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

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Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence Announces New Book Series


In addition to the already existing working paper series, the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence is now launching a brand-new book series. The series entitled Africa Multiple: Studies of Africa and its Diasporas will be published in collaboration with E.J. Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden.

The Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence at the University of Bayreuth has teamed up with renowned E.J. Brill Academic Publishers in Leiden (The Netherlands) to launch a new, peer-reviewed book series in African Studies. Titled Africa Multiple: Studies of Africa and its Diasporas, the overarching aim of the new series is to advance the study of Africa and its diasporas through publishing multidisciplinary research.

Encouraging critical reflections on area studies, the Africa Multiple series seeks to set new standards for collaborative research, informed by an understanding of Africa as multiple that emphasizes relationality and reflexivity as its main conceptual approaches. These approaches take center stage in the Africa Multiple Cluster, which was established in early 2019 with the aim of reconfiguring African Studies in both structural and theoretical terms. Conceived as a transcontinental network, the Cluster comprises five locations: apart from Bayreuth, these are the African Cluster Centers at Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya), Rhodes University (Makhanda, South Africa), the University of Lagos (Nigeria), and Joseph Ki-Zerbo University (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso).

Rüdiger Seesemann, the Dean of the Africa Multiple Cluster and co-editor of the series, highlighted the expected synergies of the new series with the Cluster’s objective of reconfiguring African Studies: “The series is designed to overcome existing power imbalances in the production and transmission of knowledge in our field,” Seesemann explained. “We will encourage submissions from our African academic partners and pursue an active open access policy for most titles in the series.” As Enocent Msindo, Professor of History and director of the African Cluster Center at Rhodes University, who will also serve as co-editor, pointed out: “The open access policy of the series and the intended collaboration with local publishers in Africa will allow academics based in the Global South to read the books that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive even for their libraries.”

For Erdmute Alber, Vice Dean of Research in the Cluster and the third co-editor, it is particularly important for the Africa Multiple series to reflect the wide range of research themes and approaches in the Cluster: “We invite contributions from diverse fields and disciplines, ranging from social sciences, cultural studies and humanities to law, geography and beyond,” Alber emphasized. As part of the programmatic objective of reconfiguring African Studies, the series also includes publications in English as well as other academic languages (such as French, German, Kiswahili, Arabic, and Portuguese).

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