The Journal of West African History (JWAH) hosted the International Launch Conference on "The State of the Field and New Directions" at the Marriot at University Place in East Lansing. On Friday, April 8 and Saturday, April 9, 2016, scholars and students were brought together to discuss topics ranging from world affairs to globalization, leading the attendees to understand the region's role in the world.
Scholars that attended the event presented on several panels: Women, Gender, and Sexuality in West Africa; History, Health, Security, and Contemporary Media in West Africa; West African Narratives of Slavery and Slave Trades; West African and Diasporic Religions; West African Oralities and Oral Histories; and Traditional Archives and New Media. These twenty-four scholars came from Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Arabophone history backgrounds.
Nwando Achebe, editor-in-chief of JWAH, arranged for several keynote speakers for the event, including Dr. Johnetta Cole, Akwasi Opong-Fosu MP, and Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili, who are all distinguished professionals in the studies of West Africa.
Matrix provided technical support for the event, and Matrix director Dean Rehberger moderated the Traditional Archives and New Media panel, which included Dr. Deborah Mack, Dr. Diana Baird N'Diaye, Mr. Jeff Ajueshi, and Dr. Nii O. Quarcoopome.
By: Katie Susko
Photograph by Jackie Belden Hawthorne