Skip to main content

By Nicholas Allen | February 4, 2021

Countless Blessings:  A History of Childbirth and Reproduction in the Sahel, Prof. Barbara Cooper

Feb. 11, 2021, Noon

Barbara M. Cooper is a Professor of History at Rutgers University. Her new book, Countless Blessings, is a book on the history of childbirth and reproduction in the Sahel. Prof. Cooper sets out to understand childbirth in a country with the world’s highest fertility rate and an alarmingly high rate of maternal and infant mortality. She shows how the environment, slavery and abolition, French military rule, and the rapid expansion of Islam have all influenced childbirth and fertility in Niger from the 19th century to the present day. This talk is part of the Jama series sponsored by the Carolina Seminar in African Ecology and Social Processes. The Jama is open to all area faculty and graduate students in any discipline.  Webinar Registration

Ellen Johnson SirleafBuilding Coalitions for Positive Change: A Humanities Special Event at NCSSM

Feb. 22, 2021, 1:00-3:00 PM

Building Coalitions for Positive Change is a virtual event focused on how communities can create a more just future. Featuring a keynote address by Madame Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Liberia), a question-and-answer period, and a panel discussion with community leaders, the event will explore how, together, we might bring about systemic change to build a better world.

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf is the first democratically elected woman president in Africa, leading Liberia from 2006-2018. A promoter of freedom, peace, justice, women’s empowerment and democratic rule, she led Liberia through reconciliation and recovery following the nation’s decade-long civil war, as well as the Ebola Crisis.  In 2011, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in bringing women into the peacekeeping process and has garnered further acclaim for her achievements fostering economic, social, and political change.

Panelists for the event include:  NC Representative Vernetta Alston; activist Mandy Carter; Executive Director of WISER International, Zach Fowler; lead developer of the Pauli Murray Center, Barbara Lau; and Emory Professor Pamela Scully.  Panel will be moderated by Adam Sampieri.

Registration for the event is required.  Registration, and the opportunity to submit questions, are available here.

Spring 2021 Call: Faculty and Instructor Award for Africa Content


The African Studies Center at UNC Chapel Hill invites interested Africa focused faculty at UNC Chapel Hill, Minority Serving Institutions or instructors at Community Colleges in North Carolina to apply for its spring 2021 award.

Awards can be used for but not limited to:

  • Course or curriculum development
  • Visiting foreign faculty
  • Online speaker event, film screening or webcast/podcast development
  • Research or travel award
  • Development of online instructional materials.

Preference will be given to Arts, Language or STEM proposals related to Africa.  More Information

SERSAS logoSERSAS Virtual Spring Conference, Call for Papers

African Mobilities: the Means and Modalities of Movement(s) Within and Beyond Africa 

Conference Dates: Mar. 12-13, 2021
Deadline for Proposals extended to Feb. 5, 2021
The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way people move through the world in unprecedented ways. While many choose to shelter at home as a public health measure to prevent the spread of the virus, this is not possible, realistic, or desirable for others. Some states and institutions across the globe have implemented strict guidelines and regulations against movement and gathering, while others have not. Through the restrictions of movement and moral discussions about the choice to leave the home and circulate during a pandemic, power relations and the politics of difference are laid bare in tremendous ways. Strategies of movement and mobility, whether through large-scale migration patterns or quotidian pathways of circulation, have captured global attention, perhaps like never before.


The context of COVID-19 is an opportunity to interrogate the means and modalities of movement in Africa. One of the striking elements of the pandemic in African contexts is the power of social movements, in spite of – indeed, because of – the pandemic. Widespread public protests calling for the resignation of the president of Mali, the #EndSARS protests against police brutality and corruption in Nigeria, and demonstrations in Khartoum to protest poor living conditions and economic strife are examples of the power of social movement, physical gathering and marching even within the context of a pandemic. Examples such as these urge us to interrogate the multiple meanings of movement and movements in the context of Africa, from deep in the past to our volatile present.


The coordinators of SERSAS/SEAN cordially invite you to present your work within the wide parameters of the conference theme at our 2021 virtual conference. Submissions from any academic discipline are welcome but should be accessible to a diverse set of participants. The Spring 2021 SERSAS/SEAN Conference seeks to give faculty, independent scholars, and graduate students the opportunity to share scholarship within a collegial atmosphere. This includes providing opportunities for advanced graduate students to present their work and to win the SERSAS Prize for the best graduate student paper. We therefore encourage graduate students and their faculty mentors to consider putting forward paper and/or panel proposals.

Please send proposals of 250 words to: Stacey Sewall and Abbey Warchol Proposals should include presenter’s name, institution, contact email, and a paper title. In the event that you are submitting an entire panel proposal, please have the chair of the panel submit all of the individual paper proposals in one email to the organizers.

Faculty Workshop on COIL: Connecting Carolina Classrooms with the World

Feb. 4, 2021, 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM
The Office of the Vice Provost for Global Affairs is hosting a workshop for faculty interested in participating in the Connecting Carolina Classrooms with the World initiative to incorporate Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) activities into their courses. This workshop will include:

• An introduction to COIL, a flexible pedagogical approach that allows instructors to partner with peers from across the world to develop collaborative activities that connect their student and meet original learning objectives of each course, even across different disciplines.

• Breakout discussions to facilitate development of potential activities utilizing COIL in the courses. Participants will share initial ideas on partners, activities and considerations for adapting courses to incorporate COIL activities.

• Program development resources and information on available funding for UNC faculty and graduate students. Faculty are eligible to receive related curriculum development awards for undergraduate or graduate level courses. Award deadline: March 15.

The featured speaker is Diane Ceo-DiFrancesco, faculty director of the Eigel Center for Community-Engaged Learning and associate professor in the department of classics and modern languages at Xavier University. Ceo-DiFrancesco is a leader in COIL development.

All UNC faculty are welcome to participate in the workshop. Registration is required. Registration

CFK logoCFK Peacock Fellowship Now Accepting Applications

Application Deadline:  Feb. 15, 2021

Carolina for Kibera (CFK) is currently accepting applications from undergraduate and graduate students for the 2021 Peacock Fellowship. The Peacock Fellow will join CFK from February to December 2021 and produce a range of multimedia deliverables to promote CFK’s 20th Anniversary.  Co-founded by a UNC student in 2001, CFK is a UNC Affiliate organization, registered 501(c)3 nonprofit in the U.S., and non-governmental organization (NGO) in Kenya working just outside of Nairobi in the informal settlement of Kibera. Based on a model of participatory development, CFK supports Kibera residents through integrated primary healthcare facilities, education and livelihoods initiatives, and youth empowerment programs. The organization collaborates with UNC faculty members and organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct critical, ethical research in Kibera, which leads to evidence-based interventions.  CFK Website

Global Career Night 2021

Feb. 24, 2021, 4-5:30 PM

Hear from a virtual panel of phenomenal UNC alumni in globally focused careers! Panelists represent a variety of career options: government, private industry, NGOs, and more. They will share their professional journeys from studying (like you!) at UNC, through the career searches, networking, and life choices that led them to their current roles. In the Q&A, panelists will take your questions on everything from advice on the job hunt to sustainable career growth over the years. Wherever you are in your UNC experience, this panel is perfect for you — from first years just starting to explore their interests, to seniors scrolling Handshake and attending job fairs.   Registration