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

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The new cohort of Cluster fellows have arrived at University of Bayreuth


Along with the start of the new academic semester 2021/21 at the University of Bayreuth the Cluster of Excellence has welcomed the first international fellows of the latest cohort. Seven of the twenty invited fellows have already started their fellowships with durations ranging from ten weeks to ten months.

“It is wonderful to see so many new fellows actually present in Bayreuth”, said the Cluster’s vice dean of Research Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber at the inaugural meeting in the middle of October destined to welcome the new arrivals. “It was a difficult year for the fellowship program due to the pandemic”, Prof. Alber explained. Although there were fellows present in Bayreuth in the first seven months of the year meetings and gatherings had to be kept at a minimum and some fellows joined the program online. “Now, however, we are happy to report that everything is back to normal”, Prof. Alber stated. The Bayreuth Academy of Advanced African Studies which is currently sailing under the flag of the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence will again welcome a total of twenty fellows in Bayreuth during the current academic semester.

After the call was issued in October 2020, the selection process for the new cohort of International Fellows was conducted during the winter months. “Although the process itself is running very smoothly we still don’t take these decisions lightly”, explains Robert Debusmann, the coordinator of the program. The call got a positive response: the Bayreuth Academy received 43 submissions with applicants coming from 21 countries, 20 of the applicants were from the African continent. “In total, we selected eleven outstanding scholars and invited them to work with us. They are joined by four fellows from last year’s selection who have postponed their stay due to Corona, two artist fellows and three so-called ‘internal’ fellows”, Debusmann continues.

The Cluster’s fellowship program

Since 2019, the Cluster of Excellence so far has hosted 49 international fellows from all over the globe as part of its fellowship program. International fellows stay for a duration ranging from one to ten months, during which they devote their time to their respective research projects. Visiting fellows typically engage in an intense exchange with members of the Cluster, both within the Knowledge Lab and as part of a predefined program within their specific working context.

Principal Investigators and other scholars at the University of Bayreuth who would like to pursue projects of significance to the Cluster’s theoretical and thematic agenda and advance research and scholarly debates in African Studies together with the international fellows, artists in residence and other cluster members may also become fellows of the Bayreuth Academy. While the international fellows may stay for up to ten months Bayreuth-based scholars are only granted a fellowship for one semester. These ‘internal fellows’ are expected to participate in Cluster events, present a talk and submit one or more publications based on their project, and teach a course drawing on their cluster research in the semester following the sabbatical.

To find out more about the program and the current cohort of fellows please visit: https://www.bayreuth-academy.uni-bayreuth.de/en/index.html

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