African Culture Week

Oct. 17, 2013              

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— October 29 through November 3, Illinois Wesleyan University will celebrate African Culture Week by hosting events that focus on different aspects of the African culture and traditions.

On Tuesday, October 29 at 7 p.m., the film “God Grew Tired of Us” will be shown in Beckman Auditorium in The Ames Library (1 Ames Plaza, Bloomington). A question and answer session with Sudanese “Lost Boys,” Maketh Mabior and Peter Bul, will follow the movie. Mabior and Bul will share their stories about integrating into American society and the work they are doing in their new country, South Sudan.

On Thursday, October 31 at 4 p.m., John Comaroff, a professor of African studies and anthropology at Harvard University, will deliver a lecture entitled “How Europe and America Are Evolving Towards Africa,” in the Beckman Auditorium.  Comaroff will discuss challenging assumptions about Africa’s role as a source of theory and explanation for world historical events, and the positive and problematic consequences of the economic and social evolution of the "Global North" towards the "Global South." The questions of if, how and in what measure is this evolution happening will be addressed.

A reception with faculty and students will follow, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in the Beckman Foyer. 

At 7 p.m., Comaroff will deliver another lecture entitled, "Ethnicity, Inc." The lecture will discuss the fact that ethnic groups around the world are acting more than ever like corporations who own a "natural" copyright to their cultural products. Questions about the reasoning and consequences behind this economic and ethical change will be addressed, along with how it is transforming the nature of ethnicity and citizenship in the 21st century and what are its implications for understanding such foundational social science concepts as culture and identity.

On Sunday, November 3 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., The African Students Association (ASA) will sponsor African Culture Night in the Hansen Student Center (300 Beecher St., Bloomington). This year’s event will feature “Time for Africa,” an evening of African cuisine, music and dance and entertainment. ASA will present three choreographed dances and a skit to the song “If You Ask Me” by Omawumi, a Nigerian artist. The program will also include a fashion show by ASA, and FATA Dance Ensemble, a performing arts ensemble that teaches and performs Afro-Caribbean, Jazz and Hip-hop dance forms.

For additional information regarding African Culture Week, contact Rebecca Gearhart, associate professor of anthropology, at rgearhar@iwu.edu.

Contact: Danielle Kamp ‘15 (309) 556-3181, univcomm@iwu.edu