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Cluster of Excellence EXC 2052 - "Africa Multiple: reconfiguring African Studies"

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Cluster of Excellence will offer three research formats in the upcoming academic year

10.09.2019

Sailing under the flag of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies will provide three research formats for the coming academic year 2019/2020 at the University of Bayreuth: the fellowship program, the postdoc working groups and a program for junior academics.

In recent years, the Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies has made a name for itself providing the structural framework for original and innovative research projects and uniting disciplines be it Africa related or otherwise. Sailing under the flag of the Cluster of Excellence the Bayreuth Academy will continue its work providing the academic world with new thematic focal points and using new formats. In the new academic semester 2019/2010, the Bayreuth Academy will put forward three research formats that are designed to further advance the work of this popular Bayreuth institution.

Postdoc working groups – a success story

One of these formats has already proven to be very successful in the past. For over six years, the Bayreuth Academy has organized postdoc working groups researching Africa related topics in a transdisciplinary fashion. Typically, a working group consists of up to four postdocs coming from various disciplines, at least two of which work at the University of Bayreuth. The group receives funds for guests, activities and workshops from the Bayreuth Academy in the Cluster in order to be able to jointly work on a topic of its choice and additionally may invite international fellows or guests. In general, the work is concluded by a workshop or a conference leading to a joint interdisciplinary publication. Working groups are limited to one or two semesters. This upcoming semester two postdoc working groups will start their research at the University of Bayreuth: One team will discuss multiple African reception methods of Shakespeare’s body of work, the other will debate future implications created by building a high tech infrastructure on space radiation in Africa.

Fellowship program

Drawing from the Academy’s experience in the past, the Cluster of Excellence has also implemented a new fellowship program. The application process for the fellowships ranging from one to six months had started in April – the first fellows will arrive in October 2019. During their stay at the University of Bayreuth, fellows join an international group of junior and senior scholars in order to further develop the Cluster’s scientific discourse while working on their own scientific research. The participants take part in events organised by the Cluster of Excellence for instance afternoon lectures, seminars and discussion groups. Additionally, fellows will present a talk based on their projects pursued at the Bayreuth Academy.

Starting October 2019, the considerable number of 28 scholars will be hosted by the Bayreuth Academy to do their fellowship at the University of Bayreuth. Twelve of the fellows come from Africa (Nigeria, Kenya, Southern Africa), five from the USA and two from India, however, six applicants from German institutes were also invited.

Program for junior academics

A brand new research format within the Bayreuth Academy are the junior research groups. The call for the program will be put forward soon and the program is planned to start by the summer semester 2020. Inspired by the “Emmy Noether program” of the DFG, four groups of excellent junior academics led each by an excellent postdoc who will recruit and supervise two PhD candidates, will be invited to conduct independent Africa related research for four years on themes which are closely related to the research agenda of the Cluster. (sg)

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