof Adams Bodomo – Chair

In cooperation with VIDC, Vienna Institute for international Dialogue and Cooperation, Universitätsbibliothek und Philologisch-Kulturwissenschaftliche Fakultät der Universität Wien.






Mastering Disruptive Innovation and Technology
Best practices and strategies: Taking advantage of disruptive innovations that force radical change across almost every industry. Are you going to step aside or take advantage?

Organised by Aphropean Partners in cooperation with the University of Vienna, Global African Diaspora Studies Research Platform - GADS, the panel addresses the topic of Mastering Disruptive Innovation and Technology.

Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo, Professor of African Studies, Director of Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) Research Platform

Jacobs Edo, Business Transformation Expert and Author

Prof. Dr. Michael Heiss, Open Innovation Expert at Siemens & TU Wien

Dr. Alain Nkoyock, Author, Scholar, Technologist at UN. Founder & President of Think Tank CABAC

Rita Okechukwu, Network Infrastructure Engineer of the Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO)

Annabella B. Johnson, Technologist, ICT Expert and Entrepreneur

17:30 - 18:00 Welcome, Drinks & Food
18:00 - 18:15 Opening Remarks
18:15 - 20:00 Panel Discussion Q&A
20:00 - 21:30 Network, Connect and Socialise

Reserve your seat at the Frontiers of Dialogue today!
Email events@aphropean.com Web www.aphropean.com




African and Chinese Migration to Austria

Mock Conference by students from the Departments of African Studies and Sinology

Saturday, 21 January 2017

8:45am - 16:30pm

Department of African Studies, Seminarraum 1




Prospects for Transnational Collaboration in Chinese-African Relations

by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel (Goethe University Frankfurt / University of Vienna)

Date: Monday, 5 December 2016
Location: Seminarraum 1, Department of African Studies
Time: 5pm

Commentators and scholars alike have debated the virtues and vices of China’s renewed interest in the African continent. Not least the limitations imposed by the pivotal policy of non-interference – that differentiates China from other international partners – has been criticised for suspending African democratisation processes. Sino-African relations, however, do not occur in isolation. They build on existing socio-political relations but also tie into Beijing’s prior association with Africa.
An expectation, in particular when relying on African civil society, lies in its potential to provide a new impetus to African-Chinese encounters. Under which conditions does civil society operate? What are important issues facing civil society? And how can it engage on-going Sino-African relations? The talk investigates the setting and sites of African and Chinese civil society interaction to locate them within wider fields of cooperation. It therefore aims to move beyond a state-centred analysis by discussing prospects for transnational collaboration in Sino-African relations.

Rirhandu Mageza-Barthel is a Visiting Professor in Development Studies at the University of Vienna. She is a Research Fellow at Africa’s Asian Options (AFRASO) and lectures in the Department of Political Science at the Goethe University Frankfurt. Her work focuses on political relations in the global South; it particularly addresses the international relations of gender politics. She is the author of Mobilizing Transnational Gender Politics in Post-Genocide Rwanda (Ashgate, 2015) and co-editor of Negotiating Normativity: Postcolonial Appropriations, Contestations and Transformations (Springer, 2016).



African Diaspora Contributions to African Studies: Towards a Knowledge-based African Society Model

by Dr. Alain Nkoyock


Tuesday, November 29th, 2016, 17.00 hrs

Seminar room 1, Department of African Studies

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Vienna 


In this talk, the speaker, who belongs to a team of scholars and professionals from Africa residing abroad, outlines ways in which Africans abroad can make a difference in their home continent. Through programs, policies, and advocacy, Diaspora Africans have harnessed their talents, expertise, and resources for Africa's development and nation building as well as to contribute to African studies. In furthering these objectives, the speaker has championed the establishment of a think tank called CABAC with the mission to promote patriotism, networking, and cooperation among Africans in the Diaspora, and he will outline the activities of this think tank. These activities include a case study research through which the think tank has explored the extent to which the African diaspora can influence national development issues as well as the plurality of modalities through which it can exercise such influence. In the information age, there can be a substantial amount of contribution of the African diaspora to a knowledge-based African society (KAS) supported by suitable high-tech tools and services that span over fundamentals of knowledge of African societies and their interactions with the rest of the world.


Dr. Alain Nkoyock, earned a Doctorate of Management in Organizational Leadership with a Specialization in Information Systems and Technology from University of Phoenix in Arizona (U.S.), a Master’s Degree in Computer Science (Software Engineering), and a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics from University of Yaoundé I (Cameroon). For over 18 years in the U.N. Secretariat, Dr. Nkoyock proposes advanced evidence-based tools for Member States that mainstream multiple dimensions of development. Dr. Nkoyock is a faculty member in many universities and a member, and/or editor/reviewer in several scholarly networks, journals, and conferences. Dr. Nkoyock has contributed to book chapters, peer-reviewed articles, and published books. He is the founder of Think Tank CABAC and Association Nkom.

Website: www.nkoyock.net; weblog: http://blog.nkoyock.net.



Invitation to the GADS bi-monthly seminar series (Winter term 2016/17)

Stories of Gifts Travelling between Africa and Europe

Dr. Martina Kopf

University of Vienna, Austria

Department of African Studies


Date: 7 November 2016

Time: 6pm

Location: Seminar room 1, Department of African Studies (Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5, 1090 Vienna, 1st floor)


In one of her popular writings about missionary life in Central Africa in the 1930s Mabel Shaw tells a story about Bemba schoolgirls knitting socks for poor English children on Giving Day. In 2012 the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund produces the video clip ‘Africa for Norway’, featuring a fictive aid campaign that reverses the commonly associated roles of ‘giving’ and ‘receiving’. In this paper I understand these two versions as two poles in a continuum of cultural representations of the ‘development gift’ migrating between Africa and Europe from the colonial past to the present. What lies in between these two versions – if we understand this ‘in between’ not so much as a temporal space, but as a symbolic space of shifting meanings and truths concerning both factual and symbolic dimensions of ‘giving’ and ‘taking’ between Africa and Europe? To address this question I draw on the movie Hyènes (1992) by the Senegalese filmmaker Djibril Diop Mambety. Reading his adaptation of Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s play The Visit as a philosophical reflection on truths and fictions of giving and taking, I will show how the movie opens an alternative perspective on development discourses and relations in global orders of exchange.


Biographical note

Martina Kopf is Senior Lecturer in African Literatures at the University of Vienna. With Joseph M. Hodge and Gerald Hödl she edited Developing Africa: Concepts and Practices in Twentieth Century Colonialism (Manchester University Press 2014). She is the author of books and articles on trauma and the ethics of representation and on representations of gender and sexuality in African writing.



Invitation to the GADS bi-monthly seminar series

Literature as a Vehicle for Intercultural Understanding

Prof. Dr. Christa Knellwolf King (Sultan Qaboos University, Oman)


Date: June 6, 5pm to 7pm

Location: Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien (1st floor) 



This lecture proposes that literature can be used as a practical basis for developing intercultural understanding in our conflict-ridden globalized world. It was some 30 years ago that literature was describedas a form of social discourse (e.g. Roger Fowler 1982). This  demonstrated that a great deal of cooperation is required between writerand reader before a literary text can acquire the three-dimensional quality which has more recently been described as world-making (Joanna Gavins 2007).  However the social dimension of a poem or a novel goes far beyond the shared definition of the individual components of language: words, phrases, concepts, grammar. They certainly play a seminal role in the ways by which text refers to context, in order to enable the reader to visualize, or imagine, fictional spaces and characters. But more than this, literary descriptions also convey a sense of what the places and events described mean within a particular cultural context; furthermore they establish bonds between the reader and fictional characters, especially narrators, even if the imaginary characters are reclusive and exist under extreme conditions of isolation. I will apply the theoretical premises of this approach to literary meaning to the analysis of Abdulrazak Gurnah’s novel By the Sea (2001). In the practical part of my talk, I want to draw attention to the linguistic elements that do not only familiarize the reader with the thought processes and experiences of the writer but which also generate a deep sense of understanding for characters from different cultural backgrounds. I will argue that an approach to the analysis of fiction which emphasizes the capacity of literary language to forge solidarities is a valuable vehicle for generating tolerance and respect between people from different cultural communities.



Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) Fortnightly Seminar Series

The Research Platform Global African Diaspora Studies (GADS) will, from April 2016, start a fortnightly seminar series on the interdisciplinary areas of global, African, and diaspora studies at which members of GADS and other noted scholars in these interdisciplinary areas will be asked to present research results for discussion. The inaugural seminar is on April 11, 2016 and is in the form of a roundtable discussion involving Museums and African diaspora cultures.


April 11, 4.30pm to 7pm
Adams Bodomo, Oliver Rathkolb, Walter Sauer, Steven Engelsman, Nadja Haumberger
(Weltmuseum, Heldenplatz, 1010 Wien)

April 25, 5pm to 7pm
Adams Bodomo
(Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien)

May 9, 5pm to 7pm
Anissa Strommer
(Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien)

May 23, 5pm to 7pm
Birgit Englert, Katharina Fritsch, Hanna Stepanik
(Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien)

June 6, 5pm to 7pm,
Christa Knellwolf
(Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien)

June 20, 4pm to 6pm
SIN2, Institut für Ostasienwissenschaften


Africa Day 2016

African Liberation Day (Africa Day, for short), as designated by the African Union, falls on May 25 each year. 

A number of activities are being organized to commemorate Africa Day at the department of African Studies (Seminarraum 1). The theme for this year and until 2020 is: “Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want”.


4.30 pm: Welcome Address and Remarks on “Agenda 2063” by Chairman (Prof. Adams Bodomo)

5.pm: Speech by Guest Speaker, Prince Pallikunnel of PROSI - Austria

“Cultural Understanding in Aid of Business – 

My experience with doing business in Africa and with Africans in Austria”

6.pm: Panel Discussion: “Diaspora African Contributions to African Development” 

Panelists include: 

Ms. Louise Deininger, President of Kenyans in the Diaspora, Austria 

Dr. Martina Kopf, Lecturer, African studies, University of Vienna

Poetry and other Literary Readings on the

Theme of Africa and African Unity 

7.30: Dinner – free African food

We invite you to compose and send in poetry on the theme of "African unity, African identity, and African interconnectedness, i.e. how Africa interfaces with the world in the 21st Century". This is not a competition but a free reading event, where poets can even decide to perform their poetry accompanied by sound or video! Kindly send your submissions until 20 May.

Contact: caroline.pajancic(AT)univie.ac.at

Date: 25 May 2016

Time: 4.30pm


Department of African Studies

Spitalgasse 2, Hof 5

1090 Wien

Seminarraum 1

All are invited to participate!

Africans in Moscow, part 1: Initial Insights


Africans in Moscow, part 1: Initial Insights

Mag. Martina Anissa Strommer, MA (University of Vienna)


May 9, 5pm to 7pm

Kleiner Saal, Afro-Asiatisches Institut in Wien, Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien



Although the history of the African Diaspora in Russia reaches back as far as to the late 17th century, Africans living in Moscow and other Russian cities today are being marginalized and face considerable racism. After outlining this development, the results of a preliminary survey regarding the African community in Russia will be discussed. The pre-test conducted in July 2015 consisted of qualitative questionnaires and interviews and was later complemented by an online survey. While the project in Diaspora Linguistics focusses on communication patterns and language choice, further aspects of interest will be language biographies as well as the role of religious networks.



Diaspora Linguistics: Probing the Contours of an Emerging Discipline in the Humanities

Invitation to the second of the GADS bi-monthly seminar series:

Diaspora Linguistics: Probing the Contours of an Emerging Discipline in the Humanities

by Univ.-Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo


25 April 2016


Location: Afro-Asiatisches Institut, Kleiner Saal (Türkenstraße 3, 1090 Wien)





Museums as Resources for Global African Diaspora Studies

Date: April 11 2016

Time: 4.30pm

Location: Weltmuseum Wien, Heldenplatz, 1010 Wien





Univ.-Prof. Dr. Adams Bodomo (Chair)

Department of African Studies,

University of Vienna



Univ.-Prof. Mag Univ.-Prof. Mag. DDr. Oliver Rathkolb

Department of Contemporary History, University of Vienna


Univ.-Prof. Dr. Walter Sauer

Department of Economic and Social History, University of Vienna


Dr. Steven Engelsman

Director of the Weltmuseum Wien





Invitation Museums as Resources for Global African Diaspora Studies

GADS Research Platform Presentation

From the Conference "Bewegungsmuster - Darstellungsverfahren - Konzepte", organised by the research platform Mobile Cultures and Societies (Vienna, 23.06.2015)

Invitation to two GADS talks on 8 January 2016

3pm-4.20pm "I am Austro-Ghanaian" - Citizenship and Belonging of Ghanaians in Austria

Mike Okyerefo (University of Ghana & GADS Fellow, University of Vienna)

4.30pm-6pm Political Myths of the African Great Lakes Region
Wioleta Gierszewska (Institute of Political Science, University of Gdansk)

Information Sheet 1

Information Sheet 2




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